Broadcom showcases mobile, wearable tech at MWC
Broadcom has given a demonstration of several updates in its mobile offerings, targeted to deliver faster and more powerful mobiles and wearable devices, or as how Broadcom EVP Bob Rango put it, "to connect everything."
The company started with the 5G Wi-Fi 2x2 MIMO combo chip that enhances the wireless performance of 1x1 MIMO devices used in smartphones, doubling throughput for faster video and music downloads. Dubbed as the industry's first, the BCM4354 features a 30 per cent boost in wireless coverage, and 25 per cent improved power efficiency over MIMO solutions.
The chip incorporates the company's antenna and PHY design, featuring 867Mbit/s PHY rate over an 80MHz channel bandwidth and reducing the implementation complexity when integrated into smaller devices such as smartphones. The Transmit Beamforming technology further improves rate over range performance in congested environments for data-intense applications. Uploading media should therefore be twice as fast in crowded sporting events or concert venues for example.
Another version of the chip supports the Rezence wireless power technology, developed by the Alliance for Wireless Power, delivering additional wireless freedom. The MIMO SoCs are currently in production, and all versions will include a full software platform support for Android, Windows and Chrome-based operating systems.
Broadcom also staged a family of NFC controllers designed to reduce antenna size by 50 per cent and lower overall cost by 35 per cent in the manufacturing of mobile devices. The BCM20795 NFC family extends data rates up to 848Kbit/s. It taps the low-power target detection, reducing power consumption by over 60 per cent. Compact and highly integrated, it uses 30 per cent fewer components and requires 35 per cent smaller board area than the previous generations.
Its NFC technology supports all payment schemes, including Sim-based, embedded and cloud-based secure elements, as well as a combination of such elements within the same device. The device also features support for the latest NFC Forum specifications, warranting compliance across current standards. The NFC controllers are available for sampling, comprising multiple devices to allow integration into specific applications ranging from secure mobile applications to embedded systems.
As for LTE innovations, Broadcom presented a so-called turnkey reference design that allows quick development of 4G LTE devices for the sub $300 LTE smartphone market. Another technology could deliver LTE Advanced carrier aggregation Category6 data rates of 300Mbit/s, delivering twice the speed of the fastest LTE generally deployed today.
The company has also extended its location technology to wearables. A GNSS chip enables precise fitness and health measurements. Meanwhile, the 5G WiFi location awareness technology will be demonstrated on a joint development platform with Aruba Networks, providing pinpoint accuracy within indoor environments such as retail, healthcare and hospitality.
Other technologies showcased include a 10Gbit/s millimetre wave SoC for wireless backhaul and fronthaul applications, and the open network function virtualisation platform that aids in accelerating the deployment of applications and cost benefits of NFV.
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