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Broadcom offering D3 chip with 5G Wi-Fi

Mon, 09/10/2012 - 2:26pm
Brian Santo

Broadcom has introduced a chip for DOCSIS 3.0 gateways that offer 1 Gbps Wi-Fi.

The company has integrated a DOCSIS 3.0 modem with a new version of Wi-Fi that is expected to be ratified by the end of this year or early next year.

The introduction is interesting in that it supports two related goals of the cable industry: It will help expand the capabilities of in-home networks, and it will help with the industry’s strategy to provide public wireless coverage using Wi-Fi.

IEEE 802.11ac operates in the 5 GHz band and is designed to be capable of throughputs up to 1 Gbps. Broadcom and others are referring to the technology as 5G (or fifth-generation) wireless.

The BCM3383 DOCSIS 3.0 cable gateway platform coupled with the company’s BCM4360 5G Wi-Fi delivers DOCSIS 3.0-based 16 x 4 speeds over wireless throughout the entire home.

This version also relies on beamforming to improve wireless coverage, ideally eliminating dead spots in subscribers’ homes.

Although the 802.11ac standard operates in the 5 GHz band, the chip supports simultaneous 2.4 GHz and 5G Wi-Fi WLAN support for backwards compatibility.

The Broadcom chip also features full-band capture digital tuning; it samples and digitizes the entire 1 GHz downstream spectrum of a cable plant, providing access to any channel anywhere.

Broadcom has reference platforms for gateways, and a suite of 5G Wi-Fi client reference platforms are available today.

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