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Broadcom Combo Chip Brings Multimedia Applications to Mobile Devices

Broadcom’s newest wireless combination (combo) chip can support more media and data applications without impacting size or battery life for smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices.

Named as the BCM4330, the new chip integrates Broadcom's 802.11n WiFi (News - Alert), Bluetooth and FM radio technologies on a single silicon die. The integration provides significant cost, size, power and performance advantages over discrete semiconductor implementations, making it ideal for mobile devices.

The BCM4330 will implement emerging standards in WiFi and Bluetooth to support new applications. It also supports WiFi Direct and Bluetooth High Speed, enabling mobile devices to communicate directly with each other without having to connect first to an access point and be part of a traditional network.

This chip thus creates many new wireless device-to-device applications and usage models. Currently in production, the BCM4330 is being demonstrated at the 2011 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

"Combination chips have gained tremendous traction as more manufacturers add multiple wireless features to mobile phones and other handheld devices, including tablets, and will account for nearly 350 million of all wireless connectivity solutions shipped in 2015,” said Philip Solis, research director for ABI Research. “Broadcom (News - Alert) already controls a significant share of the wireless connectivity market within the rapidly expanding Android smartphone market. We estimate Broadcom's integrated single chip combo devices were used in greater than 70 percent of WiFi/Bluetooth enabled Android (News - Alert) handset shipments in Q3 ’10."    

"Handset manufacturers are excited about the opportunities that WiFi Direct and Bluetooth 4.0 bring to applications developed for the burgeoning smartphone and tablet markets,” said Chris Bergey, vice president of Broadcom's Mobility WLAN line of business. “ The BCM4330 is yet another example of how Broadcom is not only driving, but leading the industry in combo chips by enabling next generation products specifically for mobile devices by providing significant cost, size, power and performance advantages over discrete semiconductor implementations, making it ideal for handheld electronics."

Read a related article at TMCnet: “Data Center Network: Broadcom Introduces Ethernet Converged Controllers.”

Anuradha Shukla is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

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