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Broadcom Unveils 5GHz WiFi Platform for Better Performance

The dual-channel AP will eliminate the speed degradation that comes when a slower device shares the same channel as 5GHz devices.

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WiFi speed

Broadcom officials are introducing a new dual-channel WiFi access platform that is designed to give mobile devices the fastest connectivity speeds possible.

The company's 5G-HD wireless access point (AC) platform, which uses Broadcom's new BCM49408 quad-core chip, essentially gives devices that are 5GHz 802.11ac-capable a clear fast lane in which to operate that is not impacted by slower clients sharing the channel.

With most traditional single-channel access points, the 5GHz-capable devices have to share the channel with slower devices, which can result in degraded WiFi performance, according to Broadcom officials. With Broadcom's dual-channel platform, devices can be partitioned based on what they're capable of. The smartphones, tablets and notebooks with the latest 5GHz capabilities can access the fastest speeds while older, slower devices can still get the performance they're used to, officials said.

Such capabilities are becoming increasingly important as enterprises wrestle with the growing number of users and devices on their WiFi networks and the bandwidth-heavy applications running across them. With the new dual-channel platform, businesses can address the needs of all their users.

"Enterprise WiFi has evolved from being a technology of pure access to a platform for more personalized and deeper user engagement experiences," Greg Fischer, senior vice president and general manager of broadband carrier access at Broadcom, said in a statement. "This has driven the need for access points that can provide the high-density access and multi-channel capabilities that the 5G-HD platform leveraging the BCM49408 quad-core processor provides."

The 5G-HD platform, announced April 12, comes in two configurations: a dual-band, dual-concurrent AP for mainstream and high-density environments, and a tri-radio AP that offers dedicated radio access for 2.4GHz while concurrently supporting dual 5GHz capability.

The 64-bit ARMv8-based BCM49408 CPU offers 1.8GHz speed for each of the four cores and more than 5G bps of throughput. The platform supports other Wave 2 802.11ac products from Broadcom, including 4x4 radios based on the BCM43465 chip, officials said.

Both the BCM49408 CPU and Broadcom 5G-HD reference designs are currently sampling.