Broadcom has unveiled its BCM43460 wireless chip with support for the high-speed IEEE 802.11ac standard, which the firm is touting as the first 5G Wi-Fi adapter silicon for enterprise wireless, offering three times the speed of earlier 802.11n kit.
Sampling now and with production volumes due in the second half of 2012, the BCM43460 is designed to meet growing demand for gigabit speeds in enterprise and wireless cloud networks, Broadcom said.
The BCM43460 is a single-chip MAC/PHY/Radio designed to operate in both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, and is intended for access points and branch office routers rather than endpoint equipment.
Based on the IEEE 802.11ac standard, the new device supports data rates up to 1.3Gbit/s, a level of performance intended to support the growing number of mobile devices such as tablets that are being used with bandwidth-intensive content on corporate wireless networks.
"Enterprise networks are on the cusp of a new mobile computing era in which tablets and smartphones will be ubiquitous in the workplace," said Rajiv Ramaswami, vice president of Broadcom's Infrastructure and Networking Group.
New features include airtime fairness support, which is intended to optimise use of channel time in mixed-speed client environments, plus embedded hardware acceleration to boost performance while reducing the CPU utilisation in access point hardware.
Broadcom is also bundling its Fastpath Unified Access Point (UAP) software with the BCM43460 to provide a complete suite of offerings for access points, the firm said.
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