Broadcom's new 802.11n Wi-Fi chip targets home multimedia streaming

June 2, 2010
According to Broadcom, the BCM4331 Wi-Fi chip achieves 450 Mbps data rates in client devices and over 600 Mbps throughput (TCP/IP) in 3x3 AP/router configurations.

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Broadcom (NASDAQ: BRCM) has announced a new single-chip 802.11n dual-band 3x3 wireless semiconductor platform for integration into the next generation of Wi-Fi devices. The newest member of the Broadcom Intensi-fi product family revolutionizes how users can experience multimedia content in their homes, says the company.

According to Broadcom, the BCM4331 Wi-Fi chip achieves 450 Mbps data rates in client devices and over 600 Mbps throughput (TCP/IP) in 3x3 AP/router configurations. By combining unprecedented wireless capacity with features to improve range, Broadcom says the new Intensi-fi chip enables several wireless multimedia applications, including high-definition (HD) video streaming, back-up, storage, multiplayer gaming, audio streaming, wireless printing, and photo sharing.

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The BCM4331 802.11n solution delivers full 3x3 performance with three transmitting and three receiving streams of data in either the 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz frequency bands. An increased number of data streams and antennas results in faster speeds, longer range, fewer dropped connections, and better overall wireless coverage. The BCM4331 is now sampling and will be demonstrated at this week's 30th annual COMPUTEX in Taipei, Taiwan.

A growing number of consumers want the ability to instantly access over-the-top (OTT) broadband video delivered through internet protocol (IP) directly to their TVs. ABI Research forecasts the connected TV market to exceed 117 million units by 2014. With Broadcom's new Intensi-fi system-on-a-chip (SoC) solution HD video content can be downloaded to a notebook computer 50% percent faster than existing 802.11n 2x2 technologies. The BCM4331 three-stream architecture employs range-extending features to deliver the highest bandwidths to all corners of the home, contends Broadcom.

Related Story: No "N" in mobile yet, but 802.11n chipsets are enabling the arrival

Kevin Mukai, Senior Product Line Manager for Broadcom's WLAN line of business, comments, "We are driving the growth of the wireless market by introducing a solution that addresses the need for performance across multiple demanding applications. Broadcom's BCM4331 3x3 802.11n further enhances the overall user experience by providing substantially improved throughput and range. As a result, products using Broadcom's newest Intensi-fi solution will better address the growing consumer demand to share and distribute HD video content between multiple screens throughout the home, thereby improving the utility of every display device."

Phil Solis, practice director for Wireless Connectivity at ABI Research, adds, "The expanding use of video over Wi-Fi in game consoles, Blu-ray players, and TVs will impose new requirements for Wi-Fi access points. 3x3 Wi-Fi solutions provide the bandwidth and quality of service necessary to stream HD video reliably throughout an entire home, share media content with wireless enabled consumer electronics devices, and utilize Internet-based applications. This is important as consumers migrate to services that require their entertainment devices to be connected and to support their lifestyles wirelessly."

Broadcom is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and has offices and research facilities in North America, Asia and Europe. The company may be contacted at +1.949.926.5000 or at

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