Integrated SoCs deliver 5G WiFi

June 06, 2012 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Broadcom Corporation is introducing System on a Chip (SoC) devices to deliver the potential of 5G WiFi with high-bandwidth Gigabit connectivity to the home and SMB network. Designed as companions to its full line of 5G WiFi 802.11ac solutions, the latest Broadcom® SoCs combine a high performance processor, Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) switch, GbE physical layer transceivers (PHYs), USB 3.0 and traffic accelerators all on a single chip.

As video and media consumption continues to grow, 5G WiFi enabled devices and services will play a critical role in delivering reliability, higher capacity and faster throughput. Broadcom's latest SoCs, the StrataGX™ series for SMB routers and network attached storage (NAS) devices and the BCM4708x series for home routers and gateways, offer a complete end-to-end solution to enable stand-alone platforms to achieve the Gigabit wireless rates that 5G WiFi can deliver. The resulting connectivity will enable multiple users in the home or office to simultaneously stream video content and high bandwidth application downloads 10x faster without the buffering and interruptions associated with current networks.

The devices also feature Broadcom's Energy Efficient Ethernet functionality, delivering an additional 70 percent reduction in power consumption while networks are active and up to 95 percent during downtime, when two-thirds of energy costs are incurred.

Key features include high-performance 5G WiFi Gigabit connectivity to multiple consumer and SMB devices; acceleration engines optimized for 5G WiFi and over-the-top (OTT) direct-from-provider video/audio content; and 5x processing horsepower with increased CPU headroom. A rich peripheral set supports NFC, video/audio and network storage applications.

An integrated GbE PHY/switch and regulators enable flexible, scalable solution for multiple GbE router platforms, while USB 3.0 delivers up to 10x the transfer speed of USB 2.0 for high-speed storage.

Philip Solis, Research Director, Mobile Devices, ABI Research comments, "The ecosystem of the digital home and SMB networks is rapidly evolving as the use of high-bandwidth applications, adoption of new devices and need for wireless connectivity all increase concomitantly. The expectations of consumers and professionals will only continue to grow for wireless connectivity to match Ethernet speeds, while providers will need to meet traffic demands and lower energy requirements—both driving the development and adoption of this latest iteration of WiFi."

The StrataGX BCM5301x and the BCM4708x series are sampling with production release slated for the second half of 2012.