Online video consumption on multiple screens throughout the home is quickly becoming the norm — and all that video has a way of sucking up a home's bandwidth. Semiconductor manufacturer Broadcom believes that the gigabit Wi-Fi speeds that 802.11ac will provide is a way to combat that, and the company has just announced its first 802.11ac chipset to help move consumers on to this new protocol. The BCM 4335 chipset that Broadcom is announcing today includes the aforementioned 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, and FM radio all on one chip. The company claims that it'll be about three times faster in terms of raw speeds over existing mobile Wi-Fi radios (topping out at 433Mbps), and also expects it to be six times more power efficient than 802.11n solutions.
Michael Hurlston, Broadcom's Senior VP and GM of the company's wireless connectivity combo group, told us that the new chip is "in a full sample phase" and that he expects devices to hit the market with it early in 2013. Broadcom's focusing the chipset on the expected devices — smartphones, tablets, and ultrabooks — and Hurlston told us that the company "really pushed hard in the smartphone area, and that's been our strength as a chipset provider." This announcement is really just the continuation of a process that started way back at CES, when Broadcom announced its first family of 802.11ac chips that were primarily meant for routers. Now that routers are out there, we're looking forward to seeing some compatible devices hit the market soon.