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Broadcom announces first 802.11ac '5G Wi-Fi' chips and partners

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Broadcom has announced the first family of 802.11ac chips, the first to use 5G Wi-Fi technology.

Buffalo Wireless
Buffalo Wireless

Plans for the next generation of WiFi have been discussed in recent weeks, but this morning Broadcom made it official: the company announced its first family of chips for the new 802.11ac Wi-Fi it calls "5G Wi-Fi" (not to be confused with the 3G and 4G from your cell phone). The BCM4360, BCM4352, BCM43526 and BCM43516 chips improve Wi-Fi's range while also using power more efficiently, and the 5GHz-based technology is capable of speeds beyond 1Gbps. BCM4360 (PCIe) is the headline chip with 3-stream 802.11ac support for a top 1.3Gbps speed. The BCM4352 (PCIe) and BCM43526 (USB) both implement 2-stream 802.11ac capable of 867Mbps, whereas the BCM43516 (USB) is a single stream implementation for 433Mbps.

Broadcom will be showing off its technology at CES through its initial partners: Motorola, Microsoft, Netgear, Huawei, Lenovo, Belkin, LG, and others are all among the first to be implementing 802.11ac in their products. With a list like that the new standard ought to be everywhere, and fast, once the IEEE certifies it in the second half of this year.