Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Broadcom Announces Integrated Wi-Fi Router Chip

Broadcom introduced a new single-chip Wi-Fi router solution for small, entry-level models. The Broadcom BCM5356 chip integrates everything needed to build a router onto a single chip, including an 802.11 media access controller (MAC) and baseband, a 2.4 GHz radio, a 333 MHz MIPS 74K CPU core, a 5-port Fast Ethernet switch and physical layer (PHY) device, and several options for system memory interfaces. The new Wi-Fi chip also integrates the highly efficient CMOS power amplifier that has shipped in millions of devices and provides the same level of output power as solutions with external power amplifiers.

Broadcom said that due to its extreme integration and 65 nanometer (nm) CMOS process technology, the BCM5356 consumes 25 percent less power of previous 802.11g solutions. It also features a unique "Green Wi-Fi Mode" that reduces a router's overall power consumption by dynamically adjusting system parameters, based on the router's typical usage patterns. In addition to saving power, the BCM5356 decreases the amount of metal and ceramic material that is used to build a Wi-Fi router. It not only requires fewer components and interconnects, but also enables the use of 2-layer printed circuit board (PCB), rather than the typical 4-layer PCBs.

See also