Broadcom announces 802.11ax WIFI chips - Going for 1.8 Gbit/s

Published by


Broadcom has announced 802.11ax in the form of three new WIFI chips. 802.11ax will be the succesor towards 802.11ac by quadrupling capacity. The 6th gen WIFI technology combines the two and current 2.4 and 5 GHz frequencies.

That technology is  also known as Dual Band Simultaneous Streaming, adn in theory could achieve a proper 1.8 Gbit/s.  Broadcom launches its  BCM43684 and  BCM43694, both with close to equal specifications. The first one however will find its way towards consumer products where the second one is intended for industrial product series.

  • Works with other Wi-Fi standards. Access points will be able to handle devices transmitting using 802.11a/b/g/n/ac.
  • Increase by at least four times the average throughput per user in high-density scenarios, such as train stations, airports and stadiums. Now you can upload a picture or FaceTime in a flash, while on the go.
  • The ability to use wider spectrum channels to achieve gigabit speeds and higher.
  • Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) technology effectively allocates spectrum when you need it, so more users can be accommodated in the same channel bandwidth, both uploading and downloading. This allows many more users or devices to share a single 90 MHz or 160 MHz channel.
  • There are a number of changes to the standard that mean using the spectrum more efficiently and more robust and reliable connections, including outdoors.
  • 802.11ax introduces a scheme to reduce interference and use the spectrum even more efficiently called: Spatial Reuse with Color Identifier. Each Wi-Fi access point and client transmits data with a unique identifier called a “color.” Wi-Fi “listens” for interference before sending data, and will back off if it senses data in the band. With 802.11ax, when an access point or a client listens first before transmitting data, they are more aggressive if they hear data from a different color, since that data is going to a different AP further away from the client.
  • Improved traffic flow and channel access
  • Better power management for longer battery life

Both chips will offer four 802.11ax-streams with a 160 MHz channel and PHY rate (The physical layer rate= maximum speed that data can move across a wireless link between a wireless client and a wireless router) of 4.8 Gbps.

There is also a mobile chip dubbed BCM4375.


--- press release ---

Broadcom Limited continues its historic leadership in Wi-Fi by launching Max WiFi, the industry’s first family of connectivity solutions using the next Wi-Fi standard, 802.11ax. The Max WiFi chips enable up to four times faster download speeds, six times faster upload speeds, four times better coverage, and seven times better battery life than similar Wi-Fi solutions on the market today that use 802.11ac. The chips released today are designed to kick-start an ecosystem of Wi-Fi routers, residential gateways, enterprise access points, and client devices that deliver next generation Wi-Fi. 

Max WiFi is the sixth generation of Wi-Fi and the most powerful standard yet, with innovations that go beyond speed. Max WiFi supports delivery of simultaneous video, voice, data and IOT services to an ever-increasing number of wireless devices. This means that steady, high-speed Wi-Fi with unprecedented quality of service is available wherever consumers want it: homes, offices and high-traffic public venues such as stadiums. Max WiFi’s unique architecture is also optimized for internet upload, making social media live-streaming and cloud storage seamless.

The demand for high performance Wi-Fi in the home is growing unabated with a typical family of four expected to have an average of 50 connected devices by 2022. At the same time, the amount of media content exchanged among mobile devices through the cloud has increased exponentially. According to Extreme Networks, an astounding 11.8 Terabytes of data was generated at this year’s Super Bowl by fans posting videos, updating status, and streaming live from the stadium. The need to support the ‘things’ that connect the home and the mobile devices that create and consume video content in the moment already strain existing Wi-Fi networks. This will be more pronounced for emerging applications such as augmented reality & virtual reality. Broadcom’s Max WiFi, with its innovative architecture, addresses these growing needs of modern consumers in their connected homes.

Broadcom’s ecosystem of Max WiFi products includes BCM43684, BCM43694 & BCM4375.


Max WiFi implements:

  • Uplink and Downlink Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) technology, which is the fundamental building block of 802.11ax.  OFDMA significantly increases efficiency and capacity of the wireless network as several devices. communicate concurrently in portions of the frequency spectrum allocated proportional to their needs.  In addition, it enables fine grain quality of service for complex quadruple play applications via the implementation of sophisticated downlink and uplink scheduling.
  • Multi-User MIMO (MU-MIMO) technology to increase channel capacity when servicing multiple simultaneous devices.
  • Target Wake Time (TWT) to orchestrate specific times when clients wake and sleep enabling mobile devices to reduce power consumption and increase battery life.
  • Spatial Reuse, which allows access points to more efficiently share channel capacity by making intelligent decisions on when to transmit data.

The BCM43684 is a chip targeted for the residential Wi-Fi market while the BCM43694 is optimized for use in enterprise access points. Key features include:

  • Support for 4-streams of 802.11ax
  • 4.8 Gbps PHY Rate
  • 160 MHz Channel Bandwidth
  • 1024 QAM Modulation
  • Uplink & Downlink OFDMA
  • ZeroWait DFS
  • AirIQ Interference Identification
  • Full compliance to IEEE and WFA 802.11ax specifications

The BCM4375 is a smartphone combo chip. Key Features include:

  • Support for 2-streams of 802.11ax
  • Bluetooth 5.0+ including Low-Energy Long Range (LELR)
  • Real Simultaneous Dual-Band (RSDB)
  • 1.429 Gbps PHY Rate
  • 1024 QAM Modulation

Broadcom is sampling Max WiFi solutions to its early access partners in retail, enterprise and smartphone, service provider, and carrier segments.

802.11ax has generated broad support across the consumer-electronics industry. Companies and partners across the ecosystem appreciate the importance of 802.11ax and are committed to its development, integration, and distribution.

Broadcom announces 802.11ax WIFI chips - Going for 1.8 Gbit/s

Share this content
Twitter Facebook Reddit WhatsApp Email Print