Broadcom releases first-ever Wi-Fi 6E chip for cutting-edge smartphones

Broadcom releases first-ever Wi-Fi 6E chip for cutting-edge smartphones


With the announcement, Wi-Fi 6 has been surpassed by the new chipset that offers lower latency, faster speed and high-end Bluetooth audio.

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The Wi-Fi 6 is now no longer the fastest service on the market—an announcement from Broadcom on Thursday marked the launch of the Wi-Fi 6E, which will be available on its device, the BCM4389, a smartphone combo chip.

The new, expanded coverage will encompass wider 160MHz channel bandwidths, according to the press release, that can double the speed of Wi-Fi and chop latency in half.

“The BCM4389, the world’s first Wi-Fi 6E mobile chip, paves the way for our wirelessly connected AR/VR future,” said Vijay Nagarajan, vice president of marketing for the Wireless Communications and Connectivity Division at Broadcom, in the press release.

According to the company, Broadcom’s BCM4389—there are already more than 150 of these high-end smartphones in use—boasts “over 2 Gbps of real-world speeds and up to five times better battery utilization,” which it contends will be ideal for flagship smartphones and AR/VR devices of the future.

It will also become part of a larger system of Wi-Fi 6E products, according to the company, including home routers, residential gateways, enterprise access points, and virtual and augmented reality devices

The features of the Wi-Fi 6E like its high-level performance in crowded environments, roaming capabilities, and strong security, will harness a 6 GHz bandwidth “to deliver multi-gigabit speeds while avoiding congestion with legacy devices,” the company said.

SEE: Wi-Fi 6 devices capable of using 6GHz band to get Wi-Fi 6E branding (ZDNet)

The 6E also “unlocks high-speed bi-directional video applications and augmented reality.”

Multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) and beamforming Wi-Fi capabilities will result in an improved listening experience for users, according to the announcement, with an improved range for Bluetooth-enabled devices.

The release also outlines how the tri-band simultaneous (TBS) connectivity architecture—including two main Wi-Fi radios and a MIMO Bluetooth radio—will get a third ultra-low-power independent radio. 

This ensures: “Always-on Bluetooth discovery, resulting in faster pairing with devices; scanning for interference-free Wi-Fi networks to connect to while main Wi-Fi radios provide data, voice and video services; phones seamlessly switch to networks with better Quality-of-Service (QoS); improved indoor location accuracy with always-on scanning and little impact on battery life; and delivery of five times better battery utilization than current flagship connectivity solutions,” according to the release

Here are some highlights of the new BCM4389, according to Broadcom:

  • Support for 2 streams of Wi-Fi 6E
  • Multi-Radio Bluetooth 5 with antenna beamforming
  • Tri-Band Simultaneous (TBS) architecture including a dedicated background scan radio
  • Simultaneous Dual-Band operation
  • 2.63 Gbps PHY Rate
  • Operation in 2.4GHz and 5.1-7.125GHz unlicensed band
  • 160 MHz Channel Bandwidth
  • 1024-QAM Modulation
  • OFDMA
  • MU-MIMO

You can expect to see the new 6 GHz spectrum band sometime in 2020.

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Image: Andrii Panchyk, Getty Images/iStockphoto



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