Your Wi-Fi, Connected by Broadcom

Your Wi-Fi, Connected by Broadcom

Wi-Fi is the modern day elixir, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic has moved more of the world online. Wi-Fi, as an imperative piece of technology that powers the world today, also exemplifies Broadcom’s core mission of connecting everything. It is therefore illustrative to take Wi-Fi as a case study for our product philosophy, technology vision, and customer success.

Connecting Everything

For decades now, Broadcom has focused on cutting-edge networking, infrastructure, broadband, and connectivity semiconductor solutions critical to moving data around the world. Our chips enable infrastructure and cloud applications, bring multi-gigabit broadband into your home and the palm of your hands and power your home and office wireless networks. In fact, we estimate that more than 99 percent of all internet traffic crosses at least one Broadcom chip. Our uniquely broad portfolio of semiconductor solutions truly connects the world.

Connected with Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi is integral to our product portfolio. We pioneered six generations of Wi-Fi products over the last two decades. Our connectivity chips have been at the heart of flagship mobile devices for more than ten years, and we have shipped over eight billion Wi-Fi radios. From our first generation smartphone chip that delivered 50 Mbps, to our latest Wi-Fi chip operating at over two Gbps, we’ve increased Wi-Fi speeds 40x in a little over a decade.

Each Wi-Fi generation brings with it new user experiences. What began as email and Internet browsing has evolved with richer content delivered to multiple devices across a wider coverage area. The last decade then saw a pivot to video, and the increased speeds of Wi-Fi 5 enabled the likes of Netflix and YouTube to deliver their content anywhere.

Broadcom’s Wi-Fi chips have led the way through these technology inflection points not only by implementing the latest standards, but also by raising the bar for consumer experiences. From maximizing your battery life to optimizing your video streaming experience, these Wi-Fi chips highlight Broadcom’s engineering leadership; And the sixth generation of Wi-Fi takes this to another level.

Wi-Fi 6 success

Technology development needs careful strategic planning and long-term thinking, and our success with Wi-Fi 6 is a great example.

As video consumption grew in importance, it was inevitable that uploading and streaming media would follow. Broadcom, together with other industry leaders, created Wi-Fi 6, which completely redesigned Wi-Fi’s underlying technology. Fast-forward to today and Wi-Fi 6 is the tailor-made technology for Zoom and FaceTime calls.

 

For decades now, Broadcom has focused on cutting-edge networking, infrastructure, broadband, and connectivity semiconductor solutions critical to moving data around the world

Thanks to early investment in Wi-Fi 6 product development, we launched the World’s-first Wi-Fi 6 devices in late 2018. Being first-to-market means evangelizing new Wi-Fi technology to our customers, their customers, and, most importantly, to consumers. Armed with a simpler generational branding approach to Wi-Fi that we championed, Broadcom has been the chief cheerleader for Wi-Fi 6.

And success has followed.

In the span of two years, we shipped over 700 Million of our award-winning Wi-Fi 6 devices across the latest phones, tablets, PCs, home routers, enterprise access points, and carrier gateways.

Wi-Fi 6E for the new frontier

Broadcom leads with a broad vision and a single-minded focus on execution. With Wi-Fi 6E, we led regulatory, standards, and product momentum globally.

In 2016, we realized that increased demand for wireless data could not be met with available Wi-Fi spectrum. Broadcom and other industry leaders partnered on a worldwide effort to open the 6 GHz band for unlicensed communication, which would add 1200 MHz of new spectrum. We met with the FCC and other regulatory bodies to explain the economic value of Wi-Fi in the 6 GHz band, along with product possibilities, and the rich consumer experiences that come with this band.

The resulting worldwide regulatory momentum is nothing short of amazing. It all started in April 2020 when the FCC voted unanimously to open 1200 MHz of spectrum for unlicensed access. This was a historic event that tripled the available bandwidth for Wi-Fi. Forty-one countries now have rules in place for 6 GHz unlicensed access, and another 75 have rules under consideration. Together, these 116 countries account for 72 percent of the world’s GDP.

Regulatory momentum is also well-complemented by product momentum. Broadcom launched a full Wi-Fi 6E product ecosystem in 2020 for phones, routers, enterprise access points, and carrier gateways. In 2021, our partners introduced products for consumers and enterprises: Samsung launched the world’s first Wi-Fi 6E smartphone, the Galaxy S21 Ultra, powered by Broadcom’s BCM4389 chip, and ASUS and NETGEAR launched Wi-Fi 6E routers using Broadcom chips. Many of our other customers have announced launch plans, and a diverse ecosystem of chips and products from TVs to enterprise access points is coming to market.

This has been a 5-year journey of regulatory work, standardization, and product planning to get here, and we are pleased to be enabling this broad ecosystem.

Wi-Fi 7: what’s next?

Former Chairman AjitPai said of the BCM4389 chip, “One small chip heralds one giant leap.” And 6 GHz is indeed the dawn of a new era for the wireless experience. With 1200 MHz of new spectrum, we get even wider bandwidths for Wi-Fi connectivity, along with higher speeds, and lower latencies. That’s exactly what Wi-Fi 7 has in store for us. As we optimize technology for the 6 GHz band, we’ll see once unthinkable performance, like smartphone speeds in excess of 5 Gbps.

Wi-Fi 7 sits at the confluence of three major technology trends. First, the 6 GHz band enables multi-gigabit speed Wi-Fi in our homes and offices. Second, the growth of augmented and virtual reality applications requires increasingly higher speeds and lower latencies. While AR/VR is the new face of gaming, it is also disrupting socially impactful areas like telemedicine and education. Third, and most importantly, multi-gigabit broadband is coming to homes and offices. Wi-Fi 7 is the perfect complement to super-fast broadband and opens the door to new and enriching everyday consumer experiences.

Broadcom takes its role as a technology leader seriously, and we see ourselves as broadband Wi-Fi flag bearers. Wi-Fi is a philosophy for us, and we build it, along with our other products, with the single-minded focus of Connecting Everything.

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