Broadcom's New Combo Chip Integrates 802.11n Wi-Fi(R), Bluetooth(R) and FM to Bring Multimedia Applications to Mobile Devices

IRVINE, Calif., Dec. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Broadcom(R) BCM4329 Continues to Raise the Bar for Mobile Connectivity by Delivering Cost Effective Combo Solutions with More Features and Lower Power Consumption

IRVINE, Calif., Dec. 8 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Broadcom Corporation (NASDAQ: BRCM), a global leader in semiconductors for wired and wireless communications, today announced the availability of its newest wireless combination chip that enables mobile phones to support more media and data applications without impacting size or battery life. By integrating Broadcom's industry leading 802.11n Wi-Fi(R), Bluetooth(R) and FM technologies on a single silicon die, the new combo solution offers far more functionality than any other single-chip wireless solution on the market. The highly integrated Broadcom(R) chip also provides significant cost, size, power and performance advantages over discrete semiconductor implementations, making it ideal for handheld electronics.

Combination chips have gained tremendous traction as more manufacturers add multiple wireless features to mobile phones and other handheld devices, and will account for nearly one-third of all wireless connectivity solutions shipped in 2012*. To serve this growing market, Broadcom recently announced its plans to introduce a new combination chip every 60 days over the coming months. A variety of products based on the Broadcom BCM4325, the industry's first Wi-Fi/Bluetooth/FM chip, are already on store shelves, and devices based on the Broadcom BCM2049 Bluetooth/FM chip are currently nearing production. Now the newest member of this award-winning combo family, the BCM4329, adds the most advanced Wi-Fi technology and FM transmit capabilities to enable even more powerful applications in smaller devices.

As mobile phones become more media-centric - with cameras, full-featured browsers and enhanced audio capabilities - many consumers want to share photos, videos, music and data between their portable devices and other electronics such as TVs, PCs, printers, remote speakers, headsets and car stereos. These applications can benefit from the new 802.11n standard, which offers higher throughput, more robust connections and much greater coverage than previous Wi-Fi technologies.

Broadcom continues to raise the bar for mobile connectivity by delivering one of the industry's first solutions to offer 802.11n for mobile devices. It provides up to 50 Megabits per second (Mbps) of actual wireless throughput, allowing large file transfers to happen more quickly while consuming less total power. In addition, the BCM4329 employs space time block coding (STBC), an 802.11n feature that enables a mobile device to maintain a connection with an access point anywhere within an expanded coverage area.

The BCM4329 includes both FM transmit and receive capabilities. FM transmit enables consumers to stream music directly from a personal media players (PMPs) or mobile phone to car stereos or home theater systems without having to purchase special adapters or use bulky cables. FM receive is already a popular feature that enables consumers to obtain real-time traffic information as well as listen to music, news and sports broadcasts on their mobile phones.

The BCM4329 also integrates Bluetooth, which is already a ubiquitous feature in mobile phones and PMPs, enabling hands-free communications with wireless headsets, cordless data synchronization and stereo music streaming to headphones and speakers. Since Bluetooth and Wi-Fi operate in the same 2.4 GHz band, both the Broadcom BCM4325 and BCM4329 combination chips use innovative co-existence algorithms and a shared antenna system to minimize interference and provide even better performance than products that use separate Bluetooth and Wi-Fi solutions.

"Handset manufacturers are excited about the opportunities that 802.11n brings, but they are looking for single antenna solutions that meet stringent size and power requirements," said Chris Bergey, Director of Broadcom's Embedded WLAN line of business. "The BCM4329 is another example of how Broadcom is driving the industry towards combination solutions, not by delivering a one-size-fits-all technology, but by integrating the right mix of technologies for the right applications."

Technical Information

Since handheld devices lack the space, battery power and processing power to support 802.11n implementations with multiple antennas, the BCM4329 uses single-stream 802.11n to transmit and receive data. This significantly reduces the system's footprint and power consumption when compared to multi-stream solutions. Despite the use of a single antenna, the BCM4329 provides faster and more reliable wireless connections than current 802.11g products.

In addition to its performance advantages, the BCM4329 is the industry's smallest and lowest cost dual-band 802.11n solution. Dual-band capabilities allow Wi-Fi users to leverage the less crowded 5 GHz spectrum for media applications that require faster guaranteed bandwidth. To eliminate the cost and size barriers of adding dual-band functionality to mobile devices, the BCM4329 integrates 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz CMOS power amplifiers, which can reduce bill-of-material (BOM) costs by up to 75 cents while providing the same or better performance than solutions using external power amplifiers. Broadcom's extreme integration also reduces power consumption and makes BCM4329 designs fifteen percent smaller than those based on its predecessor, enabling modules that are less than 75 mm2 to accommodate the board space requirements of handheld devices.

Availability and Pricing

The BCM4329 combination chip is now sampling to early access customers and is scheduled for significant production quantities in 2009. Pricing is available upon request.

About Broadcom

Broadcom Corporation is a major technology innovator and global leader in semiconductors for wired and wireless communications. Broadcom products enable the delivery of voice, video, data and multimedia to and throughout the home, the office and the mobile environment. We provide the industry's broadest portfolio of state-of-the-art system-on-a-chip and software solutions to manufacturers of computing and networking equipment, digital entertainment and broadband access products, and mobile devices. These solutions support our core mission: Connecting everything(R).

Broadcom is one of the world's largest fabless semiconductor companies, with 2007 revenue of $3.78 billion, and holds over 3,000 U.S. and over 1,300 foreign patents, more than 7,500 additional pending patent applications, and one of the broadest intellectual property portfolios addressing both wired and wireless transmission of voice, video, data and multimedia.

Broadcom is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and has offices and research facilities in North America, Asia and Europe. Broadcom may be contacted at +1.949.926.5000 or at

Cautions regarding Forward Looking Statements:

All statements included or incorporated by reference in this release, other than statements or characterizations of historical fact, are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on our current expectations, estimates and projections about our industry and business, management's beliefs, and certain assumptions made by us, all of which are subject to change. Forward-looking statements can often be identified by words such as "anticipates," "expects," "intends," "plans," "predicts," "believes," "seeks," "estimates," "may," "will," "should," "would," "could," "potential," "continue," "ongoing," similar expressions, and variations or negatives of these words. Examples of such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to the demand for combination chips in mobile devices, the rate at which we will introduce new combination chips, the timing of volume production for the BCM4329, and the ability of the BCM4329 to reduce the cost of mobile devices. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future results and are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause our actual results to differ materially and adversely from those expressed in any forward-looking statement.

Important factors that may cause such a difference for Broadcom in connection with BCM4329 Wi-Fi + Bluetooth + FM products include, but are not limited to:

    --  the rate at which our present and future customers and end-users adopt
        Broadcom's Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and FM technologies for mobile applications;
    --  trends in the wireless networking markets in various geographic regions,
        including seasonality in sales of consumer products into which our
        products are incorporated, and possible disruption in commercial
        activities related to terrorist activity or armed conflict in the United
        States and other locations;
    --  the gain or loss of a key customer, design win or order;
    --  the volume of our product sales and pricing concessions on volume sales;
    --  our ability to timely and accurately predict market requirements and
          evolving  industry  standards  and  to  identify  opportunities  in  new
        --    competitive  pressures  and  other  factors  such  as  the  qualification,
                availability  and  pricing  of  competing  products  and  technologies  and  the
                resulting  effects  on  sales  and  pricing  of  our  products.

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