Broadcom's big day: New 5G Wi-Fi combo chip, solid Q2 earnings

Summary:Broadcom introduces a 5G Wi-Fi chip combo for smartphones and tablets.

Broadcom has introduced a new little chip that could shake up the mobile scene in a big way.

Stepping  up the 802.11a/b/g/n network standard, the BCM4335 is being touted as the industry's first 5G Wi-Fi combo chip for smartphones, tablets, ultrabooks and other mobile devices.

Broadcom is promising download speeds to a mobile device up to three times faster than on similar 802.11n devices while being up to six times more power efficient.

The BCM4335's 5G Wi-Fi system integrates MAC, PHY and RF layers with Bluetooth 4.0, FM radio and software on a single silicon die. Broadcom also asserts that mobile OEM partners can use the 5G Wi-Fi chip with 4G LTE cellular platforms to minimize radio interference between Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and LTE networks.

For consumers, one of the most attractive features (besides connectivity) might be the promise of a better battery life. But considering how much 4G drains the battery life out of a mobile device so quickly, we'll have to wait and see on this one.

The BCM4335 is available now for Broadcom's early access customers with full production expected to commence during the first quarter of 2013.

The semiconductor company also reported second quarter earnings on Tuesday of $160 million, or 28 cents a share (statement). Non-GAAP earnings were 72 cents a share on a revenue of $1.971 billion, a 7.9 percent increase from the previous quarter.

Wall Street was expecting Broadcom to report earnings of 67 cents a share on revenue of $1.95 billion.

CEO and president Scott McGregor commented in prepared remarks:

Broadcom delivered record revenue in Q2 with strength across all three business groups. Broadcom's technology leadership and commitment to integration is changing the fundamental economics of communications devices across our addressable markets.  This is driving share gains and increasing our content per platform, positioning the company to deliver above market growth over the long-term.

Broadcom did not provide guidance for the third quarter of 2012 in its earnings report published after the bell on Tuesday afternoon.

Topics: Processors, Mobility, Networking, Tech Industry


Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider,, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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