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Broadcom introduces world’s first Wi-Fi 7 chipset solutions

Apr 16, 2022 — by Giorgio Mendoza 2,860 views

This week Broadcom announced their full end-to-end chipset solutions designed for Wi-Fi 7 applications that range from residential gateways, enterprise access points, client devices to Wi-Fi routers. Broadcom claims that these Wi-Fi 7 chips double the performance of Wi-Fi 6 and 6E solutions commercially available today.
Broadcom’s Wi-Fi 7 devices for access points consist of the BCM6726/BCM6726 (residential Wi-Fi), the BCM43740/BCM43720 (enterprise Wi-Fi) and the BCM4398 which integrates Bluetooth 5.2 to optimize mobile handset applications.



Broadcom Wi-Fi 7 chipsets
(click images to enlarge)
 

According to the specifications listed on Broadcom’s website most of these chips share similar features, for example 4096 Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM), Multi-Link Operations (MLO), Automated Frequency Coordination(AFC), ZeroWait Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS) and Uplink/Downlink OFDMA/MU-MIMO. Furthermore, all these chipsets are IEEE compliant to meet Wi-Fi 7 standards.

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Specifications for the BCM67263 and BCM6726 include:

  • BCM67263:
    • 320 MHz channel bandwidth, 
    • 6GHz operational band (up to 11.5 Gbps PHY Rate)
  • BCM6726:
    • 160 MHz channel bandwidth, 
    • 2.4GHz, 5GHz, or 6GHz operational band (up to 5.75 Gbps PHY Rate)
  • BCM6726/BCM67263:
    • Support for 4 streams of Wi-Fi 7
    • 4096-QAM modulation
    • Multi-link operation (MLO)
    • Automated Frequency Coordination (AFC)
    • ZeroWait DFS
    • Full compliance with IEEE and WFA Wi-Fi 7 specifications

Specifications for the BCM43740and BCM43720 include:

  • BCM43740:
    • 320 MHz channel bandwidth, 
    • 2.4GHz, 5GHz, and 6GHz operational bands (up to 11.5 Gbps PHY Rate)
    • Support for 4 streams of Wi-Fi 7
  • BCM43720:
    • 160 MHz channel bandwidth, 
    • 2.4GHz, 5GHz, and 6GHz operational bands (up to 11.5 Gbps PHY Rate)
    • Support for 2 Streams of Wi-Fi 7
  • BCM43740/BCM43720:
    • 4096-QAM modulation
    • Multi-link operation (MLO)
    • Automated Frequency Coordination (AFC)
    • ZeroWait DFS
    • Full compliance with IEEE and WFA Wi-Fi 7 specifications

According to the datasheets for these devices, one of the main differences between residential and enterprise access point chips is the temperature range. The enterprise access point chips operate in a larger temperature range (-40C – 85C) compared to the commercial version (0 to 70C).

Broadcom also provided a Wi-Fi 7 router reference design that integrates a BCM4916 as the network processor. The BCM4916 is a  quad-core ARM v8 64-bit processor that includes an integrated NBASE-T(up to 10G) Ethernet PHY for WAN/LAN, a dual issue runner network processor and a high-performance Security Processing Unit (SPU). Other features include a 32-bit DDR3/DDR4 DRAM interface, extensive USB ports, quad integrated 1GbE PHYs, three USXGMII interfaces as well as secure boot and ARM trustzone. 



BCM4916 router reference design (left) BCM4916 block diagram (right)
(click images to enlarge)
 

The BCM4398 targets mobile applications and AR/VR devices since it also includes Bluetooth 5 support. The System on Chip contains a simultaneous dual band (SDB) 2×2 IEEE 802.11be-compliant radio, a dual core Bluetooth radio (BT 5.2) and a scan core that improves BL and WLAN operations. 

Specifications for the BCM4398 include:

  • 20/40/80/160/320 MHz channels for the 2×2 5 GHz and 6 GHz radio
  • 20 MHz channels for the 2×2 2.4 GHz radio
  • Simultaneous dual-band (SDB) mode support
  • Scan radio enhances 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, and 6 GHz channel performance
  • Dual-core Bluetooth support
  • Bluetooth Class 1 or Class 2 TX operation
  • PCIe Gen3 Support
  • Complies with Wi-Fi 7 and BT 5.2 standards

Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for these Wi-Fi 7 chipsets yet. Refer to Broadcom’s website for more information.

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