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December 4, 2014

Broadcom creates audio Wi-Fi chip for Internet of Things

The firm also introduces NFC support to its WICED IoT platform.

By Amy-Jo Crowley

Broadcom has launched an audio Wi-Fi chip to power new kinds of audio devices, in order to bolster its presence in the Internet of Things (IoT) market.

The BCM43907 system on chip (SoC), which is currently being tested by customers, is designed to deliver 802.11n Wi-Fi connectivity to portable speakers, 5.1 multi-speaker systems, sound bars and media players among other audio devices.

The Fortune 500 company said the chip would reduce cost for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and boost network performance by operating on two bands.

The chip also supports Apple AirPlay and includes advanced radio frequency (RF) and timing synchronisation, which would allow consumers to stream a variety of content to different speakers from the same device.

For example, a consumer could use Bluetooth to listen to a radio station from their smartphone in their bedroom while simultaneously streaming music to a portable speaker in another room, all using the same device and Wi-Fi network.

Brian Bedrosian, senior director of product marketing at Broadcom, said: "The significant improvement in sound quality of HD audio streaming over W-Fi versus proprietary short range technologies is creating opportunities for a wide variety of new wireless streaming devices."

"Broadcom’s standards-based, fully integrated WICED Audio SoC offers companies of all sizes the ideal platform to design both high-end and cost-effective Wi-Fi audio products."

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The firm also introduced near-field communication (NFC) support to its WICED IoT platform, which Broadcom said is now available to developers.

"Broadcom is the first to integrate Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Smart onto a single platform, and today we further distance ourselves from the competition by adding NFC to our WICED software stack," said Bedrosian.

"The massive potential of NFC combined with the proliferation of the Internet of Things creates significant opportunities for Broadcom and our customers across a range of growing markets including home, medical, retail and enterprise."

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