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Broadcom has debuted what it says is the industry’s first lineup of WiFi chips based on the new  802.11ax standard.

Dubbed Max WiFi, the chips reportedly enable up to four times faster download speeds, six times faster upload speeds, four times better coverage, and seven times better battery life compared to other solutions in the market. The MaxWiFi line achieves these improvements through the implementation of Uplink and Downlink Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) technology, multi-user MIMO, Target Wake Times, and Spatial Reuse.

The company noted OFDMA increases the efficiency and capacity of a wireless network be allowing several devices to communicate concurrently in portions of the frequency spectrum allocated proportional to their need. Multi-user MIMO pitches in with increased channel capacity when serving multiple devices, while Target Wake Times help reduce power consumption and lengthen battery life. Spatial Reuse allows access points to more efficiently share channel capacity by making intelligent decisions on when to transmit data, the company added.

Broadcom’s Max WiFi lineup includes the BCM43684, a chip targeted for the residential WiFi market, as well as the BCM43694, which is optimized for use in enterprise access points. Both of those chips support four streams of 802.11ax, a 4.8 Gbps PHY Rate, 160 MHz channel bandwidth, 1024-QAM, and ZeroWait DFS.

The company is also offering a smartphone combo chip in the BCM4375. That chip supports two streams of 802.11ax, Bluetooth 5.0+ with Low-Energy Long Range technology, Real Simultaneous Dual Band, a 1.429 Gbps PHY Rate, 1024-QAM, OFDMA, and multi-user MIMO.

Broadcom is currently sampling Max WiFi solutions to its early access partners in retail, enterprise, smartphone, service provider, and carrier segments.

Qualcomm also came out with chip news this week, announcing an expansion of its Qualcomm Spectra Module Program. The new program is reportedly capable of improved biometric authentication and high-resolution depth sensing, designed to meet growing demands of photo and video for a broad range of mobile devices and head mounted displays (HMD).

Qualcomm said the second-generation Qualcomm Spectra Image Signal Processor (ISP) utilizes new hardware and software architecture designed specifically for advancements in computer vision, image quality, and power efficiency in future Snapdragon platforms. It features multi-frame noise reduction for superior photographic quality, along with hardware-accelerated motion compensated temporal filtering (MCTF), and inline electronic image stabilization (EIS) for superior camcorder-like video quality.

The Qualcomm Spectra ISP also comes with low-power, high-performance motion tracking capabilities as well as optimized simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) algorithms designed to support new extended reality (XR) use cases for virtual and augmented reality applications.

The company indicated its Spectra family of ISPs and new Qualcomm Spectra camera modules are expected to be part of the next flagship Snapdragon Mobile Platform.

“Qualcomm’s new camera modules, especially their active depth sensing camera module, seem like no-brainers for Android OEMs to adopt to compete with what many expect that Apple will implement in the new iPhone 8,” Moor Insights and Strategy Analyst Anshel Sag wrote in a Tuesday note. “Qualcomm’s new ISP features are also sure to elevate the camera experience for Android smartphone users and can help to rise the tide that lifts all boats.”

Airborne Wireless Network (ABWN) has signed a design and manufacturing services agreement with ViaLight Communications, a developer of laser-based, high-speed communication products.   

ViaLight has been engaged to develop, design, test, and manufacture a custom hybrid synchronized laser based communication system to link neighboring aircraft and/or ground stations on Airborne Wireless Network's Infinitus Super Highway.

The Infinitus Super Highway is expected to provide a low-cost, broadband wireless communication infrastructure by using and modifying existing, small, lightweight, low-power relay station equipment that will be installed onboard aircraft. Each equipped aircraft would have a broadband wireless communication link to one or more neighboring aircraft and/or ground stations. These aircraft and ground stations would form a chain of seamless repeaters or routers providing broadband wireless communication gateways along the entire flight path, essentially creating an airborne network. 

“ABWN'S new hybrid approach and the expertise provided by ViaLight should help mitigate challenges and have a significant impact on ABWN's ability to launch its proposed global airborne wireless meshed network,” Airborne CEO Michael Warren commented. “ABWN and ViaLight envision a future where high data rate connectivity in the skies and beyond is as natural as on the ground and we believe this collaboration will enable this vision to move forward."

More on Airborne Wireless’ efforts here and here.

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