Broadcom today announced a new wireless chip that features support for WiFi 802.11ac standard, also known as fifth-generation WiFi and promising theoretical wireless transfer speeds of one gigabit per second.

The Broadcom BCM4335 module also includes Bluetooth 4.0, FM radio and software on a single chip using a 40-nanometer process. As Apple is extensively using Broadcom chips in iOS devices and Macs, this is a likely candidate for 2013 iPhones and iPads. The chip provides for some interesting possibilities…

According to a media release, it’s the only combo chip to “address unique interference challenges in systems with both 4G LTE cellular radios and wireless connectivity”.

The BCM4335 is an improved version of the BCM4330 unit found inside the latest iPhones and iPads and has WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n with integrated Bluetooth 4.0+HS and an FM transceiver.

9to5Mac editor Seth Weintraub speculates that the BCM4335 could find its way into next year’s iPhone and iPad revisions because Broadcom is ramping up production in the first quarter of 2013, “just in time for next year’s iPads”.


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9to5Mac recently discovered in iOS 6 Beta code hooks which indicate support for the BCM4334 unit which. In theory, Apple could be looking to take advantage of the BCM4334 (or the new BCM4335) to implement wireless file transfer between iOS devices and Macs, perhaps using AirDrop protocol first introduced in OS X Lion last year.

AnandTech has a more detailed overview of the BCM 4334 combo chip.

When it comes to WiFi 802.11ac, or 5F WiFi, Broadcom’s implementation is said to work three times faster than the current standard, promising a streaming video and data syncing experience with transmissions in excess of a gigabit per second.

The standard also sports a much stronger signal for better coverage and is six times more power efficient than wireless chips found in most mobile and tablet devices.

All told, 5G Gigabit WiFi should be a reality on 2013 iOS devices.

Excited?