Broadcom’s new BCM4389 chip brings Wi-Fi 6E support to smartphones
Wi-Fi 6E is an extension to the Wi-Fi 6 standard and it lets devices operate in the 6 GHz spectrum. An additional 1200MHz can be split into fourteen 80MHz or seven wider 160MHz channels, thus offering higher throughputs. It was announced just over a month ago by the Wi-Fi Alliance, but the FCC still hasn’t approved the use of the 6 GHz spectrum. Though, it looks like Broadcom is placing its bets to become among one of the first to adopt it. The company’s new BCM4389 is a WiFi 6E and Bluetooth 5.0 compatible chip with a couple of welcoming features.
BCM4389 uses a 16nm manufacturing process in comparison to 28nm found on its predecessor, BCM4375. If you need a refresher of the brain, the smaller the nanometer manufacturing process of the chipset, the smaller the distance between transistors. This results in faster and more power-efficient operating of the device. BCM4389 also supports Tri-band Simultaneous (TBS) radio which uses the third radio for background scans and checks which doesn’t require much power.
Broadcom also promised Bluetooth improvements, such as two times faster pairing time and the support of BT MIMO. The latter will theoretically eliminate audio chopping on Bluetooth connected devices. BCM4389 also doubles the maximum bandwidth capability to 2 Gbps in smartphones.
Broadcom chipsets are used by companies such as Apple and Samsung in their mainstream smartphone series. I would expect the arrival of Wi-Fi 6E supported devices by next year. FCC approval should also be in place by that time.