CES 2016: Broadcom unveils NFC controller and low-power Wi-Fi/Bluetooth combo chip


At CES 2016, Broadcom, a provider of semiconductor solutions, has launched BCM20797, the Near Field Communications (NFC) controller to deliver greater transaction range, improved security and faster transaction speeds.

The company also announced its latest and lowest power Wi-Fi/Bluetooth combo chip – BCM43012 -for mobile platforms and accessories.

BCM20797 NFC controller ideal for mobile payments and transit applications, Broadcom said. It helps OEMs integrate NFC into smaller form factor mobile devices and wearables.

With an innovative feature called Virtual Execution Environment (VEE), BCM20797 improves performance of host card emulation (HCE). It reduces HCE transactions to half their time, improves security without the need for a secure element (SE), and can perform transactions with the host off so users can still make a transaction when their device is powered off.

Because it has low spurious emissions, the controller does not require additional filters, making its BOM cost 30 percent lower and PCB footprint 50 percent smaller than competitive solutions, Broadcom claims.

The BCM43012 combo chip delivers up to 3X longer battery life compared to Broadcom’s previous combo chips, enabling OEMs to design a new wave of high-performance connected devices, the company said.

The BCM43012 allows OEMs to integrate Wi-Fi into platforms that have traditionally been powered by Bluetooth alone due to battery size or constrained power budgets.  In some applications, the BCM43012 Wi-Fi consumes 80 percent less power than the most common Bluetooth solutions today.

The significant reduction in Wi-Fi power consumption enables OEMs to leverage the increased throughput and range of Wi-Fi to deliver new use cases in a wide variety of devices, Broadcom said. Using integrated Wi-Fi, accessories can also connect directly to the cloud without an intermediary smartphone.

Both BCM4908 and BCM20797 are currently sampling.

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