Printed from http://www.electronista.com

Broadcom 802.11ac chipset spotted, may be used in new Macs

updated 01:00 pm EDT, Tue May 21, 2013

Possibly compatible with previous models, facilitating third-party upgrades

A new Broadcom chipset spotted on a Chinese website may be a component of future Mac updates, bringing 802.11ac (known as "Gigabit Wi-Fi") and Bluetooth 4.0 to new models on a single chipset. Not only will the chip handle all wireless communication for future Mac models, but the new chip appears -- at first glance -- to be backward compatible with similar parts in recent models, opening up the possibility of aftermarket upgrades.

The board goes under the name of Broadcom BCM94260CD PCI-E, a mini combination of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Assuming the connectors are exactly the same, the chip would fit in many recent and current MacBook and iMac models and would make it possible for third-party sellers to offer advanced Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities to some older Macs.

Code supporting 802.11ac has been seen in betas of 10.8.4, the next update to Mountain Lion. The discovery suggests that Apple expects to release updated Macs that support 802.11ac before either the release of 10.8.5 or any future version of OS X. This falls into line with speculation that Apple plans to update the MacBook line on or around the time of the Worldwide Developer Conference.

The 802.11ac standard, which has not yet been ratified but is in a finalized form, offers backward compatibility with previous 802.11 standards while offering better capacity, wider coverage and better power efficiency. The new protocol offers speeds up to 1.3Gbps across three antennas, offering a substantial increase compared to 802.11n's maximum speed of 450Mbps. This in turn would make protocols like AirPlay and AirDrop ubiquitous, and make inter-device communications far faster for purposes like syncing and transfer of files.




By Electronista Staff
Post tools:

TAGS :

toggle

Comments

  1. Inkling

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 07-25-06

    WiFi-ac is a must have for my next laptop, that and a 10+ hour battery life. I'm sure Apple's going to deliver the former. We'll see if they can deliver the latter with Intel's new chipset.

Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.

toggle

Network Headlines

toggle

Most Popular

Sponsor

Recent Reviews

Dell AD211 Bluetooth speaker

For all of the high-priced, over-engineered Bluetooth speakers in the electronics market, there is still room for mass-market solution ...

VisionTek 128GB USB Pocket SSD

USB flash drives dealt the death blow to both the floppy and Zip drives. While still faster than either of the old removable media, sp ...

Kodak PixPro SL10 Smart Lens Camera

Smartphone imagery still widely varies. Large Megapixel counts don't make for a good image, and the optics in some devices are lacking ...

Sponsor

toggle

Most Commented

 
toggle

Popular News