If you want to build a mobile phone and use something other than the Qualcomm Snapdragon platform then you’re going to need to buy separate pieces of silicon to handle all your WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, and FM radio functions. That changes today thanks to Broadcom who introduced the BCM4330. It does dual band WiFi 802.11n, meaning it can operate in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz range, useful for battling interference and improving both range and data transmission rates, it has Bluetooth 4.0 support, including Bluetooth low power, which is set to revolutionize the accessory market since you’ll be able to connect to devices that can power themselves for months with just a watch battery, and finally there’s FM radio support, because you can never get enough tunes and catch up on news while you’re on the go.
“Combination chips have gained tremendous traction as more manufacturers add multiple wireless features to mobile phones and other handheld devices, including tablets, and will account for nearly 350 million of all wireless connectivity solutions shipped in 2015. Broadcom already controls a significant share of the wireless connectivity market within the rapidly expanding Android smartphone market. We estimate Broadcom’s integrated single chip combo devices were used in greater than 70% of Wi-Fi/Bluetooth enabled Android handset shipments in Q3 2010.” — Philip Solis, Research Director for ABI Research.
Other things of note about the BCM4330 is that support for Android and Windows Phone is built right in, so this chip is just plug and play. It can also handle wideband audio when using Bluetooth headsets, so your voice doesn’t sound like something coming out of an AM radio from the 1930s. Best thing about all this is that it’s shipping right now and it’s in devices that are being announced at Mobile World Congress this week. Which devices specifically? They don’t say.