Qualcomm is launching a couple of chips that are aimed at expanding broadband communications network capacity for connected land lines as well as for wireless Wi-Fi networks.San Diego, Calif.-based Qualcomm said its Qualcomm Atheros business has introduced GigaDSL chips that enable broadband operators to move from older VDSL technology to faster wired Gigabit access technologies. And Qualcomm is also introducing a three-way radio chip to handle a variety of flavors of Wi-Fi wireless data networking.
The world’s biggest maker of mobile chips made the announcement at the Computex trade show in Taiwan today. Qualcomm Atheros’ new chips are aimed at easing the transition for existing VDSL operators in markets such as South Korea and Japan. The new QCO5700 and QCM5720 chips can provide up to 1 gigabit-per-second broadband over existing telephone lines while still maintaining interoperability with existing modems at carriers.
“We’re in a never-ending pursuit of more network capacity,” said Mark Grodzinsky, senior director of product management at Qualcomm, in an interview with VentureBeat. “This is on both wired and wireless networks. This GigaDSL tech is very important for places that have already deployed VDSL. GigaDSL will be a big help.”
These new products are aimed at supporting Asian carriers as they gear up to handle the expected network traffic for the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea and the 2020 Summer Olympics games in Japan, Grodzinsky said. Several customers are already building products based on the new chips. Those customers include Sumitomo Electronic, NEC, and Wave Electronics.
Video typically accounts for 60 percent of network traffic these days. And people expect the Internet to work wherever they are.
“The user experience is at an all-time high” Grodzinsky said.
Qualcomm is also introducing a new 802.11ac Tri-radio platform for home networks. The aim is to boost the capacity of home Wi-Fi and optimize its usage for a better consumer Wi-Fi experience. The new chips bring Wi-Fi features such as multi-user MIMO and Qualcomm Wi-Fi self-organizing networks into new mainstream home network routers. The new chips combine two 5-gigahertz radios and one 2.4–gigahertz radio into a single product to provide more flexibility in a network. The router can dedicate a radio for older legacy devices and alleviate congestion on the network for newer devices.
“We have convergence of many different types of wireless, and we have to get these things working in the phone,” Grodzinsky said. “We have a massive amount of density in terms of devices connecting to the network. I have 16 devices in my home that are connected to the network. You may live in an apartment or a city block where the use of Wi-Fi is becoming a huge issue.”
Wi-Fi is being stretched to its limit, Grodzinsky said. So Qualcomm Atheros is offering two new network tri-radio platforms that can boost a Wi-Fi network to 2.2 gigabit-per-second capacity or even 3.1 gigabits-per-second.
Will the tech industry catch up with the insatiable demand for bandwidth?
“I’m feeling pretty good,” Grodzinsky said. “You can increase channel width, add more bands, and use those bands more efficiently. As an industry, I feel like we have some good technology in multi-user MIMO today. We are getting those products out, and we have a strong pipeline of products coming right behind it.”