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Broadcom Enables the Android Platform to Support Wireless 'Combo Chips'

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Broadcom has announced that the software that controls its Wi Fi Bluetooth FM combination solution is now a standard component of the latest Android operating system. This is the first time that the Android platform includes native support for a multi functional wireless connectivity solution (or "combo" chip). Open access to portions of Broadcom's combo drivers provides Android developers with a head start in designing mobile devices and applications that utilize the best in wireless connectivity solutions.

The current generation of Android-based handsets features both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, but uses discrete components. The Broadcom BCM4325 is the best-selling Bluetooth and Wi-Fi combo chip on the market, offering best-in-class space, power, cost and coexistence features. Adding Broadcom's BCM4325 drivers to the Android platform simplifies the integration of these connectivity technologies and accelerates platform development cycles.

"Two of the most exciting trends in the handset industry are the growing popularity of Android and the transition to combo chips for connectivity," said Chris Bergey, Director of Broadcom's Embedded WLAN line of business. "As a founding member of the Open Handset Alliance, we are committed to advancing the Android platform by contributing our software and facilitating greater access to our combination chips in the open source community. We expect a plethora of products and applications to evolve from the connected Android platform in the not-so-distant future."

The inherent benefits of multi-radio integration have changed the way many handset manufacturers think about connectivity features, which is driving significant growth for combo chips. According to IDC, a global market intelligence firm, combo chips will account for nearly 60 percent of connectivity solutions that ship into mobile phones by 2012. Broadcom was the first chipmaker to successfully combine Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and FM technologies on a single silicon die, and now offers the industry's largest portfolio of wireless combo chips.

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Tags: android  broadcom  wi-fi  intel  bluetooth  driving  open source  wlan