The future of Wi-Fi networking for iOS devices looks bright. And very fast.
Broadcom, the exclusive supplier of the networking chips for iOS devices, recently announced its newest technology, the BM4335, that features 802.11ac networking. Also known as gigabit Wi-Fi, the standard has hypothetical wireless transfer speeds of more than 1 gigabit per second.
The standard also dramatically improves the range of Wi-Fi while offering three times faster speeds. And because of the improved data transfer speeds, devices enter low-power mode quicker and are six times more power efficient than 802.11n devices.
Full production of the chip is scheduled by the first quarter of next year, which should be in more than enough time to appear in the next-generation iPad.
But it won’t be in time to appear in the next iPhone, which is expected to be released sometime this fall. That iPhone is believed to sport the BM4330, which features a smaller 40nm and Wi-Fi direct capabilities that could allow for some type of AirDrop functionality between some Macs and iOS devices.
The only drawback is that iOS device users will have to purchase a new (and probably costly) router to take advantage of the improved range and faster transfer speeds of 802.11ac. But I think those improvements would easily be worth it.