Chip Maker Marvell to Demo High-Speed Wi-Fi Chip with NFC
U.S.-based Marvell Technology Group has announced that it will begin demonstrating its planned high-speed Wi-Fi chip incorporating NFC for fast pairing of ultrabooks, tablets, gaming consoles and smart TVs.
Marvell, which first announced it would be coming out with NFC-enabled wireless chips in February, said today it would demonstrate its planned Avastar 88W8897 at the Computex Taipei computer exhibition in Taiwan this week.
The chip combines the next generation Wi-Fi standard, 802.11ac, with NFC and Bluetooth 4.0, along with support for Wi-Fi certified Miracast standard. Wi-Fi 802.11ac combined with Miracast, neither of which are completed standards, enables users to connect devices. For example, they can stream video from their ultrabook or tablet to a big-screen television or share a laptop screen with the conference room projector.
In its announcement today, Marvell called NFC a “pivotal component” of the combo wireless chip, which would simplify pairing of devices. “NFC enables a one-tap pairing experience for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth,” said Marvell in the statement. NFC also can be used for payment, the chip maker noted.
As NFC Times reported in February, Marvell plans to be ready for commercial shipments during the first half of 2013. It acquired the NFC technology for wireless chipsets under a license with UK-based Innovision, which was acquired by U.S.-based Broadcom in 2010.
Marvell is targeting ultra-thin laptops, game consoles, TVs, tablets, and perhaps such devices as printers with the NFC-enabled wireless chips. In the past, it has shipped Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi combo chips for such video game consoles as the new PlayStation Vita from Sony and also Microsoft Xbox units.
Marvell said the new chip would support data speeds of up to 867 megabits per second with the proposed 802.11ac standard. Devices under the standard can reach speeds of more than 1 gigabit per second, about three or four times as fast as the maximum speed of devices supporting the latest Wi-Fi standard, 802.11n.
Rival Broadcom is already shipping 802.11ac chips, but for wireless routers and not with NFC inside. Broadcom announced an NFC standalone chip last fall, but it’s not clear whether it is shipping it yet.
Marvell’s director of wireless marketing, Bart Giordano, told NFC Times in February the chip maker would be “putting NFC into every (wireless) chip we build, except those at the very low-end of the market.” It wasn’t clear when Marvell would add NFC to its other chips.