Marvell Technology Group Ltd . has just introduced a wireless local area network (WLAN) SoC, claiming it is the first 802.11ac 4×4 device to target the delivery of wireless video throughput.
Designated the Avastar 88W8864, it is designed to deliver a three-fold increase in Wi-Fi throughput compared with its predecessor and more than twice the power efficiency when processing high-speed loads. It is available in sample quantities now.
According to Weili Dai, a Marvell co-founder and vice president and general manager of the company's communications and consumer business, the Avastar 88W8864 is schedule for volume availability when certification for the 802.11ac flavor of the Wi-Fi standard is available from the Wi-Fi Alliance next year.
The company hopes to avoid a replay of the 802.11n rollout, when many devices that shipped based on a draft version of the spec did not actually operate in concert.
Marvell thinks it has a competitive technological advantage in beamforming technology, a critical part of the 802.11ac spec that is supposed to greatly improve connectivity. Most W-Fi chips that use beamforming technology require that the chips its is connecting with also use beamforming. Where the Marvell approach differs is that its device works with other W-Fi chips whether or not those chips use beamforming.
The 88W8864 is designed to ensure seamless wireless throughput of high-bandwidth data applications and enable reliable, carrier-grade HD multi-stream video distribution over Wi-Fi networks. It is designed to deliver high-quality, low latency, artifact-free video content across service provider gateways and set-top boxes.
It will be integrated into a broad range of Marvell’s media platforms, including Marvell’s video and network SoC platforms.
Earlier this year, Marvell announced the Avastar 88W8897 802.11ac 2×2 combination radio chip that pairs near field communications (NFC) and Bluetooth 4.0 with mobile multiple input multiple output (MIMO), beamforming and support for Wi-Fi certified Miracast, a peer-to-peer wireless screencast standard created by the Wi-Fi Alliance.