Wi-Fi Certified 6 Program Available for Products based on Broadcom, Cypress, Intel, Marvell, and Qualcomm 802.11ax Chips

WiFi 6 Certified

Last year the WiFi alliance introduces a new naming scheme for WiFi using numbers instead of IEEE standards so that WiFI 4 is 802.11n, WiFi 5 is 802.11ac, and WiFi 6 is the latest 802.11ax standard with data throughput up to 10 Gbps, and a better ability to manage high-density scenarios. Shortly after (November 2018) we also got news of the first WiFi 6 routers from ASUS and NETGEAR, but the WiFi alliance only just announced the launch of their Wi-Fi Certified 6 program that promises optimal interoperability and security. The program will make sure the following features are properly implemented: WPA3 WiFi security Orthogonal frequency division multiple access (OFDMA): effectively shares channels to increase network efficiency and lower latency for both uplink and downlink traffic in high demand environments Multi-user multiple input multiple output (MU-MIMO): allows more downlink data to be transferred at once and enables an access point to transmit data to a larger number of devices concurrently […]

Broadcom AFBR-S50 Industrial ToF Sensor Works up to 10 Meters

Time-of-Flight (ToF) ranging sensors can measure distance accurately using laser light and are sold in a really tiny package. STMicro VL53L0X ToF sensor may be the most popular with a 2 meter range, and its ultra low cost. The sensor got an extended range up to 4 meter with the recent launch of VL53L1X, but STMicro is not the only company providing such solution, and Broadcom has just introduced their AFBR-S50 ToF sensors for industrial applications and a range of up to 10 meters. Two versions are offered with different laser light sources, field of view, and number of pixels: AFBR-S50MV680B 680nm laser light source One illuminated pixel FOV 1.55° x 1.55° Single voltage – 5V supply AFBR-S50MV85G 850nm laser light source 9-16 illuminated pixels FOV 6.2° x 6.2° Single voltage – 5V supply The multipixel version of AFBR-S50 supports up to 3,000 frames per second with up to 16 illuminated pixels out of 32,  and is operational under ambient […]

Status of Embedded GPU Ecosystem – Linux/Mesa Upstream Support (ELC 2018 Video)

The Embedded Linux Confernce is on-going, and the Linux Foundation has been uploading videos about talks in a timely manner on YouTube. I checked out at RISC-V keynote yesterday, but today I’ve watched a talk by Robert Foss (his real name, not related to FOSS) from Collabora entitled “Progress in the Embedded GPU Ecosystem”, where he discusses open source software support in Linux/Mesa from companies and reverse-engineering support. The first part deals with the history of embedded GPU support, especially when it comes to company support. Intel was the first and offers very good support for their drivers, following by AMD who also is a good citizen. NVIDIA has the Nouveau driver but they did not really backed it up, and Tegra support is apparently sponsored by an aircraft supplier. Other companies have been slower to help, but Qualcomm has made progress since 2015 and now support all their hardware, Broadcom has a “one man team” handling VideoCore IV/V,  and […]

Broadcom Introduces Three 802.11ax “Max WiFi” Chips: BCM43684, BCM43694 & BCM4375

We’ve already written about the new 802.11ax WiFi standard that promises up to 10 Gbps data rates, support for 2.4 & 5 GHz bands, up to 4x longer range, and better handling of high density scenarios. It appears 802.11ax we’ll be known as Max WiFi to the masses, and Broadcom has unveiled Max WiFi solutions for home and enterprise routers, as well as a smartphones. There are currently three Max WiFi solutions from Broadcom: BCM43684 & BCM43694 4×4 802.11ax chips, respectively optimized for residential and enterprise access points, share the same key features: Support for four streams of 802.11ax 4.8 Gbps PHY rate 160 MHz channel bandwidth 1024 QAM modulation Uplink & downlink OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access) MU-MIMO ZeroWait DFS (Dynamic Frequency Selection) AirIQ interference identification Full compliance to IEEE and WFA 802.11ax specifications BCM4375 smartphone combo chip: Support for 2-streams of 802.11ax Bluetooth 5 including Low-Energy Long Range (LELR) Real Simultaneous Dual-Band (RSDB) 1.429 Gbps PHY Rate […]

Work on VideoCore V GPU Drivers Could Pave the Way for Raspberry Pi 4 Board

I’ve come across an article on Phoronix this morning, about VideoCore IV GPU used in Broadcom BCM283x “Raspberry Pi” processors, but part of the post also mentioned work related to VC5 drivers for the next generation VideoCore V GPU, written by Eric Anholt, working for Broadcom, and in charge of the open source code related to VideoCore IV GPU for Raspberry Pi. This led me Eric’s blog “This Week in VC4/VC5” and articles such as “2017-07-10: vc5, raspbian performance“, where he explains he committed Mesa drivers for VC5. I’ve just pushed a “vc5” branch to my Mesa tree (https://github.com/anholt/mesa/commits/vc5). This is the culmination of a couple of months of work on building a new driver for Broadcom’s V3D 3.3. V3D 3.3 is a GLES3.1 part, though I’m nowhere near conformance yet. This driver is for BCM7268, a set-top-box SOC that boots an upstream Linux kernel. I’m really excited to be working on a modern GLES implementation, and one that has […]

Broadcom APDS-9500 Tiny Proximity & Gesture Sensor Supports up to 9 Gestures

You can use advanced methods to implement gesture control using devices like Leap Motion, or a camera with a computer vision program like OpenCV, but if you have cost and size constraints, and can work with a limited number of gestures, Broadcom APDS-9500 proximity & gesture sensor might be a useful component as it comes in a 18-pin package, and supports up to 9 gestures. The chip also provides proximity detection for sensing objects approaching or departing. Avago / Broadcom APDS-9500 key features: Gesture output – 9 gesture recognition: g move up, move down, move left, move right, move forward, move backward, circle-clockwise, circle-counterclockwise and wave Proximity output – Object brightness output and size output Cursor mode output – X and Y output Range – up to 60 cm Image output – SPI output; 30 × 30 pixels / 60 × 60 pixels; 9-bit gray scale Ambient light immunity I2C-bus interface compatible with data rates up to 400 kHz Dedicated Interrupt pin Flexible […]

Broadcom BCM4908 Router SoC Supports 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet, and Up to 3.4 Gbps Combined WiFi Speeds

While most of us are still talking about megabit per second (Mbps) when it comes to Internet connectivity, some are already enjoying higher maximum speeds of one or more Gigabit per second (Gbps) with services like Google Fiber or Comcast Gigabit Pro (2Gbps) in the US. That means one of the bottleneck include Gigabit Ethernet in most home settings, so to address higher network speeds at home and at the office, Broadcom has designed and unveiled BCM4908 quad core 64-bit ARM SoC for high-end routers that includes an interface for a 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet PHY, and supports the company’s BCM4366 wave 2 5G WiFi MU-MIMO for up to 3.4 Gbps combined WiFi transfer rates across multiple devices. Some key features of BCM4908 processor include: Quad core 64-bit ARM processor @ 1.8 GHz Zero CPU Wi-Fi offload to free up CPU resources BroadStream iQoS acceleration Dedicated security processor to enable hardware VPN acceleration 2.5Gb Base-X Ethernet WAN/LAN port for supporting fast […]

RedBear Duo is a Breadboard-friendly Wi-Fi + BLE IoT Board Based on Ampak AP6212 Module (Crowdfunding)

I’ve taken apart lots of TV boxes and together with Realtek, Ampak are by far the most popular wireless modules to provide WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity in those devices. One startup decided to use Ampak AP6212 module, also found in NanoPi 2 board, to create a breadboard-friendly IoT board with Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11b/g/n connectivity. Redboard Duo has been designed with the same form factor as many other IoT boards such as NodeMCU or Spark Photon, and features the following: Ampak AP6212 module: STMicroelectronics STM32F205 ARM Cortex-M3 @120MHz, 128 KB SRAM and 1MB Flash Broadcom BCM43438 Wi-Fi 802.11n (2.4GHz only) + Bluetooth 4.1 (Dual Mode) combo chip Storage – On-board 16 Mbit (2 MB) SPI Flash Integrated chip antenna with the option to connect external antenna Expansion – Headers with 18 I/O pins Misc – RGB status LED Dimensions – 20.5mm x 39mm The company also made a small baseboard called RBLink with  ST-LINK/V2 for programming the board, and 8 connectors compatible with […]