Broadcom chipsets enable multiple, high-resolution in-car displays

The new family of chipsets combines fast 802.11ac with Bluetooth

Broadcom's latest line of wireless chipsets for cars can keep the kids quiet in the back seat, while allowing mom and dad to make calls in the front.

The new chipset family uses the fast 802.11ac Wi-Fi wireless standard for in-car connectivity, which provides the bandwidth required for multiple in-car displays and screen resolution of up to 1080p. Using the 5GHz band for video allows it to coexist with Bluetooth hands-free calls on 2.4GHz, according Broadcom.

There is also support for Wi-Fi Direct, Miracast and Passpoint. Wi-Fi Direct lets products such as smartphones, cameras and gaming devices connect to one another without joining a traditional home, office or hotspot network, while Miracast lets users stream videos and share photos among smartphones, tablets and displays.

Passpoint is a relatively new program from the Wi-Fi Alliance that aims to make it easier for users to securely connect to hotspots. Users should no longer have to search for and choose a network, request the connection to the access point (AP) each time and then in many cases re-enter their password. All that is handled by a Passpoint-compatible client.

The chipsets are also compatible with Bluetooth Smart, which can be used by devices to help obtain a specific piece of information, such as whether all the windows in a house are closed or what someone's blood glucose level is. Devices using the technology include heart-rate monitors, blood-glucose meters, smart watches, window and door security sensors, key fobs for cars, and blood-pressure cuffs, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group said on its website.

In a car, Bluetooth Smart can help monitor driver fatigue and blood alcohol content, according to Broadcom.

The BCM89335 Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Smart Ready combo chip and the BCM89071 Bluetooth and Bluetooth Smart Ready chip are now shipping in small volumes. Broadcom didn't say when cars equipped with either chip would become available.

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