Sources familiar with Apple’s plans have told The Next Web that Apple has struck a deal with chip maker Broadcom to outfit its new Macs with 802.11ac chips. This will provide a much-needed boost for the standard, which is currently undergoing revisions, as electronics manufacturers look to introduce new consumer products capable of supporting high-speed networks.
The 802.11ac wireless standard is still currently under development. Theoretically, the standard will result in multi-station WLAN throughput of at least 1 gigabit per second (1 Gbit/s) and a maximum single link throughput of at least 500 megabits per second (500 Mbit/s). For comparison, 802.11n delivers about a third of the speed of 802.11ac.
Back in July, Broadcom introduced the BCM4335, the first 5G WiFi combo chip for smartphones, tablets, ultrabooks and other mobile devices.
The new BCM4335 integrates a complete, single-stream 5G WiFi system - including the MAC, PHY and RF - with Bluetooth 4.0, FM radio and software on a single silicon die. The platform-agnostic design and integration of the MAC, PHY and RF allows the BCM4335 to be added to any smartphone or tablet regardless of the application processor used.
It's thought that Apple may use that chip to bring 802.11ac to its mobile devices.