Wi-Fi is now a staple in today’s smartphones, but it’s expected to get even better in handsets as soon as next year. The new 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard, or 5th generation of Wi-Fi, is still in the works, but companies such as Broadcom already have supporting products available. This “5G Wi-Fi” offers improved power efficiency and speeds faster than 802.11n Wi-Fi, and it could be your smartphone’s new best friend.

The new Wi-Fi standard boosts wireless speeds three times over the current 802.11n radios — 433 Mbps per antenna — while also improving power efficiency up to six times, according to Broadcom(s bcom). The company released its first 5G Wi-Fi chips last month at the Consumer Electronics Show. Benefits come in two forms: beamforming, which can steer signals toward a target, and a doubling of bandwidth per channel over today’s wireless technology, from 40 to 80 MHz.

Scott Bibaud…

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