Ralink squeezes dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth in one chip

Ralink unveils the latest true dual-band wireless-N and Bluetooth 3.0+HS combo chip.

The new Wi-Fi and Bluetooth combo chip from Ralink. Ralink

Wi-Fi (or WLAN) and Bluetooth have been the most popular technologies to connect devices, especially portable ones. Generally, to support these two, your device needs to have two separate chips, one for each.

Ralink, a Taiwanese network chipmaker, however, announced on Tuesday a new chip, model RT3592BC8, that can handle both at the same time. The company claims this is the first chip that's capable of simultaneous dual-band wireless-N and Bluetooth 3.0+HS operation.

The chip comes in the half MiniCard design and can be used in desktops, notebooks, Netbooks, and other mobile devices. It is slated to deliver wireless speeds, in both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz band, up to 300Mbps while eliminating interference, allowing Wi-Fi and Bluetooth components to spontaneously work well in the same band or on separate bands.

According to Ralink, the RT3592BC8 combo solution sports a sophisticated algorithm that dynamically adjusts WLAN and Bluetooth transmission parameters to maximize performance. It also automatically adjusts to the presence and operating characteristics of nearby Wi-Fi networks. This is especially significant in the 2.4GHz band, as it's generally saturated with wireless signals.

In the best case scenario, the company says that the new solution can offer up to 80 percent improvement in WLAN throughput compared with other WLAN plus Bluetooth combo solutions.

The new RT3592BC8 chip is only available to OEM vendors; you can expect products to come equipped with it later this year.

About the author

CNET editor Dong Ngo has been involved with technology since 2000, starting with testing gadgets and writing code for CNET Labs' benchmarks. He now manages CNET San Francisco Labs, reviews 3D printers, networking/storage devices, and also writes about other topics from online security to new gadgets and how technology impacts the life of people around the world.


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