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Faster Wi-Fi tech rumored to be arriving on Macs in 2013

A speedier version of 802.11 Wi-Fi is said to be in the works for a future version of Apple's Macs using technology from Broadcom.

Apple's next round of upgrades to its Mac computers are rumored to include a new, faster version of the ubiquitous 802.11 Wi-Fi spec.

Citing sources, The Next Web says Apple is working with Broadcom to include 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology in its Mac lineup, a move that would increase wireless networking speed when used with 802.11ac routers.

The 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard, which Broadcom has called "5G Wi-Fi," supports up to three streams and speeds of up to 1.3Gbps on the 5GHz band. That speed is dropped down to 450Mbps over a three-stream version on the existing 802.11n bands, but remains compatible with older devices.

The report does not mention when Apple would roll out such an update, short of saying in future models and that the chip in question is still in development. The company updated nearly its entire Mac lineup except for the MacBook Air and Mac Pro desktop last October, suggesting any revisions would arrive later this year. Any upgrades to the newer standard, which remains in draft, would presumably bring changes to Apple's trio of Wi-Fi routers as well.

It's been nearly a year since Broadcom announced its first 802.11ac-enabled chips, with many of the first mass-market routers and adapters arriving just a few months ago.