iPhone 5 rumored to be getting low power, Wi-Fi Direct enabled chipset... and AirDrop?
Joining all the previous rumors, the upcoming iPhone 5 now looks like it might be getting the Broadcom BCM4334 radio chipset. The BCM4334 comes complete with much lower power draw for Wi-Fi, support for Wi-Fi Direct transfers, and Bluetooth 4.0, among other things. Continuing his deep dive through a purported iPhone 5 software dump, 9to5Mac's Seth Weintraub points us first to Anandtech's description:
BCM4334 which is the follow-up part to BCM4330 that we’ve seen in a bunch of devices. BCM4334 changes from a 65nm process to 40nm LP, which itself offers a power profile reduction. The change isn’t a simple die shrink either, Broadcom says it has worked on and refined the existing BCM4330 design and reduced power a further 40-50% and dramatically reduced standby power by 3 orders of magnitude. [...] The combo device also features advanced switching techniques that enable concurrent dual-band operation to simultaneously support network connectivity with one band while also allowing content streaming via technologies such as Wi-Fi Display and Wi-Fi Direct.
While Apple isn’t likely to use Wi-Fi Display over its own AirPlay protocol, Wi-Fi Direct/Adhoc on the second Wifi connection would seem to be directed at something pretty interesting... Apple requires Dual-Band Wifi cards when deciding which Macs get to use AirDrop
Chipsets for Apple devices are fairly easy to predict (there are only so many that suit Apple's needs) but timelines can sometime make it tricky to know which generation part will actually make it in. As power hungry technologies like large(r) Retina displays and LTE radios contend with physical requirements for smaller, thinner devices, every millimeter and milliamp Apple can save becomes important.
Future chipsets almost always do more with less, so if Apple can get them in time, and weave the appropriate black magic spells that get radios to play nicely with materials, they'll certainly use them. If Apple's already got them running in software, then hopefully they're good to go.
As to AirDrop, which allows direct peer-to-peer file transfers -- on the Mac it uses the Finder as a interface. There's no Finder on iOS. It could be incorporated into Photos.app and potential Document in the Clouds interfaces insider connected apps. But a dedicated Files.app repository would surely be appreciated...