iPhone 5 rumored to be getting low power, Wi-Fi Direct enabled chipset... and AirDrop?

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.

Then conjectures:

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...

WWDC 2012 and the first expected iOS 6 beta are just over a week away.

Source: 9to5Mac; more: Anandtech

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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There are 11 comments. Add yours.

johncblandii says:

Man! Air Drop would be killer!

Mike_111 says:

AirDrop could just be another item in the Share menu (e.g. in Photos.app). It could work like Print or Beam (in iPhoto). You select Share via AirDrop, then all the devices in range with an App active that can accept such a file type via AirDrop are displayed...

SockRolid says:

Interesting technology. Looking forward to the "new iPhone" or "iPhone 5" this year. (I'm on the even year track.)
Re: But a dedicated Files.app repository would surely be appreciated...
Yes, but only by a tiny minority of iOS users. Apple seems to be actively working to hide the file system from even OS X users. All the better for removing confusion and/or fear with respect to iCloud.
Oh, and iPhone apps have a ".ipa" extension, not ".app".

Morte Di Dio says:

iPhone apps that are installed on iTunes from the app store have an .ipa extension. But iPhone apps pre installed have an .app extension that you can clearly see when you jailbreak and use iFile to view the folders

musicfor18 says:

I doesn't need to be a file "system" per se. Just a repository where you can view and open files that can be opened by apps. I think this would actually provided added comfort for potential iCloud users.

Ermax says:

Actually ipa files are just containers (zip files). They aren't actually apps. Inside them you will find the .app folder.

shadowreaperx90 says:

We will find out in a few months

dloveprod says:

A files.app would make me happy, really happy.

DarshOne says:

so airdop actualy works for you guys? i have an imac and a macbook and an airtunes express. airdrop worked for about a week after i bought the imac in 2011 and has not worked since. am i doing something wrong? itd be awesome to have this for ios since ituens and iphoto kinda suck, but please fix it on osX first.

musicfor18 says:

When trying to use airdrop on your macs, have you opened the airdrop window on both macs?

DarshOne says:

yeah, everytime i use it, it appears to work, but when i send over the file it always says the recieving computer has denied the request, but never gives me the option to accept