Perhaps you've just finally gotten your mobile devices all upgraded to the 802.11n Wi-Fi standard, and maybe Bluetooth 3.0 is enough to get you through the day. Qualcomm apparently has no intention of standing still, though. At Computex in Taiwan, Qualcomm has just demonstrated the first chip that will bring 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 to your next Android tablet. This is the chip first announced back in February, but now it's a real thing.


The Qualcomm Atheros WCN3680 will combine the 802.11ac Wi-Fi radio with Bluetooth 4.0 for low-power connectivity. To top it off, the chip will also have good old-fashioned FM radio. The new chip should be compatible with boards designed for Qualcomm's 802.11n chip, the WCN3660. It shouldn't take much work for OEMs to switch over to the new chip.

802.11ac is capable of 1.3Gbps data rates, but the mobile solution won't quite reach that threshold. The WCN3680 will pair with the Krait-based Snapdragon APQ8064 ARM application processor to deliver throughput up to 200Mbps on Android devices (assuming you have a 802.11ac network). Certified 802.11ac products should begin appearing in early 2013, but Qualcomm has already started sampling the chip to its OEM partners.