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New chip brings Gigabit internet even closer

A new Virgin Media hub set to come later this year?
A new Virgin Media hub set to come later this year?

Chip vendor Broadcom has unveiled the first SoC (system-on-chip), the BCM3390, one that supports DOCSIS 3.1, paving the way for services from cable operators looking to offer internet speeds beyond 1Gbps.

There's even a prototype, called the BCM93390, that provides speeds of up to 2Gbps that was demoed at CES. Comcast has already confirmed that it is planning to deploy a faster-than-1Gbps service to customers this year which is nearly twice its current maximum speed.

Liberty Global, which owns UK-based Virgin Media, also confirmed that they will bring the technology to their customers in the second half of 2015 without saying whether it would stick to US first or release it in other territories.

The prototype decide comes with a BCM4366 5G Wi-Fi solution that supports up to 2.2Gbps transfer rates at 5GHz and 1Gbps at 2.4Ghz using an improved implementation of MIMO, a fourfold improvement over previous 802.11ac solutions.

Virgin Media started trialling 400Mbps broadband back in 2010 and a 1Gbps in September 2014. The company's top package currently provides speeds of up to 152Mbps and regularly upgrades that speed for free.