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Friday, September 29, 2017

IoT WiFI Bluetooth 5 combo chip targets battery designs

By Nick Flaherty at www.flaherty.co.uk

Cypress Semiconductor has launched a new device that combines Bluetooth 5 with 802.11ac WiFi on a 28nm process that the company says cuts power consumption by up to 70 percent in receive mode and up to 80 percent in sleep mode. However, datasheet values for the actual power consumption are not yet available. 

The CYW43012 is based on the WICED technology it acquired from Broadcom is 802.11a/b/g/n-compliant and 802.11ac-Friendly, meaning it is interoperable with 802.11ac access points using standard modes. This enables it to offer higher throughput and better energy efficiency, along with the enhanced security and coverage of 802.11ac Wi-Fi networks.

The chip also integrates directly with a range of cloud services, with support for Amazon Web Services, IBM Bluemix, Alibaba Cloud, and Microsoft Azure, along with services from private cloud partners included in the software development kit. 

The WICED coexistence engine enables optimal combined performance for dual-band 2.4- and 5-GHz Wi-Fi and dual-mode Bluetooth/Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) 5.0 applications simultaneously and the chip is part of the WICED Studio IoT development platform.

"Battery life is a key differentiator for a wide range of connected devices, including wearables, smart home security cameras and wireless speakers; everyone wants a great connected experience for longer without having to recharge," said Brian Bedrosian, vice president of marketing for the IoT Business Unit at Cypress. "The new combo is a game-changer, setting a new standard for power consumption that makes long battery life with Wi-Fi a reality. The 802.11ac-Friendly capability combined with Cypress' unmatched multi-radio coexistence engine provide cleaner air with high-fidelity connections and enhanced range, which is critical for the consumer experience in today's world with a rapidly increasing number of wireless devices competing for airtime."

The WICED Studio IoT development platform features an integrated and interoperable wireless software development kit (SDK). The SDK includes broadly deployed and rigorously tested Wi-Fi and Bluetooth protocol stacks, as well as simplified application programming interfaces that free developers from needing to learn complex wireless technologies. 

In line with the IoT trend toward dual-mode connectivity, the SDK supports Cypress' Wi-Fi and Bluetooth combination solutions and its Bluetooth and Bluetooth Low Energy devices. WICED also supports iCloud remote access for Wi-Fi-based accessories that support Apple HomeKit, which enables hub-independent platforms that connect directly to Siri voice control and the Apple Home app remotely.

The WICED Studio connectivity suite is microcontroller (MCU)-agnostic and provides ready support for a variety of third-party MCUs to address the needs of complex IoT applications. The platform also enables cost efficient solutions for simple IoT applications by integrating MCU functionality into the connectivity device. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth protocol stacks can run transparently on a host MCU or in embedded mode, allowing for flexible platform architectures with common firmware. 

The CYW43012 combo solution is currently sampling to lead customers. Full production is expected in the fourth quarter of 2017.


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