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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Redpine claims industry's lowest power for wireless multiprotocol microcontroller

By Nick Flaherty

It's a brave boast to have the industry's lowest power for a wireless microcontroller, but Redpine Signals is doing just that.

The RS14100 multi-protocol wireless MCU (WiSeMCU) is aimed at for battery-operated IoT devices and the low power can provide three to four times the battery life of today's systems. says Redpine.

This comes from a patented 'big-little' architecture at every level including MCU, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5 and 802.15.4 for Zigbee and Thread, providing optimised transitions between high-performance and low-power operating modes. This architecture enables the industry's lowest Wi-Fi standby associated power of <50ua 15="" 5="" an="" and="" arm="" as="" bluetooth="" can="" cortex-m4f="" devices.="" div="" even="" has="" integrated="" low="" lower="" nbsp="" operation="" power="" provide="" stand-alone="" than="" that="" ua="" which="" z="">

These enable battery-operated devices such as security cameras, smart locks, video doorbells, fitness bands, industrial sensors and location tags to have over 3-4x more battery life compared to competing solutions says Redpine.

It has also launched the RS9116 wireless solution, which features multi-protocol wireless connectivity and is available in both hosted (n-Link) and embedded (WiSeConnect) configurations. Both these devices build on Redpine's RS9113 and RS9110 devices, which together have been in production for over a decade and have been deployed by thousands of IoT customers worldwide.

"The IoT market requires devices to be always connected to the network, driving the need for ultra-low power connectivity solutions. The IoT devices also need to support multiple wireless protocols to connect to the cloud, connecting to other devices as well as provisioning," said Venkat Mattela, Chairman and CEO of Redpine Signals. "In addition, security is a major issue for the IoT market, making it critical for device makers to provide multiple levels of security. Redpine's RS14100 and RS9116 have been designed based on these critical IoT market requirements to provide an optimal solution for battery operated devices."

The M4F core in the RS14100 operates up to 180 MHz and includes up to 4 MB of flash for applications. Users can choose from various SoC and module packages based on their system requirements, including the industry's smallest integrated module at 4.6mm x 7.8mm. The WiSeConnect embedded modules provide a throughput of over 90 Mbps with integrated wireless stacks, wireless profiles and networking stack. n-Link hosted modules interface to processors running Linux, Android or Windows operating systems.

It also uses a secure-zone architecture with security processor separated from applications processor, PUF (Physically Unclonable Function) based root-of-trust, Suite-B crypto HW accelerators, secure boot, secure firmware upgrade, secure XIP and secure peripherals. It provides high-security levels required for applications such as mobile point-of-sale terminals, smart locks, medical devices and secure voice-based ordering. The RS9116 also provides a subset of these security features relevant for providing wireless connectivity.

An an "always-on" sensor-hub has hardware accelerators for voice-activity detection (VAD), vector filtering, interpolation and matrix multiplication, sensor data collection and capacitive touch. This enables new applications such as voice triggers for primary battery-operated devices. The RS14100 also supports digital and analogue peripherals including CAN, Ethernet, eMMC/SD Card, OpAmp, ADC, DAC and USB OTG.

The RS14100 and the RS9116 SoC and modules are sampling now with volume production starting in Q2 2018.

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