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Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Wi-Fi transceivers and modules for the IoT cut power in half

By Nick Flaherty

Silicon Labs introduced a portfolio of Wi-Fi transceivers and modules to simplify the design of power-sensitive, battery-operated Wi-Fi products including IP security cameras, point-of-sale (PoS) terminals and consumer health care devices. 

Optimised for exceptional energy efficiency, the WF200 transceivers and WFM200 modules support 2.4 GHz 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi while delivering the high performance and reliable connectivity necessary as the number of connected devices increases in home and commercial networks.

“We’ve delivered the first low-power Wi-Fi portfolio designed specifically for the IoT, enabling breakthroughs in secure, battery-powered connected device designs that simply weren’t possible until now,” said Daniel Cooley, Senior Vice President and General Manager of IoT products at Silicon Labs. “It’s no surprise we’re seeing strong customer demand for Wi-Fi technology that fits within the tight power and space budgets of battery-operated devices, freeing end users from the need to connect to ac power sources.”

“The market for Wi-Fi devices in low-power IoT end node applications is forecast to grow from 128 million units per year in 2016 to 584 million units per year by 2021,” said Christian Kim, senior analyst for IHS Markit, a global business information provider.

Developers can speed time to market and miniaturize battery-operated Wi-Fi products with the WFM200, the world’s smallest pre-certified system-in-package (SiP) module with an integrated antenna. The WF200 transceiver provides a cost-effective option for high-volume applications and gives developers the flexibility to meet unique system design requirements, such as using external antennas.

The WF200 transceiver and WFM200 module have a low transmit (TX: 138 mA) and receive (RX: 48 mA) power with 200 µA average Wi-Fi power consumption (DTIM = 3) contributing to ultra-low system power. The link budget of 115 dBm allows for long-range Wi-Fi transmissions.

The WF200 has a footprint of 4 mm x 4 mm in a QFN32 and 6.5 mm x 6.5 mm in a LGA52 SiP module for space-constrained applications
Security includes secure boot and host interface, hardware cryptography acceleration supporting AES, PKE and TRNG and the modules are pre-certification by the FCC, CE, IC, South Korea and Japan to minimize development time, effort and risk.

Silicon Labs is sampling WF200 transceivers and WFM200 SiP modules to selected customers, and production parts are planned for Q4 2018. 

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