Telecoms, Datacoms, Wireless, IoT


Wireless MCUs for battery-operated IoT devices

21 February 2018 Telecoms, Datacoms, Wireless, IoT

Redpine Signals launched what it claimed as the industry’s lowest-power multi-protocol wireless MCU (WiSeMCU) solution – RS14100 – for battery-operated IoT devices. The company also launched the RS9116, which features multi-protocol wireless connectivity and is available in both hosted (n-Link) and embedded (WiSeConnect) configurations.

The devices implement multi-protocol wireless connectivity with dual-band (2,4/5 GHz) 802.11abgn Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5 (including long range, high throughput and advertising extensions) and 802.15.4 which can be used for Thread or ZigBee connectivity. The RS14100 features an ARM Cortex-M4F which can operate at 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 a tiny integrated module measuring 4,6 x 7,8 mm. The WiSeConnect embedded modules provide 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.

The RS14100 and the RS9116 feature a patent-pending ‘big-little’ architecture at every level including MCU, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5 and 802.15.4, providing optimised transitions between high-performance and low-power operating modes. This unique architecture enables Wi-Fi standby associated power of less than 50 µA, an ARM Cortex-M4F that can provide as low as 15 μA/MHz operation, and integrated Bluetooth 5 which has lower power than even standalone Bluetooth 5 devices. These capabilities are well suited for battery-operated devices such as security cameras, smart locks, video doorbells, fitness bands, industrial sensors and location tags.

The R14100 is based on a secure-zone architecture with the security processor separated from the applications processor, PUF (physically unclonable function) based root-of-trust, suite-B crypto hardware 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.

The RS14100 includes an ‘always-on’ sensor hub with hardware accelerators for voice-activity detection (VAD), vector filtering, interpolation and matrix multiplication, sensor data collection and capacitive touch. This enables applications such as voice triggers for primary battery-operated devices. The RS14100 also supports a rich set of digital and analog peripherals including CAN, Ethernet, eMMC/SD card, op-amp, 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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