Cypress Semiconductor is introducing a new processor platform that company officials say will bring ultra-low power WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity to a range of internet of things systems, from wearable devices to smart home products.
The company’s Cypress CYW43012 processors, announced Sept. 25, are built on a 28-nanometer manufacturing process, which will drive down the power consumption of devices when compared with the current crop of 40nm processor platforms, officials said.
By using the 28nm process, Cypress’ product will drive down power consumption by up to 70 percent in receive mode, up to 80 percent in sleep mode and 25 percent in transmit mode. It also will reduce power consumption in idle and ready modes by up to 60 percent. In addition, the compliance with 802.11a/b/g/n and 802.11ac WiFi networks not only means higher throughput but also better power efficiency.
All of this means longer battery life and faster connectivity for a broad array of devices that make up the fast-growing internet of things (IoT), they said.
“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,” Brian Bedrosian, vice president of marketing for Cypress’ IoT Business Unit, said in a statement. “Cypress’ new combo solution is a game-changer, setting a new standard for power consumption that makes long battery life with WiFi a reality.”
The company also is touting the platform’s coexistence engine, which means it not only can bring high performance for dual-band 2.4- and 5GHz WiFi but also dual-mode Bluetooth/Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) 5.0 applications at the same time.
The support for 802.11ac brings connections with higher fidelity, greater range and increased coverage in both open spaces and obstructed areas, all of which will be important as the number of wireless devices grow and compete for airtime, Bedrosian said.
That growth is expected to happen quickly. IDC analysts are forecasting that the number of IoT endpoints will jump from 14.9 billion last year to more than 82 billion by 2025, and a recent report from Verizon found that 73 percent of business executives say they are either researching or deploying IoT programs.
Cypress aggressively grew its presence in the highly-competitive IoT space last year when it bought Broadcom’s technology last year. Cypress spent $550 million to buy Broadcom’s IoT business, which was anchored by the vendor’s Wireless Interconnect Connectivity for Embedded Devices—or WICED (pronounced "wicked")—platform. Broadcom shed the business, which grew out of an internal project in the company, after the vendor was bought by Avago Technologies for $37 billion in 2015.
Cypress officials have since been building out the capabilities within the WICED platform, including the release in November 2016 of WICED Studio 4, which gave developers a single environment for multiple wireless technologies, including the company’s own WiFi and Bluetooth, and offerings that combine technologies. The CYW43012 platform is an example of that philosophy.
With the release of the new chip platform, Cypress officials pointed to the WICED Studio IoT development offering, which includes an integrated and interoperable wireless software development kit (SDK).
The SDK includes WiFi and Bluetooth protocol stacks and simplified APIs, and through libraries that enable fast cloud connectivity with such public clouds as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, IBM Bluemix and Alibaba Cloud.
They also support private cloud providers as well as iCloud remote access for WiFi-based devices that support Apple’s HomeKit, which drives hub-independent platforms that remotely connect with Siri and Apple Home.
Cypress is sampling the CYW43012 combo processors to some customers and will go into full production in the fourth quarter.