Cypress Adds Connectivity Option to WICED IoT Platform

The chip vendor unveils the first update to its WICED internet of things development environment since buying the technology from Broadcom earlier this year.

Cypress IoT

Cypress Semiconductor is coming out with the first enhancement of the internet of things platform technology it acquired earlier this year from Broadcom, offering developers multiple wireless connectivity options.

Company officials unveiled the latest iteration of the Wireless Interconnect Connectivity for Embedded Devices—or WICED (pronounced "wicked")—that they said will give developers a single environment for multiple wireless technologies, including Cypress' own WiFi, Bluetooth and offerings that combine technologies. WICED Studio 4, which also includes a new application programming interface (API), supports most cloud services and ensures developers don't have to implement the connectivity protocols themselves, reducing the amount of development time needed and the cost to bring IoT products to market.

"Many IoT applications are trending toward combo solutions that enable WiFi, Bluetooth and alternative connectivity protocols, and every IoT developer is looking for a simple migration path to connectivity upgrades," Mike Hogan, vice president of Cypress' IoT business unit, said in a statement.

Cypress made an aggressive move deeper into the fast-growing IoT market when it bought Broadcom's internet of things business—anchored by the WICED platform—for $550 million. The WICED effort grew out of a project within Broadcom, and while it became a good business—generating $189 million in revenue during a recent 12-month period—it never found a comfortable place within the company, according to the executive who headed up the business unit at Broadcom.

In an interview with eWEEK this summer, Stephen DiFranco, vice president and general manager of IoT at Cypress and formerly with Broadcom, said his former company’s business was primarily built around selling chips and wireless technologies into large businesses—a model that was reinforced when Avago Technologies bought Broadcom for $37 billion in 2015. After the deal, Avago assumed the Broadcom name.

In contrast, selling into the IoT means dealing with many small businesses and developers. Eventually, Broadcom's new owners and its IoT executives agreed the WICED unit needed to find a new home, and Cypress was there to buy it, DiFranco said.

Now the company is pushing ahead with its new IoT portfolio. According to company officials, the trend in IoT is toward dual-mode connectivity, so the new version of WICED supports both Cypress' combination CYW 43438 WiFi and Bluetooth offering and its low-power CYW 20719 combination of Bluetooth and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). The software developer kit (SDK) for WICED Studio 4 includes a single installer package for multiple wireless technologies with an Eclipse-based integrated development environment (IDE) that supports a range of operating systems, including Microsoft Windows, Apple's MacOS and Linux.

The result is a development platform with libraries that enable cloud connectivity in minutes and that integrate such cloud services as Amazon Web Services, IBM's Bluemix, Alibaba Cloud and Microsoft's Azure. It also can support services from private clouds. The SDK also supports Apple's HomeKit home automation platform and will add support for the Weibo social media platform in China.

The connectivity in WICED can work with multiple microcontrollers, including MCUs from third parties.

Cypress is demonstrating the WICED Studio 4 SDK and its full range of IoT offerings for connected cars, the industrial IoT, smart home appliances and wearables at the Electronica 2016 show this week in Munich, Germany.