Redpine integrates smart home features in chipset



At last week’s Connections Conference in San Francisco, Silicon Valley-based Redpine Signals unveiled a semiconductor chip for building smart home devices.
The RS9116N-DBT chipset is already in volume production and being designed into products from consumer manufacturers. It is said to address the most important requirements for smart home devices, including simultaneously available multi-protocol wireless connectivity, low power, high data performance, security, and the capability to run edge intelligence and offer whole home coverage.
"As the IoT pervades the home, office, healthcare centre, hotel and school, the availability of a viable wireless network has become increasingly important," said Venkat Mattela, CEO of Redpine Signals. “Traditional ways of delivering wireless connectivity such as separate wifi links and a Zigbee mesh are no longer sufficient. An application independent low power mesh running on standard IP protocol, along with nodes independently able to connect to the home wifi router, has become imperative. We have created our RS9116N-DBT with all these capabilities and more, making it a unique chipset for the smart home."
Housed in an 8.8 by 8mm BGA package, the chipset integrates an Arm Cortex M4 MCU, hardware security and multiple wireless protocols at a claimed industry-leading power consumption point.
It contains protocol stacks for wifi, Bluetooth, Bluetooth LE, Zigbee and Thread, and includes automated mesh formation and reconfiguration capability to provide robust, whole home coverage.
A wireless wake-up receiver remains on at a few microamps of current and is ready to wake up the rest of the device only when required, triggered by specific incoming wireless signals.
The device consumes less than 113µA for maintaining cloud connection over wifi. According to a Tolly Report earlier this year, in a battery operated smart device, the RS9116N-DBT can provide four years of battery life compared with roughly seven months when using an alternative system-on-chip (SoC).
The SoC provides simultaneous operation of multiple wireless protocols, thereby enabling router functionality in addition to that of an end node. This makes a device using this SoC capable of switching from being an end node to a router, providing flexibility in a home and ensuring non-stop network coverage.
In addition, the ability to stream data at up to 100Mbit/s, combined with its compatibility with all generations of wifi up to Wifi 6, lets it enhance the overall connectivity experience in a smart home.
With artificial intelligence becoming a prominent part of most smart systems, there is a strong need to have appliances and edge devices that can carry out analytics and inference of situations themselves. The chipset provides power-efficient and hardware assisted machine-learning functions to enable smart applications while preserving low operational latency and low power consumption.
Headquartered in San Jose, California, Redpine Signal is a fabless semiconductor, IoT devices and wireless systems company focusing on low power and high-performance products for wireless applications. It was founded in 2001 and has 225 employees worldwide.