According to projection by a market researcher, smart home market size is expected to grow to over USD 110 billion by 2019. And the number of devices being connected to these smart homes is projected to reach around 7 billion units by 2020. This projection is reigniting interest in IoT connectivity technologies which enable communication among smart devices.
As smart devices within home environment find it difficult to support all applications with single technology, competition to develop chips supporting multi-connectivity is getting fiercer among major semiconductor companies to cope with expanding IoT market.
Companies spurring development of multi-connectivity chip
BCM43012 newly announced by Broadcom has WLAN function, which supports enhanced proximity connectivity and location function by providing up to 96 Mbps of data rate for 802.11mc and TurboQAM. Accessories integrating this chip are capable of connecting directly to cloud without requiring relay by smart phones.
Dragonboard 410C launched by Qualcomm last year has a number of connectivity functions including wireless LAN, Bluetooth and location tracking which are not available in low-end board computers. They enable companies to directly develop IoT products.
GS2000, a Wi-Fi/ZigBee single chip from GainSpan, has Wi-Fi providing local connection with smart phone via internet and ZigBee IP expanding IP range by connecting more battery-operated devices. The chip also includes multi-standard RF and 802.11b/g/n, and deals with multi Mbps through UART. As it supports both IPv4 and IPv6, expanded IP connection is available anywhere.
▲TI’s SimpleLink wireless platform
SimpleLink wireless platform from Texas Instruments enables development of products supporting a variety of wireless connectivity standards using the same RF design on a single chip. SimpleLink ultra-low power platform supports Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), ZigBee, 6LoWPAN, Sub-1GHz, ZigBee RF4CE™ and up to 5Mbps of unique mode.
▲Multi-protocol wireless Gecko SoC from Silicon Labs
Wireless Gecko SoC newly introduced by Silicon Labs provides best of a kind Thread and ZigBee stacks, intuitive wireless interface software for independent protocol and Bluetooth Smart for point-to-point connection, and simplifies development of wireless products, set-up/configuration, debugging and low-power design.