Industry's Lowest-Power Wireless MCU and Connectivity Solutions for Battery-Operated IoT Devices

Redpine Signals has introduced industry's lowest-power multi-protocol wireless MCU (WiSeMCU) solution for battery-operated IoT devices (RS14100). The California based wireless semiconductor and system solutions company also launched the RS9116 wireless solution, which features multi-protocol wireless connectivity and is available in both hosted n-Link and embedded WiSeConnect configurations. The new low-power solutions build upon the success of Redpine's RS9113 and RS9110 devices, which together have been in production for over a decade and have been deployed by thousands of IoT customers worldwide.

The current IoT market requires devices to be always connected to the network, driving the need for ultra-low power connectivity solutions. The devices also need to support multiple wireless protocols to connect to the cloud, connecting to other devices as well as provisioning. In addition, security is a major issue for the IoT market, making it critical for device makers to provide multiple levels of security. Redpine's RS14100 and RS9116 have been designed based on these critical IoT market requirements to provide an optimal solution for battery operated devices.

The RS14100 and RS9116 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 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 the industry's smallest integrated module at 4.6 mm x 7.8 mm. The WiSeConnect embedded modules provide an industry-high 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.

Both modules feature a patent-pending 'big-little' architecture at every level including MCU, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5 and 802.15.4, providing optimized transitions between high-performance and low-power operating modes. This unique architecture enables the industry's lowest Wi-Fi standby associated power of <50uA, an ARM Cortex-M4F that can provide as low as 15 uA/MHz operation, and integrated Bluetooth 5 which has lower power than even stand-alone Bluetooth 5 devices. These ultra-low power capabilities enable battery-operated devices such as security cameras, smart locks, video doorbells, fitness bands, industrial sensors and location tags to have over 3-4x more battery life compared to competing solutions.

The RS14100 is based on secure-zone architecture with security processor separated from applications processor, PUF (Physically Unclonable Function) based root-of-trust, Suite-B crypto HW 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 also 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 new applications such as voice triggers for primary battery-operated devices. It also supports a rich set of digital and analog peripherals including CAN, Ethernet, eMMC/SD Card, OpAmp, ADC, DAC and USB OTG.

The modules are sampling now with volume production scheduled to start in Q2 2018.