Sunday, September 8, 2013

Qualcomm Unveils Low-Power Wi-Fi

Qualcomm Atheros introduced a low-power Wi-Fi chip familt designed to connect the "Internet of Everything."

The new QCA4002 and QCA4004 networking platforms include the IP stack and full networking services on the chip to enable customers to add Wi-Fi to virtually any product.  The platforms feature an on-chip processor and memory, which are designed to eliminate the need for a system controller that adds to product cost, complexity and power consumption. Using the QCA4004, customers can now write their own applications on the Qualcomm Atheros platform instead of simply using it for Wi-Fi connectivity.

Target applications for the QCA4002/4004 platforms include major home appliances (such as washing machines, air conditioners, hot water heaters, and so on), consumer electronics, and sensors and smart plugs for home lighting, security and automation systems. The QCA4004 has been incorporated into a washer/dryer combo and an air conditioner unit by Haier, a global leader in home appliances and consumer electronics.

The QCA4002/4004 platforms also feature the AllJoyn software framework, which enables the “Internet of things near me” by providing seamless connectivity and communications among a diverse set of products, applications and services to create compelling, proximal user experiences. The AllJoyn software framework provides basic building blocks for maximum flexibility and includes a set of services that, by design, are very simple and address near-universal requirements for users to interact with nearby things: onboarding, notifications, audio streaming and control.

Both the QCA4002 and QCA4004 include a Green TX feature that allows devices to reduce the transmit power by up to one-half when in close proximity of another device or access point. This dynamic power adjustment, along with sleep modes consuming less than 1mW, allows for more efficient communication and longer battery life (in applications such as remote controls, thermostats and sensors). The low power sleep operation is handled through an onboard wake-up manager that enables self-wake and sleep management on the platform which can further reduce sleep power (down to microamps). Additionally, the platforms can wake from suspend four times faster than other products in the category, which reduces the total average power profile and any system latency.

“Part of Qualcomm’s vision for the Internet of Everything is to provide low power, efficient connectivity as its enabling foundation. Qualcomm Atheros is making standards-based Wi-Fi feasible for a multitude of new devices in the home and office,” said Jason Zheng, senior vice president, Qualcomm Atheros. “The QCA4002 and QCA4004 platforms enable lower power usage and elimination of host processors to ensure better usage and simpler implementation with ease of configuration and interoperability, a first in the industry.”

The QCA4002 is available in full production now. The QCA4004 chip is currently sampling.

http://www.qca.qualcomm.com

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