Internet Enabled Consumer Devices

Video: Smart home device controller supports simultaneous wireless communications

30 March 2021

Radio frequency solutions provider Qorvo has introduced the first smart home communications controller to deliver simultaneous support for multiple ultra-low power wireless protocols.

The new QPG6100 communications controller for internet of things (IoT) end devices features the company's ConcurrentConnect technology. This innovation enables faster communications, increases home network capacity and scalability, and allows manufacturers to future-proof connected devices such as Source: QorvoSource: Qorvolighting and smart home sensors. The technology helps eliminate barriers to growth of the smart home by enabling simultaneous operation of multiple smart devices, regardless of which major wireless standard they use.

IDC forecasts continued adoption of home automation devices and services, projecting global sales of smart home devices will reach 1.4 billion units in 2024, a five-year compound annual growth rate of 14%.

As the IoT expands and more consumers adopt smart home technology, systems engineers and IoT device manufacturers face the challenge of ensuring their sensors can communicate quickly and perform effectively — even as new devices are added. Beyond the familiar Wi-Fi, additional low-power, low-data-rate wireless standards — including Bluetooth Low Energy, Thread and Zigbee — are used in smart lighting, thermostats, security sensors and appliances. With ConcurrentConnect technology, smart home devices all communicate over the home network, even if the sensor uses a different standard or language.

Qorvo's QPG6100 incorporates simultaneous multi-standard support through ConcurrentConnect technology into a single-radio system on a chip. It supports all home network protocols, allowing devices to continuously receive communication without interruption during the listening phase. As an example, Qorvo's patented approach allows a consumer to quickly dim a light bulb via a smartphone without delay.

When combined with Qorvo's powerful software development kit, the QPG6100 allows manufacturers to create IoT devices that manage data traffic from multiple standards or protocols at the same time and without latency. The QPG6100 and Qorvo's QPG7015M IoT transceiver, released last year for wireless routers and gateways, offer ConcurrentConnect support. Both SoCs eliminate a manufacturer's need to choose in advance which technology — Zigbee, Thread or Bluetooth LE — to incorporate into their devices. They also reduce part count, which lowers cost, simplifies development and support, and enables smaller, more appealing form factors for consumers.

To contact the author of this article, email engineering360editors@globalspec.com


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