Redpine Signals, a developer of multi-standard wireless chipsets, has announced the launch of a new chip solution optimised for machine-to-machine (M2M) applications.
The Internet of Things is expanding, with predictions by analysts promising anything from 12 billion to 50 billion connected devices worldwide by 2020. These devices use a range of wireless technologies to communicate, including ZigBee, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
The problem is that many of these technologies do not co-exist well together, because the different protocols interfere with one another. M2M device manufacturers therefore need a chip that is versatile in its connectivity abilities.
Redpine claims that its RS9113 M2MCombo chip is "the first of its kind" in the industry, to combine dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi, ZigBee, and dual-mode Bluetooth 4.0 wireless connectivity on a single die.
The chip is a self-contained solution, with no requirement for any part of the protocols to run on a host processor. It also integrates with systems that already support multiple standards using separate chips.
Whereas most M2M systems require gateways and hubs offering multiple protocols to provide the link between the devices and cloud systems through the Internet, the RS9113 chip maintains connections on some or all interfaces, providing virtually simultaneous multi-protocol connectivity.
This means a gateway device implemented with RS9113 could communicate with a medical sensor with single mode Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, a smartphone with Bluetooth 4.0/Wi-Fi, or an air conditioning unit with ZigBee connectivity, without the need for multiple modules from various vendors.
Redpine provides a complete reference design and development environment for creating applications using the new chip, as well as a development kit with a USB interface.
"Our experience with thousands of customers in the growing wireless M2M space over the past decade has shown us that they need a way to hurdle over the barriers of multiple protocols in order to accelerate product time to market, and therefore drive The Internet of Things market," said Venkat Mattela, CEO of Redpine Signals.
"Our M2MCombo solution speeds up the product lifecycle by removing challenges involved in wireless co-existence issues."
The RS9113 is sampling now and multiple form-factor certified modules based on RS9113 will be available in the second quarter of 2013.