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Qorvo Releases Multi-protocol System-on-Chip for Secure Smart Homes

The new platform is designed to help users mitigate uncertainty surrounding future Internet of Things standards.
By Rich Handley
Jan 03, 2017

Qorvo, a provider of RF connectivity solutions, has introduced a complete system-on-chip (SoC) for smart-home devices that, according to the company, provides multi-protocol support while improving power consumption.

More than 600 million smart-home devices are expected to be shipped annually by 2021, according to ABI Research, compared with 40 million in 2015. According to Qorvo, devices built with its solutions will be able to connect consumers with future products in their homes, helping to accelerate the smart-home market.

The GP695 system-on-chip integrates multiple communication protocols, including IEEE 802.15.4, ZigBee 3.0, Thread and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), for sensors and actuators throughout the home, Qorvo reports. The new SoC, the firm notes, supports these connectivity standards while improving energy efficiency and extending battery life.

Supporting these different connectivity options allows for a single development platform and a single stock-keeping unit (SKU), Qorvo says, independent of the communication protocol used by a particular customer. In this way, the company explains, BLE-based smartphone connectivity for proximity-based services can be combined with Thread or ZigBee 3.0 for smart-home services.

For example, homeowners can use their mobile phones to connect a GP695-equipped door lock to a ZigBee smart-home system using the phone's BLE protocol. The door lock then can be opened or closed from the mobile phone using a BLE connection. According to the company, the system can automatically lock the door via ZigBee if it detects that no one is inside the home.

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