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Balluff unveils new long-range RFID reader ••• Identiv, Dai Nippon Printing partner on UHF RFID tags for monitoring bridge cracks ••• Tönnjes RFID system identifies automobiles in Kenya ••• Telink Semiconductor releases updated BLE chip SDK for Apple HomeKit ••• Haldor RFID products count and track sponges, surgical instruments ••• Harting showcases Industry 4.0 solutions incorporating RFID.
By Rich Handley

Telink Semiconductor Releases Updated BLE Chip SDK for Apple HomeKit

Telink Semiconductor, a developer of highly integrated, low-power radio frequency and mixed signal system chips for Internet of Things applications, has announced that it is releasing an updated version of its Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) software development kit (SDK) for Apple HomeKit. This means that any HomeKit licensees can use Telink's SDK to develop products and accessories, based on a single-chip solution that features built-in security key authentication. HomeKit enables Apple devices to communicate with and control IoT-connected devices in the home, such as smart locks; lights; heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems; sensors; and more.

Apple HomeKit is unlike other platforms, the company explains, in that it doesn't require a central hub device, since the ecosystem is designed in a way that works around existing iOS devices, with an iPad acting as the hub. Devices can communicate with each other, with HomeKit serving as the interface that ties all devices in the network together.

HomeKit devices work exclusively on either Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, and there are rigorous encryption requirements to enable a secure environment, as well as specific chip-set requirements that are needed to achieve certification. Ccommunications between products is accomplished locally, rather than data having to be transmitted via the cloud.

"Telink is a strong supporter of Apple HomeKit and one of the first ones to deliver SDKs to smart-home accessory manufacturers," said Wenjun Sheng, Telink Semiconductor's CEO, in a prepared statement. "We already have customers lined up for our new HomeKit chip solution, which means we expect new Telink-based HomeKit devices on the market this year."

Combined with Telink's BLE mesh technology, this creates a smart-home solution providing concurrent simultaneous real-time control of connected devices using different standards in the home via HomeKit. It can manage multiple nodes' online and offline status using network traffic control technology within the chips. In addition, the technology provides a synchronized control mechanism within multi-hop or large mesh networks. The same hardware can also be used for Apple HomeKit support.

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