As an optimized Wi-Fi solution for internet of things (IoT) devices, this device is the industry’s first system on a chip (SoC) that is compliant with the IEEE 802.11ah standard. Operating in the Sub 1GHz license-exempt band, it offers a much greater range coverage compared to 2.4GHz and 5GHz technologies. 1/2/4MHz channel widths with optional short guard interval (SGI) yield 150 Kbps to 15 Mbps PHY throughput which can support devices like data low rate sensors to high-rate surveillance camera application. The protocol’s power-saving mechanisms like a longer sleep time greatly reduces power consumption and hence increase battery life.
According to Markets and Markets, "Wi-Fi Market by Component (Solutions (Access Points and WLAN Controllers) and Services (Network Planning and Design)), Density (High-Density Wi-Fi and Enterprise-Class Wi-Fi), Vertical, and Region - Global Forecast to 2022", the Wi-Fi market is expected to grow from USD 5.96 Billion in 2017 to USD 15.60 Billion by 2022, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.2% during the forecast period. The proliferation of mobile devices and rapidly growing adoption of bring your own device (BYOD) and IoT within enterprises are some of the major factors expected to drive the growth of the Wi-Fi market.
The self-contained IEEE 802.11ah Wi-Fi networking capabilities with fully integrated radio transceiver offers the ideal solution to add Wi-Fi connectivity to IoT products. It minimizes the PCB size, requires minimal external circuitries, and enables fast time-to-market. The RF transceiver is a complete radio front-end optimized for Sub 1GHz band and it has fully integrated pre-power amplifiers as well as the capability to support various commercial external front end module (FEM) device. With the dual embedded ARM Cortex-M0 and Cortex-M3 processor, the SoC can be used either as a standalone device or a slave to a host processor via serial peripheral interface (SPI) or universal asynchronous receiver transmitter (UART) interface. In addition, it can support both access point (AP) and station (STA) roles.