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Rockchip device reduces Wifi power to that of Bluetooth LE

Steve Rogerson
June 10, 2015
 
Rockchip, a Chinese fabless semiconductor company and mobile SoC provider, launched at last week’s Computex show in Taipei what it claims is the world’s lowest power Wifi technology. The RKi6000 combines low-power Wifi and memory technology to reduce power consumption of IoT smart devices by up to 85 per cent.
 
With numerous international technical patents for the Wifi technology, the SoC processor technology has power consumption that is claimed to be equal to that of Bluetooth 4.0 LE, with receiving power consumption around 20mAh during use, 85 per cent lower than standard Wifi built with RF architecture.
 
“In terms of a circuit’s power consumption and the user-friendly design of a device, there is currently a large gap between Wifi SoC based on traditional radio-frequency architecture and the practical needs of new IoT devices,” said Gavin Que, director of Rockchip’s IoT department. “The Rockchip RKi6000 closes the gap for wearable and other IoT devices, which are being developed for consumer electronics, home appliances and many more products using the Wifi standard, greatly reducing the cost of development and implementation, and speeding up a smart device’s time to market.”
 
When compared with Bluetooth and Zigbee standards, Wifi can be more convenient to use because of the ease of making an internet connection due to the standard Wifi infrastructure but, because of its high power requirements, Wifi cannot be incorporated into many portable devices with an electrical current limit. This device’s on-chip processor and memory technology is said to resolves this power issue.
 
The technology also allows IoT devices to use a coin battery. In addition, AAA batteries can be used for up to 35 years. This said a company statement beats technology from competitors such as Atmel that provide only a maximum of ten years use on AAA batteries.
 
Applications include wearables, consumer electronics, mainstream home appliances, home safety, automation systems, automobiles and medical equipment
 
The device receives and transmits data continuously, enabling devices to achieve low power consumption while in standby and in use. Adaptive dynamic power control technology improves power efficiency in different working modes, reducing all-over power consumption and adjusting the chip’s power configuration according to data transmission requirements and actual transmission quality.
 
For IoT applications requiring long standby times while remaining online, it maintains its WifI connection without waking up the main-control processor, simplifying the power consumption system’s design and extending battery life.
 
The device will be available starting in the third quarter of this year.
 
Founded in 2001, Rockchip’s development and design headquarters are in Fuzhou, China, with three additional branches in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen focusing on services and marketing.