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Qualcomm SoCs it to IoT device developers

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via Flickr © jontintinjordan (CC BY 2.0)

  • Qualcomm produces tri-mode SoC for short range IoT radio nets
  • Claims will address fragmentation and help developers
  • Big emphasis on integrated hardware security

Qualcomm has announced two IoT-oriented ‘System-on-chips’ (SoCs) designed to integrate multiple short range radio technologies.  A ‘tri-mode’ SoC (QCA4020) will handle Bluetooth Low Energy 5, Dual-band Wi-Fi , and 802.15.4-based technologies, including ZigBee and Thread.  The QCA4024 integrates Bluetooth Low Energy 5 and 802.15.4.

Qualcomm claims that both chips will support hardware-based security features and help address IoT fragmentation, making for flexible product development for OEMs. Using the multi-mode chips means various devices from different manufacturers should have the ability to talk to each other across different wireless standards, protocols and communication frameworks, while connecting to a system network and cloud and application services.

On the other hand, the wireless standards not being supported by the SoCs are, in Qualcomm’s estimation, the ones most likely to be winnowed out, hence its claim that these launches will   assist with Iot defragging.

The important constituency for this approach, arguably, is the device developer domain and Qualcomm says it’s pre-integrated support for HomeKit and the Open Connectivity Foundation (OCFs) specifications, as well as support for AWS IoT software development kit (SDK) and Microsoft Azure Internet-of-Things (IoT) Devices SDK to connect with Azure IoT Hub.

The big  IoT worry of the moment is undoubtedly IoT security so Qualcomm has included  hardware-based security features and functions for both SoCs integrated in a single  IC, providing OEMs with the option of replacing external security chips and potential for bill of materials (BOM) savings.

“Qualcomm Technologies is bringing new interoperability for IoT and addressing ecosystem fragmentation by offering multiple radio, standards, protocols and connectivity framework support on a single-chip solution. This is a game-changer for manufacturers and consumers alike,” said Raj Talluri, senior vice president, product management, Qualcomm Technologies in a canned statement.  “The addition of our industry-leading hardware security features allows manufacturers and developers to support applications including smart cities, toys, home control and automation, networking and home entertainment and offer their customers more advanced security that are cost effective.”

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