Monolithic radio supports Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2 and 802.15.4

Believed to be the first secure tri-radio device, NXP has introduced the IW612 at CES 2022, in Las Vegas. It enables simultaneous transmit and supports Matter, the interoperable, secure connectivity standard for smart homes. 

It supports the Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2 and 802.15.4 protocols for seamless, secure connectivity for smart home, automotive and industrial use cases, says the company. 

Consumers are therefore not restricted to single protocol ecosystems but can access different ecosystems and wireless network technologies. The three protocols can work together: Wi-Fi 6 reduces network congestion, extends range, improves robustness and lowers power; Bluetooth 5.2 is suitable for audio (A2DP, LE Audio), voice and network commissioning; and 802.15.4 is suitable for Matter with Thread mesh networking.

One of the primary challenges facing the IoT is limited interoperability, which can restrict the consumer’s ability to mix smart home products from different companies. Matter is a new standardised IoT connectivity protocol, designed by a consortium which includes NXP, which unifies how devices communicate, independent of the manufacturer or wireless technology. The protocol creates more connections between more objects, to simplify development for manufacturers and compatibility for consumers.

The IW612 overcomes hardware co-existence challenges that developers face today, while also enabling advanced security protocols to tackle security threats faced by the IoT, explains NXP.

It offers secure boot, debug and over-the-air firmware updates for ongoing protection, as well as WPA3 security and hardware encryption engines. 

“With the IW612, developers can leverage different wireless connectivity protocols on a single device to create an easy-to-use, secure product for smart home, industrial and automotive use cases,” said Larry Olivas, vice president and general manager for Wireless Connectivity Solutions, NXP Semiconductors. The tri-radio technology can operate across door locks and smart speakers to in-vehicle entertainment and telematics, he added.

“Interoperability has been a key challenge that has fragmented the smart home market for years, but Matter-enabled devices can change that,” confirms Jonathan Collins, research director at ABI Research.  

The IW612 can be used for border routers, bridges and gateways in the smart home that require connecting Thread or Bluetooth devices to the cloud using the integrated Wi-Fi 6 radio. Additionally, the IW612 enables communication between Matter devices regardless of whether the devices use Wi-Fi or Thread. This allows Matter-over-Wi-Fi products to control and monitor Matter-over-Thread devices, and vice versa. 

The IW612 is sampling now. 

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