NXP® Semiconductors announced the IW612, the industry’s first secure tri-radio device to support the Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2 and 802.15.4 protocols. Part of NXP’s new family of tri-radio products, the new device enables seamless, secure connectivity for smart home, automotive and industrial use cases, and supports the new groundbreaking Matter connectivity protocol. The IW612 frees consumers from the restrictions of single protocol ecosystems, allowing them to enjoy seamless interoperability across different ecosystems and wireless network technologies. Additionally, developers benefit from NXP’s state-of-the-art coexistence capability, which enables simultaneous support of three radios on a single device, reducing costs and development time.
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, a new standardized IoT connectivity protocol, designed by a consortium of industry leaders including NXP, addresses these limitations by unifying how devices communicate, independent of the manufacturer or wireless technology. The protocol creates more connections between more objects, thereby simplifying development for manufacturers and compatibility for consumers.
To support a new era of interoperability, the IW612 integrates three of the industry’s leading connectivity radios onto a single device for the first time, delivering robust radio performance and integrating a high-performance RF front-end. This technology combination enables true interoperability in the smart home, significantly reducing development time, simplifying design and reducing costs. The highly integrated solution overcomes hardware coexistence challenges that developers face today, while also enabling advanced security protocols to help thwart the ever-increasing number of security threats faced by the IoT.
The IW612 leverages NXP’s long history of leadership in providing secure solutions to help combat the ongoing security threats smart devices face. The IW612 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. “From door locks and smart speakers to in-vehicle entertainment and telematics, products can now benefit from our tri-radio solutions that address multiple technologies and ecosystems, including Matter. This provides developers with a more cost-effective solution while streamlining deployment for the consumer.”
“Interoperability has been a key challenge that has fragmented the smart home market for years, but Matter-enabled devices can change that,” said Jonathan Collins, research director at ABI Research. “With its new monolithic devices, NXP enables developers to leverage Matter-supported connectivity protocols for their smart home applications and help accelerate Matter adoption. This, in turn, will provide consumers with improved useability by making smart devices easier to connect and greater choice among the interoperable devices they can use.”
The IW612 is an ideal solution 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, for seamless interoperability.
Key features of IW612 include:
• Tri-Radio Integration
o Wi-Fi 6 reduces network congestion, extends range, improves robustness and lowers power
o Bluetooth 5.2 for audio (A2DP, LE Audio), voice and network commissioning
o 802.15.4 for Matter with Thread mesh networking
• Advanced coexistence for internal and external multi-radio operation
• Robust security for protection against IoT attacks
• Pre-validated connection to NXP’s broad microprocessor and microcontroller portfolio
• Integrated RF front-end including LNAs, high-power PAs and switches for system cost savings, reduced bill-of-materials and footprint.
The IW612 is sampling now and will be demonstrated live at CES 2022.