The IW612 from NXP lets you add three radios to IoT devices. Support for Matter provides a universal API.
Consumer devices from speakers to doors to fans can take advantage of wireless connectivity, but devices often use different radios such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and IEEE 802.15.4 (formerly known as ZigBee). Case in point: I can’t play the audio from a YouTube Video or Facebook live performance through my Wi-Fi connected speaker. I need a Bluetooth speaker instead. What if the radio technology in your device didn’t matter?
That’s the point of Matter, formerly called Project CHIP (connected home IP). The matter specification specifies a standard API for connecting wireless devices. Guided by the Connectivity Standards Alliance (formerly Zigbee Alliance), Matter should let home, automotive, and industrial devices talk to each other and to the cloud. The Matter specification provides certain devices priority over others — think smoke alarms. The ability for devices to talk to each other means that should you lose your cloud connection, your devices can still operate.
NXP’s IW612 2.4/5 GHz Dual-band 1×1 Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) + Bluetooth 5.2 + 802.15.4 Tri-radio combines complete radios for Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth LE 5.2, and 802.15.4. While we’ve seen modules that provide Bluetooth and 802.15.4, the IW612 is, according to NXP, the first device to integrate all three into a single chip. It includes transceivers, power amplifiers (PAs) for transmitting, low-noise amplifiers (LNAs) for receiving, antenna switches, and computing power. It supports the PHY and MAC layers for all three radios. Designed for border routers and other devices, the IW612 includes the IP for NXP microcontrollers so there’s no need for an external microcontroller (see block diagram, click to enlarge).
Demonstrated at CES 2022, the IW612 can transmit and receive on all three radios simultaneously. When using Bluetooth, it can broadcast to two or more devices at once.
Radio features include:
- 1×1 SISO 2.4 GHz / 5 GHz 802.11 a/b/g/n/ax
- UL/DL OFDMA, STA UL MU-MIMO Tx and DL MU-MIMO Rx support
- 1024 QAM, 20/40/80 MHz channels, Peak Data Rate: 480 Mbps
- 2.4 GHz Tx @ 21 dBm; 5 GHz Tx @ 20 dBm
- 802.11ax extended range (ER), dual carrier modulation (DCM), target wait time (TWT)
- WPA3 security with hardware encryption engines
- Integrated PA, LNA and T/R switches
Bluetooth & Bluetooth Low Energy 5.2 with up to +20 dBm output power
- Class 1 and Class 2
- High speed, long range, advertising extensions
- Isochronous channels supporting LE Audio
- Support for two wideband speech (WBS) links
802.15.4 supporting Thread with up to +20 dBm output power
The IW612 is sampling now. NXP expects full production on the second half of 2022.