LONDON – CMOS RF chip developer GainSpan Corp. (San Jose, Calif.) has developed a single-chip baseband and RF IC that supports two wireless communications standards used for Internet of Things applications.
The GS2000 supports both IEEE 802.11b/g/n (Wi-Fi) and IEEE 802.15.4, which is the basis of ZigBee and several other short-range communications standards. The chip contains multi-standard RF as well as both 802.11b/g/n and 802.15.4 PHY/MAC functionality, dual Cortex-M3 processors, networking stacks and services and local memory. The GS2000 features a dual-mode IPv4/IPv6 TCP/UDP networking stack along with additional networking services.
In domestic environments the GS2000 will be able to exploit Wi-Fi access point availability while providing the small channel and low power, meshing capability of ZigBee. This will allow the GS2000 to act as a bridge between low-power ZigBee networks and the Internet, said Gainspan. For example it could bridge between smart meters using ZigBee, connected white goods and the internet for reporting status and providing data or software downloads.
"To truly deliver on the vision of the Internet of Things, range, power consumption, ease of deployment and network management are often more critical than other factors. The GS2000 combining both technologies is able to address line-powered as well as battery-operated applications cost effectively, which are both necessary to achieve that vision," said Greg Winner, CEO of GainSpan, in a statement.
The chip has been manufactured for GainSpan by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. in 65-nm process technology. GainSpan's GS2000 Wi-Fi/ZigBee IP combo SOC and associated modules will be sampling in March with full production slated for later in 2013.
Development support tools are being provided by IAR Systems (Uppsala, Sweden) including the company's C/C++ compiler and C-Spy debugger.
This chip has dedicated market (M2M, IoT, and so on) and will be used as a gateway between home/private network and wireless/wide area network. After 802.11ah standard will be accepted GainSpan can easily catch it. If so, it is right step.