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EET Asia Article: Riding The IoT Wave With Wi-Fi HaLow

By January 4, 2019May 12th, 2021No Comments

After an unusual two-year delay, silicon for a new Wi-Fi standard is starting to emerge. Over the next few months, a handful of startups will sample chips for 802.11ah, a 900-MHz version of Wi-Fi targeting long-range links especially for the internet of things. The so-called HaLow products promise delivery of up to Mbits/s over distances of tens of meters to a kilometer and support for thousands of nodes on an access point. They will occupy a space between ultra-low-power and -cost LoRa and Sigfox networks and below more power-hungry LTE Cat-M and Narrowband-IoT networks that come with data plans.
The Morse design incorporates 1 to 8 Mbytes flash, uses private keys for secure boot and cloud authentication, and fits in a 6 × 6 QFN package. De Nil boasts that it was created from a clean sheet of paper with novel filters and accelerators and no third-party IP blocks.
“The .11ah standard has stringent radio requirements with relatively wide bandwidth, so wide dynamic range is needed to deal with interference and OFDM requirements to get the best performance and lowest power,” he said.
The design uses multiple 32-bit RISC-V cores, customized to act as wireless signal processors. “Using open-source cores has really accelerated our design … [without them,] we would have needed Arm processors and negotiated royalties — instead, we took open-source RTL and added accelerators,” he said.
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