Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Dialog wifi SoC makes IoT battery life breakthrough

Steve Rogerson
May 13, 2020



Dialog Semiconductor has introduced a low-power wifi networking SoC and two modules that it claims deliver a breakthrough in battery life for wifi connected, battery-powered IoT devices.
 
The UK firm provides battery management, AC-DC power conversion, wifi, Bluetooth Low Energy and industrial ICs. The DA16200 is an integrated, low-power wifi networking SoC, and the two modules leverage Dialog's VirtualZero technology.
 
The rise of IoT products, including connected door locks, thermostats and security video cameras, that require always-on connectivity with a continuous wifi connection has challenged engineers to develop products that don't compromise battery life. The DA16200 is optimised to support such battery-powered IoT devices.
 
The VirtualZero technology enables such a low level of power consumption that even continuously connected devices can typically achieve at least a year of battery life. In fact, three to five years of battery life is common.
 
The SoC uses an algorithm-driven design to provide the lowest power for facilitating an extended battery life, while also maintaining a continuous wifi connection to ensure that end users always maintain control of their devices.
 
The integrated device runs the entire wifi system, security and networking protocol stack, eliminating the need for an external network processor, CPU or microcontroller. It contains an 802.11b/g/n radio (phy), baseband processor, mac, on-chip memory, dedicated encryption engine and an Arm Cortex-M4F host networking applications processor, all on a monolithic silicon die.
 
To achieve extended range without compromising battery life, an integrated power amplifier and low-noise amplifier offer users what is claimed to be industry-leading output power and receiver sensitivity.
 
Alongside the SoC, Dialog is also launching two DA16200-based modules that deliver flexibility and design options for implementing wifi simply and easily, ensuring all users can benefit from the SoC's integration and programmable ease of use. Both modules include 4Mbyte flash memory and all required RF components, including a crystal oscillator, RF-lumped filter and either a chip antenna or a u.FL connector for an external antenna.
 
The modules are certified for worldwide operation, including certifications for FCC, IC, CE, Telec, Korea and SRRC. Additionally, both the SoC and modules are wifi certified for interoperability.
 
"As a proven leader in Bluetooth Low Energy connectivity, shipping upwards of 100 million units annually, these new wifi products further strengthen our position," said Sean McGrath, senior vice president at Dialog Semiconductor. "Delivering wifi on a battery isn't solely about achieving extended battery lifetime, it's about enabling IoT developers to unlock the full potential of smart devices by delivering low-power functionality in conjunction with always-on connectivity. That's the breakthrough the IoT market sorely needs and that the new SoC and modules provide."
 
The SoC and modules are equipped with security protocols, including hardware encryption engine and authentication standards for safeguarding against potential threats. Each product meets WPA/2/3 personal and enterprise standards and features upper layer security for TLS and HTTPs. Additionally, the SoC and modules can be securely booted and debugged and provide secure asset storage.
 
Evaluation boards and a complete software development kit (SDK) are available for the SoC and modules via DigiKey. The SDK includes sample applications, provisioning apps, AT command library and power management tools.