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Imagination announces next-generation IEEE 802.11ax/Wi-Fi 6 IP for low-power applications

IMG iEW400 offers customers improved robustness, throughput and power-saving

London, England; 2nd June 2020 – Imagination Technologies announces the launch of IMG iEW400, its latest IP based on Imagination’s Ensigma Wi-Fi technology. iEW400 delivers integrated RF and baseband, designed for low-power and battery-powered applications such as the internet of things (IoT), wearables and hearables.

iEW400 is based on the latest IEEE 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 standard, bringing improved robustness, throughput and power-saving through a range of new features, including:

  • 20/40MHz operation: Enables low-data-rate applications to conserve battery power
  • Target Wake Time (TWT): Extends deep-sleep periods, dramatically improving current consumption and extending battery life
  • Orthogonal frequency-division multiple access (OFDMA): Enables bandwidth to be segmented for the efficient transmission of data, reducing power consumption, whilst improving robustness and data throughput
  • Basic Service Set (BSS) Coloring: Increases robustness in dense environments, enabling improved data throughput
  • Dual sub-carrier modulation (DCM): Enables increased robustness for low data rates
  • Optional upper MAC available to offload work from the host processor to reduce total system power consumption
  • Optional power management unit (PMU) supporting 2.7-4.5V DC supply optimised for low-power

Richard Edgar, Senior Director of Product Management, Imagination Technologies, says; “In recent years Wi-Fi has seen strong growth for battery-powered applications, driven by increased adoption of low-power IEEE 802.11n devices. IEEE 802.11ax enables these products to enjoy improved power consumption and efficiency, along with enhanced performance and robustness. This makes low-power Wi-Fi 6 devices the next step in the evolution of Wi-Fi in battery-constrained applications.”

Gerry Conlon, Executive Vice President Ensigma, Imagination Technologies, adds; “Wi-Fi 6 IP has the potential to completely disrupt the connected IoT sector. By providing a total solution, comprising of integrated RF and baseband from a single source, any microcontroller company wishing to enter the connected MCU market can easily do so with iEW400. Furthermore, it can be paired with our Bluetooth Low Energy solutions for a true Wi-Fi 6 plus Bluetooth Low Energy v5.2 combo IC.”

iEW400 is a complete, ready-to-market solution that includes integrated RF, AFE, baseband PHY and MAC. It is supplied as hard macro for analogue and synthesisable RTL for digital, enabling maximum flexibility and the fastest time to market along with reduced development costs.

iEW400 is available for licensing now. Key features include:

  • Complete 2.4/5GHz low-power Wi-Fi solution
  • Silicon-ready design, with a 6.84 mm2 die area, including analogue pads, in TSMC 40nm LP
  • Internal power amplifiers, LNA and switch
  • Sleep controller to ensure overall system-level power consumption reduction
  • Optional integrated power management unit (PMU)
  • Supports Station, Soft AP and Wi-Fi Direct operating modes

Industry support

Edgar Figueroa, President & CEO, Wi-Fi Alliance; says; “Wi-Fi Alliance® members are leveraging the latest generation of Wi-Fi® to bring new, low power Wi-Fi 6 solutions to users and expand the variety of environments where Wi-Fi can be used. We are excited to see Wi-Fi 6 innovations from companies such as Imagination Technologies deliver improved battery life and greater efficiency to Wi-Fi users so they can connect new applications, including those for the burgeoning IoT market.”

Andrew Zignani, Principal Analyst, ABI Research, says; “The emergence of IoT-centric Wi-Fi 6 IP and chipsets that can more efficiently and reliably address wearable, smart home, industrial, and other IoT market requirements, represents a key milestone in enabling the next generation of low-power Wi-Fi. Solutions such as iEW400 will become increasingly critical in providing these devices with longer lifespans, improved reliability and robustness, and enhanced performance in dense deployment scenarios.”

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