Qualcomm launches new Wi-Fi enhanced security to extend Snapdragon wear line-up

Qualcomm Inc. announced at COMPUTEX 2016 that its subsidiary, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., is extending its QCA401x connectivity solutions with a new product.

The new QCA4012 chip brings dual band Wi-Fi, enhanced security, low power, and a small size at a price point that best supports the development of connected devices. Qualcomm Technologies also announced the expansion of the QCA401x software ecosystem to include support for HomeKit™, Google Weave™ and AllJoyn®, as well as new cloud providers.

The introduction of the QCA4012 brings dual-band Wi-Fi connectivity to complement the existing QCA4010 single-band solution, making the new chip well-suited for applications in interference-sensitive environments. It also offers increased computing performance, memory and advanced features while minimising size, cost and power consumption.

The QCA4012 integrates low-power Wi-Fi and a fully featured micro-control unit (MCU) in a single-chip solution that combines design flexibility and rich development capabilities with a comprehensive set of hardware interfaces. Detailed features include:

  • Dual Band capable of supporting both 2.4GHz and 5GHz for more robust Wi-Fi connections, with antenna diversity for extended range coverage
  • Full MCU capability with 1.5MB on-chip RAM for future upgradability of features and bug fixes, which is critical for applications with long life cycles
  • Enhanced security with secure boot, over-the-air (OTA) secure software update, anti-rollback, one-time-programmable (OTP) memory and on-chip crypto engine for application-level security
  • Rich interfaces including UART, HS-UART, I2C, I2S, up to 42 GPIOs, PWMs, ADCs, SPI/SDIO to directly interconnect to sensors, actuators, display, lighting and audio components
  • Low power Wi-Fi to support energy efficient applications
  • Pin-compatible part to support I-temp

The QCA401x solutions now also feature pre-integrated software support for Apple’s HomeKit™ and Google’s Weave™ in addition to the AllSeen Alliance’s AllJoyn software framework. This is designed to help address fragmentation in the IoT, by allowing products to connect across different brands and communication platforms. QCA401x helps achieve interoperability between products in the home, making them easier and more secure to use, key benefits to driving wide adoption of smart devices.

In addition, Qualcomm Technologies is providing developers with technical tools and community enablement to help them develop new and innovative solutions for the IoT and accelerate commercialisation. Based on the QCA401x software development kit, cloud service providers such as Ayla, Exosite and IOTA Labs have developed solutions that include cloud agents, API interfaces and other tools to support integration with IoT clouds.

Bill Podrasky, vice president of business development, Ayla Networks
Bill Podrasky, vice president of business development, Ayla Networks

Furthermore, Silex and various other ODMs are working on hardware platforms based on QCA4012. Silex, Lite-on, WNC and WISOL also continue to work with the single-band QCA4010 introduced last year. For additional product information and updates, please go to https://developer.qualcomm.com/get-started/internet-of-things.

“Ayla’s IoT agent support of the QCA401x means that anyone creating connected products using the Qualcomm Technologies IoT processor can connect directly to the Ayla IoT cloud,” said Bill Podrasky, vice president of business development, Ayla Networks. “This collaboration between Qualcomm Technologies and Ayla further simplifies and reduces costs while accelerating time to market for manufacturers creating connected things, including smaller-scale IoT products, such as wearables.”

“We are pleased to join forces with Qualcomm Technologies as a IoT cloud partner at Computex 2016 for the QCA401x product family,” said Hans Rempel, chief executive officer, Exosite. “Exosite’s reliable, secure and scalable IoT platform and business transformation services help companies add connectivity to new and legacy products and bring them to market quickly.”

“IOTA Labs has developed cutting edge IoT solutions integrating Qualcomm Technologies’ latest products with the IOTA Labs platform,” said Amit Singh, director and co-founder, IOTA Labs. “IOTA Labs’s leading edge IoT platform and experience acts as an accelerator for clients to transform their offerings into leading smarter products and services with a lower cost of ownership.”

“Silex is very excited about launching the SX-ULPGN, a QCA401x based cost-effective, ultra-low power MCU + Wi-Fi® pre-certified (FCC/IC/CE) module ideal for IoT/IoE applications,” said Keith Sugawara, vice president of business development, Silex America. “Using SX-ULPGN’s hostless mode, device manufacturers can develop complete IoT/IoE solutions with Wi-Fi connectivity without an external MCU at a cost effective price point. Using our UART AT command option, they can quickly add a serial-to-Wi-Fi converter for existing MCU based designs without porting any host driver.”

Hans Rempel, chief executive officer, Exosite
Hans Rempel, chief executive officer, Exosite

… And extends Snapdragon line-up with new processor, platforms and support for connected kids and elderly

Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., is also introducing the new Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ Wear 1100 processor for the fast growing targeted-purpose wearables segments such as connected kid and elderly watches, fitness trackers, smart headsets, and wearable accessories.

The Snapdragon Wear 1100 processor complements the Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor, which is designed for multi-purpose wearables, and joins the Snapdragon Wear product family.

Snapdragon Wear 1100 is designed for the next generation of targeted-purpose wearable segments where consumers are demanding a smaller size, longer battery life, smarter sensing, secure location, and an always connected experience. This processor excels in meeting these requirements with low power features such as Power Save Mode (PSM), industry leading compact packages, and next gen Cat 1 modem with LTE/3G global band support.

The Snapdragon Wear 1100 also features an integrated applications processor for Linux-based applications and scales to support voice, Wi-Fi®, and Bluetooth®, thus supporting a seamlessly connected experience.

Additionally, the Snapdragon Wear 1100 incorporates the Qualcomm® iZat™ integrated location engine to offer enhanced accuracy and power optimisation through such features as multi-GNSS, cell-ID positioning, and ability to support applications that utilise geo-fencing for safety monitoring. Integrated in the chipset are the hardware cryptographic engine, HW random number generator, and TrustZone, which supports a highly secure environment for consumers. Snapdragon Wear 1100 is commercially available and shipping today.

“We are excited to have established a technology leadership position in the highly innovative wearables ecosystem, where the breadth of products and our connectivity, location and compute solutions bring differentiation to our customers,” said Anthony Murray, senior vice president and general manager, IoT, Qualcomm Technologies International, Ltd. “We are delighted to add Snapdragon Wear 1100 to our Snapdragon Wear family, thus making it easier for customers to develop connected wearables with targeted use cases such as kid and elderly tracking. We are actively working with the broader ecosystem to accelerate wearables innovation and are excited to announce a series of customer collaborations today.”

Qualcomm Technologies announced a series of collaborations with Aricent, Borqs, Infomark, and SurfaceInk who showcased reference platforms based on Snapdragon Wear 2100 and Snapdragon Wear 1100. These platforms represent reference implementations targeting the kid and elderly watch segment and enable OEMs to commercialise in an accelerated fashion.

Walid Negm, chief technology officer, Aricent
Walid Negm, chief technology officer, Aricent

“Aricent is thrilled to collaborate with Qualcomm Technologies and take the Snapdragon 1100 SoC into the consumer wearables segment from gameplay, wellness and safety,” said Walid Negm, chief technology officer, Aricent. “Combining the Aricent ADAPT Wearable Platform with frog’s design and strategy services allows us to accelerate the creation of unique experiences that children and caretakers will enjoy. By wrapping the Snapdragon Wear 1100 with a rich set of modular capabilities such as 3G/LTE, gesture control and interactive apps we enable companies to seize opportunities at the best price and performance.”

“Borqs has strategically invested in IoT for smart connected wearables with tailored solutions for kids, elderly, enterprise and youth,” said George Thangadurai, senior vice president of international business, Borqs. “We are pleased that our close collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies as a Snapdragon Wear platform ecosystem provider has resulted in ready to commercialise innovative reference designs exploiting the leadership features of Qualcomm Technologies’ SoCs. Borqs is delighted that we could accelerate the launch of different wearables from our global OEM partners.”

“Since SK Telecom’s launch of Infomark’s first generation JooN Kid’s Watch in 2014, we have created a trend in Korea for parents to equip their kids with the JooN watch,” said Dr. Choi, chief executive officer, Infomark. “The JooN series of watches provides parents a means for locating and connecting with their child while minimising the distraction and addiction from smartphones. With the adoption of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 2100 in our design, we will launch our third generation JooN watch for SK Telecom in second half of 2016, and further expand our market to North and South America, Europe and other continents.”

“We are excited to team up with Qualcomm Technologies as a Snapdragon Wear platform ecosystem provider, delivering reference designs that will give our customers a head start on their product development,” said Eric Bauswell, founder and chief executive officer, SurfaceInk. “Our work together on WeBandz is just the tip of the iceberg, and we look forward to future products and innovation that will result from this collaboration.”

OEM Products Bring Innovative Experiences to Consumers

In addition to the platform announcements, a number of OEMs launched connected kid watches at the event:

  • Anda Technologies announced plans to launch its kid watch, based on the Borqs reference design, for the Latin America region. “As a father of two young children, I conceived the original idea of creating a symbol-based communications product out of my own need to stay emotionally connected to them throughout the day,” said Jose Delmar, chief executive officer, Anda Technologies. “Our Android-based connected wearable, based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor, offers a plethora of unique functions, innovative design, and top of the line materials, making it unlike any other children’s wearable product available in the marketplace.”
  • inWatch announced two kid watch SKUs, one for boys and another for girls, based on the Borqs reference design, specifically for the China region. “The always-on low power consumption and small size of the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 greatly increase the reliability and enhanced the design of in919,” said Neo Wang, chief executive officer, inWatch. “Children’s watches have two fundamental but important functions: good communication and secure location, and Qualcomm Technologies’ ecosystem support for the Snapdragon Wear 2100 significantly enhances these two core performances of in919.”
  • WeBandz showed off its smart tracking modular device, based on the SurfaceInk design, which can be customised for the kid, elderly, and pet segments in the U.S. “It’s clear to see where the wearables market is headed,” said Ryan Shapiro, founder, WeBandz. “We are fortunate not only to have our hands on the best technology available for wearable tracking, but especially to be working with a great group of people within Qualcomm Technologies who share our vision for the future of wearables.”

    George Thangadurai, senior vice president of international business, Borqs
    George Thangadurai, senior vice president of international business, Borqs

Qualcomm-based Wearable Products Hit a Milestone

Reinforcing Qualcomm Technologies’ product and technology leadership, the company recently announced that more than 100 wearables products are now available with processors from Qualcomm Technologies.

Leading product families such as the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100, CSR102x Bluetooth® Smart 4.2 SoC and Qualcomm® SiRFStar™ location are now incorporated in a variety of innovative products across the range of smart eyewear, smart watches, smart bands, smart headsets, and smart accessories. With the launch of the Snapdragon Wear 1100, customers will now be able to bring additional connected use cases in such targeted devices as kid and elderly watches.

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