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Redpine Scores IoT Triple Play

January 9, 2018

Author: Mike Demler

Redpine Signals’ RS14100 processor combines a Cortex-M4 CPU with a complete radio subsystem for three IoT connectivity protocols. The chip includes 802.15.4, Thread/Zigbee, Bluetooth 5, and 802.11n Wi-Fi basebands along with a 2.4GHz transceiver, power amplifier, balun, and receive/transmit switch.

The new processor sports a Cortex-M4F CPU running at a maximum 180MHz clock frequency. The CPU has a 16KB instruction cache, and it includes Arm’s optional single-precision floating-point unit and memory-protection unit (MPU). The RS14100 implements always-on sensor-hub functions that use the Cortex-M4 in an ultra-low-power mode.

For networking and security, the chip integrates ThreadArch, a proprietary Redpine CPU with four threads. The ThreadArch subsystem comprises a trusted execution environment (TEE), which works with a set of integrated Suite-B crypto accelerators. The processor comes with a random-number generator and CRC functions, and a physically unclonable function (PUF) provides a unique device ID and key storage.

The RS14100 is well suited to a wide range of IoT applications. Its Wi-Fi radio is fast enough to handle video streaming in security devices, yet it delivers long battery life thanks to its Wake-Fi feature. The Zigbee/Thread capability is a good fit for smart-home devices and industrial systems. The Bluetooth radio supports the latest version-5 mesh standards, and it’s useful for enabling configuration and control from a smartphone. The security features and TEE are attractive for point-of-sale and medical devices. By offering higher integration in a smaller package than its competitors, Redpine’s first processor hits a solid triple in the IoT processor market.

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