Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Compact, Efficient And Powerful Wi-Fi HaLow System On Chip

By Akanksha Sondhi Gaur

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This compact, energy-efficient marvel redefines affordability and power efficiency, making it a formidable competitor in the world of Wi-Fi HaLow SoCs. 

Newracom introduced its latest offering, the NRC7394:Wi-Fi HaLow System on a Chip (SoC). This  SoC is engineered to excel in affordability, energy efficiency, and compactness. It showcases advancements in power efficiency, size reduction, and cost-effectiveness derived from extensive experience. As a result, it stands as a formidable competitor among the existing Wi-Fi HaLow SoCs available. Wi-Fi HaLow, operating in the 750-950 MHz spectrum, offers extended range capabilities and caters to many IoT industries, including building automation, smart homes, industrial IoT, smart cities, and wearables.

Key features include:

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  • CPU: ARM Cortex-M3 
  • Memory: 32KB boot ROM, 1,088KB system SRAM, XIP with cache (2 ways, 16KB), 48KB retention
  • IEEE 802.11ah Wi-Fi HaLow compliant SoC
  • Fully Integrated on-chip 11ah modem, RF transceiver, single CSupport for Hosted
  • Supports 1/2/4 MHz bandwidth
  • Up to 15 Mbps data rate
  • Various peripheral interfaces for sensor device

It is a compact and highly integrated System on a Chip (SoC) that seamlessly combines baseband (MAC & PHY), a Sub 1 GHz radio transceiver, and ADC/DAC components within a petite 6mm x 6mm 48-QFN package. This SoC is in complete alignment with the IEEE 802.11ah standard, representing an extended-range and energy-efficient iteration of the Wi-Fi standard. Its versatile feature set supports channel bandwidths of 1/2/4 MHz, resulting in a PHY rate ranging from 150 Kbps to 15 Mbps. This broad range of data rates enables the NRC7394 to cater to various applications, from low-rate sensors to high-rate surveillance camera systems.

It has two host interfaces, HSPI and UART, and a diverse range of peripherals, including general SPI, I2C, UART, PWM, auxiliary ADC, and GPIOs. Notably, the low-leakage retention memory within the NRC7394 can be effectively utilised for storing essential code and data required to achieve swift wake-up from deep sleep mode. It comes equipped with an all-in-one Power Amplifier, delivering an impressive +17dBm TX output power. Moreover, it is designed to seamlessly accommodate a range of external FEM (front-end module) devices for applications that demand elevated transmission power. It can serve as both an Access Point (AP) and a Station device (STA), supporting various network architectures, including mesh configurations. This SoC can operate with an external processor in Hosted and “AT Command” modes or harness its on-chip processing and IO capabilities for energy-efficient Standalone operation.


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