Renesas adds doppler, gigabit WiFi 7 to roadmap

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Renesas Electronics has unveiled plans for WiFi chips using the latest WiFi 6/6E and WiFi 7 protocols following its acquisition of Celano last year.

WiFi 7 is expected to launch in 2024 with early adoption in mobile phones, computers and networking devices. Broader adoption in IoT, industrial and consumer multimedia applications will follow. Renesas plans chips for home networking, IoT, industrial and consumer multimedia devices.

Other companies such as Mediatek and Broadcom have already demonstrated WiFI7 devices.

Renesas is currently delivering production volumes of high-performance WiFi 6E access point solutions with its CL8000 family.

The company is also sampling a powerful, highly integrated, 2×2 WiFi/BLE combo chip supporting WiFi 6E tri-band switchable radio (6GHz, 5GHz & 2.4GHz), 160MHz channel bandwidth and up to 2.4Gbit/s Data Link Speed.

The low-latency, highly secure chipset includes Bluetooth and BLE 5.2 support and is aimed at multimedia streaming applications, IoT gateways and cloud connected devices.

Renesas is also developing a WiFi 6E chipset with patented WiFi Doppler Imaging technology. This captures the range and doppler signature of people and objects using standard WiFi signals. This eliminates the need for multiple cameras or sensors in home environments and commercial buildings. 

For example, it can be used to detect the presence and location of people in a room to redirect and optimize air-conditioning flows, saving on energy costs. Another example could be intrusion detection to secured facilities or connected cameras with motion sensing to activate the camera. The combined connectivity and sensing chip is currently scheduled for production in the next 18 months.

WiFi 7, also known as Extremely High Throughput (EHT), will deliver significantly faster throughput by employing faster modulations and double the bandwidth. In the 6GHz band, WiFi 7 would more than the double the maximum speed and will increase speeds in the 2.4GHz and 5GHz band by as much as 30 percent.

With Multi Link Operation, WiFi 7 devices would monitor multiple links across different bands and provide consolidated operation to optimize interference and retransmission avoidance. Users will benefit from more reliable networks and from lower and more predictable latency.

 “Many recent developments are converging to create an era of market revolution in residential and enterprise WiFi,” says Andrew Spivey, Industry Analyst at ABI Research.

“Driven by a desire to take advantage of the new 6 GHz spectrum, which offers the prospect of greatly improved throughput and latency as well as reduced congestion on legacy bands, penetration of 6 GHz into WiFi devices will rise rapidly in coming years,” he said.

“Meanwhile, the flourishing of new forms of WiFi value added services such as WiFi motion detection and the adoption of WiFi 7 access points will accelerate following the protocols standardization in 2024, and just two years later, most 6 GHz enabled access point shipments will be supporting WiFi 7.”

“Renesas can now offer truly differentiated WiFi solutions that provide maximum performance, security and cost-competitiveness in combination with our industry-leading MCU and MPU offerings,” said Gilad Rozen, Celeno CEO and Vice President of WiFi Connectivity in Renesas’ IoT and Infrastructure Business Unit.

“In the past year, we have completed three acquisitions that significantly augment our ability to sustainably provide intelligence from the cloud to the endpoint,” said Sailesh Chittipeddi, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the IoT and Infrastructure Business Unit of Renesas.

“With WiFi solutions from Celeno, low-power connectivity solutions from Dialog and embedded AI solutions from Reality AI added to our industry-leading embedded computing, analog and sensor portfolio, Renesas now offers customers complete, end-to-end solutions that are second to none.”

WiFi 6 reference designs are under development, including a Video IP Phone, Smart Home Security Terminal, and the expansion of the Renesas Quick-Connect IoT Platform to include a WiFi 6 USB stick for users to rapidly build prototypes.

A Quick-Connect WiFi 6 and Bluetooth Low Energy 5.2 module is planned for IoT applications that need a high bandwidth, high performance WiFi 6 Client with 2×2 MIMO. This fully integrated, RF-qualified module will feature a flexible footprint with both PCIe and USB interfaces, saving engineering time and streamlining procurement for faster time-to-market.

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