Sub-GHz WiFi chip samples for IoT

Sub-GHz WiFi chip samples for IoT

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By Nick Flaherty

US startup Morse Micro is sampling its sub-GHz long range WiFi chip for applications in the Internet of Things.

The IEEE 802.11ah Wi-Fi HaLow standard allows operation in the unlicensed bands below 1GHz to reduce power consumption and provide longer range for industrial IoT applications.

The MM6104 SoC supports 1, 2 and 4 MHz channel bandwidth while the higher performance MM6108 SoC supports 1, 2, 4 and 8 MHz bandwidth and is capable of delivering tens of Mbps throughput to support streaming HD video using standard WiFi protocols. These SoCs provide 10 times the range of traditional WiFi chips. Morse is sampling chips and modules to early access customers.

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Using narrow frequency bands in the unlicensed sub-1 GHz spectrum outside the highly congested 2.4 GHz traditional Wi-Fi band, Wi-Fi HaLow signals penetrate obstacles more easily and can extend beyond 1 km, connecting far-flung IoT devices across residential, retail, office park, campus, warehouse and factory environments. Developed specifically for the IoT and supporting the latest WPA3 security, a single Wi-Fi HaLow access point (AP) can connect up to 8,191 devices, simplifying network deployment and reducing costs.

“The massive capacity and extended range of our Wi-Fi HaLow solution, combined with market-leading power efficiency and 8MHz channel throughput, will redefine Wi-Fi connectivity for the IoT,” said Michael De Nil, co-founder and chief executive officer at Morse Micro. “As a co-chair of the Wi-Fi HaLow Task Group, Morse Micro is actively promoting Wi-Fi Alliance certification and progressing in the HaLow certification program. By delivering IEEE 802.11ah-compliant SoC and module samples for evaluation, we’re helping our partners and customers accelerate the market shift to Wi-Fi HaLow technology.”

The MM6108 and MM6104 SoCs integrate the sub-GHz radio, PHY and MAC and offering data rates that range from tens of Mbps to hundreds of Kbps at the farthest range. The radio supports operation in sub-GHz ISM bands worldwide between 750 MHz and 950 MHz.

The MM6108 and MM6104 RF interface provides the option to use on-chip amplification for typical low-power, low-cost IoT devices, or an additional external PCB-mounted power amplifier (PA) or front-end module (FEM) for ultra-long-reach applications. The RF receiver uses a high-linearity low-noise amplifier (LNA).

The low power design, combined with the IEEE 802.11ah standard, enables extended sleep times and lower power consumption for battery-operated client devices, achieving longer battery life durations than other existing IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax generations. A power management unit (PMU) supporting ultra-low-power operation modes.

The chip is available in a 6 mm x 6 mm QFN48 package

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