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Future-Proofing the Internet of Things with Bluetooth Smart Ready | Cypress Semiconductor

Future-Proofing the Internet of Things with Bluetooth Smart Ready

How will the billions of “things” that are part of the “Internet of Things” get connected?

It’s still a bit of a wide-open playing field, but it’s pretty evident that most of these devices will wirelessly connect to smartphones, cars, computers or each other via some flavor of Bluetooth low energy, also called Bluetooth Smart.

“We can credibly say that Bluetooth Smart technology is what has made the Internet of Things a reality,” Suke Jawanda, chief marketing officer at the Bluetooth Special Interest Group, told the Tech Radar blog. “Because Bluetooth Smart is standards-based, inexpensive and already shipping in billions of devices every year, it’s going to be a major part of making the IoT a practical reality.”

That’s why Broadcom’s Bluetooth technology – which spans the WICED™ platform with options for Bluetooth and its low-energy counterparts, Bluetooth Smart and Bluetooth Smart Ready — are seen as critical enablers of the IoT.

The company’s newest WICED™ product offering, announced today at San Francisco’s Internet of Things World event, makes implementing Bluetooth Smart a lot less costly and time-consuming for IoT innovators.

The BCM20706 is a dual-mode system-on-a-chip that integrates Bluetooth, Bluetooth Smart and a power amplifier onto a single chip, boosting the capacity and range of the Bluetooth connection. That means more use cases for IoT standbys such as home automation, audio, industrial, wearables and other markets.

It also enables twice as much data transmission over a Bluetooth Smart link with a power-efficient 2Mbps mode, a feature that will become important for future generations of the Bluetooth standard.

Get more details in the press release.

“Broadcom continues its IoT leadership by taking performance to the next level with our new WICED Smart Ready chip,” said Broadcom’s Brian Bedrosian, Senior Director, Product Marketing, Wireless Connectivity. “In addition to doubling data rates for devices, we have eliminated the need for an external MCU, saving costs and reducing time-to-market for OEMs and developers creating the next great applications.”

A quick primer for the non-technical types: Bluetooth is a short-range wireless connectivity protocol that discovers and pairs two devices together for data to be transmitted. Bluetooth Smart, which sips power incrementally and goes to sleep when not in use, is a boon for devices that don’t have a lot of real estate for batteries, such as fitness bands.

Bluetooth Smart Ready, on the other hand, combines Bluetooth classic with Bluetooth Smart in a single device. This is important for connecting newer devices to older ones (such as an iPhone 3GS), because they are two different connection types.

Having Bluetooth capabilities ready for out-of-the-box development is key, said Sid Shaw, senior product line manager for Internet of Things business in the Broadband and Connectivity Group at Broadcom.

“Our goal is to help customers across all tiers to create a device and applications that can easily connect via a standards-base technology to a vast ecosystem of devices that people already own,” he said.

In related news, Broadcom also announced that its WICED™ software development kit (SDK) now offers full HomeKit support. As the first company to meet HomeKit technical specifications for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Smart, Broadcom enables IoT innovators to create IoT products that are HomeKit compliant and can be controlled from a HomeKit-supported app on their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

For more coverage from the IoT World show in San Francisco, follow @Broadcom or #IoTWorld2015 on Twitter or visit our Facebook page.

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