Synaptics unveils Triple Combo system on chip

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Synaptics has announced the SYN4381, a Triple Combo system on chip (SoC).

The chip is the first to combine Wi-Fi 6/6E (802.11ax with extended 6 GHz operation), Bluetooth 5.2 (BT 5.2) with BLE Audio and High Accuracy Distance Measurement (HADM), and IEEE 802.15.4 with built-in support for the Thread protocol and Matter application layer.

The SoC and its supporting SynFiTM software have been developed to simplify product development and reduce time to market, while accelerating the transition to seamless, secure, and scalable connectivity between devices across heterogeneous Internet of Things (IoT) networks, regardless of platform, OEM, or brand.

With a typical smart home comprising of devices from multiple vendors with a variety of wireless interfaces and communication protocols, many devices cannot interoperate which is proving frustrating for end users and undermines the concept of the seamlessly interactive smart home.

So, instead of forcing developers and end users to choose between the various RF interfaces or “walled garden” brand ecosystems, the SYNA4381 Triple Combo combines all three primary interfaces and adds support for Matter. Matter is a unified, standards-based communication protocol that once deployed across all devices enables secure interoperability - regardless of which network the devices use. For example, the user can control window blinds connected to a Zigbee network using commands given to a smart speaker running over the home’s Wi-Fi network.

According to Synaptics, developers will now be able to focus on their application instead of the intricacies of inter-platform communication, simplifying development and accelerating device time to market.

The SYN4381 offers industry-leading Wi-Fi performance, with Wi-Fi 6E data rates up to 600 Mbps, as well as transmit power and receive sensitivity that together enable sustained high throughput over an extended range for full-home coverage.

Along with proximity detection using HADM, its fully featured dual-mode BT 5.2 radio supports best-in-class Wi-Fi/Bluetooth/802.15.4 coexistence performance. Built-in support for the Thread networking protocol allows devices using the SYN4381 to connect to a smart home’s secure, low-power mesh network, while acting as a Thread Router node.

The SynFi wireless stack allows developers to use the same software across Triple Combos and future Synaptics Wi-Fi/BLE/802.15.4 chipsets, further reducing overall time to market.

According to market research firm IoT Analytics, the number of connected IoT devices is expected to grow to 12.3 billion by the end of 2021, and 27 billion by 2025 and, in the process, will fuel the need for multi-standard connectivity and interoperability.

Commenting Alex Chou, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Wireless Connectivity Division at Synaptics said, “The Triple Combo is the next logical step toward a seamless user experience, while providing industry-leading performance across three of the most popular and widely used networking technologies in the smart home. We expect the market to quickly begin the transition to Triple Combos with launches expected by the end of 2022.”