The Best Ultra-Low Power Wi-Fi for IoT Applications | Symmetry Blog

Jul 19, 2018

Anyone working on the Internet of Things knows that efficiency is key. Devices cannot afford to waste energy on inefficient processes, and for the most part, the industry has made great advances in refining the interactions that operate the connected world. However, Wi-Fi, one of the most energy-draining processes in IoT, still causes issues for manufacturers. Bluetooth, ZigBee, Z-Wave and a host of other wireless protocols have taken advantage of this to carve out their own market in wireless connectivity.

However, with ultra-low power Wi-Fi, we can expect to see more battery-operated IoT device opt for Wi-Fi connectivity.


What Applications Use Ultra-Low Power Wi-Fi?

While nearly all of IoT can benefit from the used of ultra-low power wi-fi, some specific applications for this in the household include:

  • Security Systems
  • Door Locks
  • Thermostats
  • Garage Door Openers
  • Blinds and Window Covering
  • Lighting Control


Recommended SoC for Ultra-Low Power Wi-Fi

The Silicon Motion FC9000 is a highly integrated ultra-low power Wi-Fi system on a chip (SoC), which contains an 802.11b/g/n radio (PHY), baseband processor, media access controller (MAC), on-chip memory, and a host networking applications processor all on a single silicon die. The SoC enables full offload capabilities, running the entire networking stack on chip, so that no external network processor, CPU, or microcontroller is required, though the SoC may optionally be used with a microcontroller.

VirtualZero™ is a synthesis of breakthrough ultra low power technologies which enables extremely low power operation in the SoC. VirtualZero shuts down every micro element of the chip that is not in use, which allows a near zero level of power consumption when not actively transmitting or receiving data. Such low power operation can deliver a year or more of battery life depending on the application. Advanced algorithms enable staying asleep until the exact moment required to wake up to transmit or receive.

The SoC is built from the ground up for the “Internet of Things” and is ideal for door locks, thermostats, security video cameras, appliances, sprinkler systems, and other devices that comprise the ConnectedHome.

Evaluation boards and a complete software development kit (SDK) are available. The SDK includes sample applications, provisioning apps, AT command library, power management tools, and more.

A fully staffed, highly trained, worldwide application engineering support team is available to help you quickly integrate the SoC and its associated modules into your product.


What are the Benefits & Advantages of Ultra-Low Power Wi-Fi using Silicon Motion FC9000?

Ultra Low Power

  • Breakthrough VirtualZero™ technology
  • Virtually no power consumption in sleep state
  • Enables year-plus battery life

Superior Range

  • Industry leading output power and Rx sensitivity for max range

Highly Integrated SoC

  • 11b/g/n radio PHY, BB/MAC, PA, LNA w/on chip SRAM
  • Up to 72 Mbps, MCS0-7

Full Offload

  • SoC runs full networking OS & TCP/IP stack

Simple Setup & Provisioning

  • Automatically find & configure new devices w/ smartphone app

Complete Software Stack

  • Comprehensive networking software stack

Leading Security

  • Multiple layers of commercial, industrial, and banking grade security
  • Hardware accelerated
  • Digital certificates
  • Elliptic curve encryption
  • NIST Suite B compliant

OTA Firmware Update

  • Enables field deployed updates

Multiple I/Os


eMMC/SD Expanded Memory

  • Data logging, memory intensive applications


Looking to integrate Silicon Motion products with your design? Our Applications Engineers offer free design and technical help for your latest designs. Contact us today!



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Why partner with Symmetry Electronics? Symmetry's technical staff is specially trained by our suppliers to provide a comprehensive level of technical support. Our in-house Applications Engineers provide free design services to help customers early in the design cycle, providing solutions to save them time, money and frustration. Contact Symmetry for more information.


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