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Qualcomm Unveils Low-Power Wi-Fi Platform For Major Home Appliances And Consumer Electronics

Stocks in this article: QCOM

SAN DIEGO, Sept. 6, 2013 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) today announced that its subsidiary, Qualcomm Atheros, Inc., launched a new chip family as part of its portfolio of low-power Wi-Fi solutions designed to connect a multitude of devices that comprise the Internet of Everything. The QCA4002 and QCA4004 networking platforms include the IP stack and full networking services on the chip to enable customers to add Wi-Fi to virtually any product with minimal development effort or cost. The platforms feature an on-chip processor and memory, which are designed to eliminate the need for a system controller that adds to product cost, complexity and power consumption. Using the QCA4004, customers can now write their own applications on the Qualcomm Atheros platform instead of simply using it for Wi-Fi connectivity.

Target applications for the QCA4002/4004 platforms include major home appliances (such as washing machines, air conditioners, hot water heaters, and so on), consumer electronics, and sensors and smart plugs for home lighting, security and automation systems. The QCA4004 has been incorporated into a washer/dryer combo and an air conditioner unit by Haier, a global leader in home appliances and consumer electronics.

The QCA4002/4004 platforms also feature the AllJoyn™ software framework, which enables the "Internet of things near me" by providing seamless connectivity and communications among a diverse set of products, applications and services to create compelling, proximal user experiences. The AllJoyn software framework provides basic building blocks for maximum flexibility and includes a set of services that, by design, are very simple and address near-universal requirements for users to interact with nearby things: onboarding, notifications, audio streaming and control.

Haier and Qualcomm Atheros will demonstrate two connected appliances based on the QCA4004 platform during IFA 2013 in Berlin September 6-12: a washer/dryer combo in the Haier exhibit space at IFA, and an air conditioner unit in the Qualcomm exhibit space at the Hotel Concorde Berlin. "Because of the turnkey nature of Qualcomm Atheros' low-power Wi-Fi connectivity platform, Haier has been able to quickly develop cutting-edge appliances that are ready for large-scale distribution," said Lily Li, general manager of Qingdao Haier Smart Home Technology Limited. "We fully expect these connected appliances to be popular among consumers who want the convenience of receiving remote notifications and being able to set commands through their mobile devices."

"Part of Qualcomm's vision for the Internet of Everything is to provide low power, efficient connectivity as its enabling foundation. Qualcomm Atheros is making standards-based Wi-Fi feasible for a multitude of new devices in the home and office," said Jason Zheng, senior vice president, Qualcomm Atheros. "The QCA4002 and QCA4004 platforms enable lower power usage and elimination of host processors to ensure better usage and simpler implementation with ease of configuration and interoperability, a first in the industry."

Both the QCA4002 and QCA4004 include a Green TX feature that allows devices to reduce the transmit power by up to one-half when in close proximity of another device or access point. This dynamic power adjustment, along with sleep modes consuming less than 1mW, allows for more efficient communication and longer battery life (in applications such as remote controls, thermostats and sensors). The low power sleep operation is handled through an onboard wake-up manager that enables self-wake and sleep management on the platform which can further reduce sleep power (down to microamps). Additionally, the platforms can wake from suspend four times faster than other products in the category, which reduces the total average power profile and any system latency.

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