Renesas lays out wifi roadmap at Electronica

  • November 23, 2022
  • Steve Rogerson
Sailesh Chittipeddi speaking at last week’s Electronica

Japanese electronics giant Renesas used last week’s Electronica trade show in Munich to lay out is wifi roadmap following its acquisition of Celeno last year.

The company wants to deliver wifi offerings to complement its industrial and IoT products and address client and access point applications for Wifi 6, 6E and 7.

Sailesh Chittipeddi, executive vice president at Renesas, said at the show that IoT had moved from 17% of the company’s revenue in 2019 to 29% in 2021. IoT sales shot up with a 79% CAGR from 2020 to 2022, mostly due to its acquisition of Dialog.

“The major trend,” said Chittipeddi, “is that AI, IoT and 5G are converging. This is going to have a transformative effect on the industry. AI used to be in the cloud but it is now distributed. Intelligence is moving from the cloud to the end product.”

He said Renesas has been transformed into an AIoT power house.

“The transformative area for us will be endpoint intelligence,” he said. “We have more than 200 ecosystem partners in AI.”

At the show, Renesas announced it was delivering production volumes of Wifi 6E access point products with its CL8000 family.

The company is also sampling a 2×2 Wifi and Bluetooth LE combo chip supporting Wifi 6E tri-band (6, 5 and 2.4GHz) switchable radio, 160MHz channel bandwidth and up to 2.4Gbit/s data link speed.

The low-latency, secure chipset includes Bluetooth and BLE 5.2 support, and addresses multimedia streaming applications, IoT gateways and cloud connected devices.

Renesas is also developing a Wifi 6E chipset with patented wifi doppler imaging technology. This depicts the range and doppler signature of people and objects using standard wifi signals. It can eliminate the need for multiple cameras or sensors in home environments and commercial buildings.

For example, it can be used to detect the presence and location of people in a room to redirect and optimise air-conditioning flows, saving on energy costs. Another example could be intrusion detection to secured facilities or connected cameras with motion sensing to activate the camera. The combined connectivity and sensing chip is scheduled for production in the next 18 months.

Wifi 7 should deliver significantly faster throughput by employing faster modulations and double the bandwidth. In the 6GHz band, Wifi 7 could more than the double the maximum speed and increase speeds in the 2.4 and 5GHz band by as much as 30 per cent.

More importantly, some prominent features of Wifi 7 should improve network reliability, latency and user experience. For example, by delivering multi-link operation, devices would monitor multiple links across different bands and provide consolidated operation to optimise interference and retransmission avoidance.

Users would benefit from more reliable networks and from lower and more predictable latency.

Wifi 7 is expected to launch in 2024 with early adoption in mobile phones, computers and networking devices. Broader adoption in IoT, industrial and consumer multimedia applications will follow.

Renesas says its Wifi 7 products will target home networking, IoT, industrial and consumer multimedia devices.

“In the past year, we have completed three acquisitions that significantly augment our ability to sustainably provide intelligence from the cloud to the endpoint,” said Chittipeddi.

These have brought wifi technology from Celeno, low-power connectivity from Dialog and embedded AI from Reality AI.