Synaptics Matter-compliant SoC offers triple connectivity

  • February 22, 2022
  • Steve Rogerson

California-based Synaptics has launched a Matter-compliant Triple Combo SoC with integrated Wifi 6 and 6E, Bluetooth 5.2 and 802.15.4 Thread for seamless IoT connectivity.

It is said to simplify product development while supporting 600Mbit/s video and data, low-power Thread communications, and users’ need for frictionless, platform-agnostic device setup and interoperability.

The SYN4381 Triple Combo system on chip (SoC) is said to be the first to combine Wifi 6 and 6E (802.11ax with extended 6GHz operation), Bluetooth 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 SynFi software simplifies product development and reduces time to market, while accelerating the transition to seamless, secure and scalable connectivity between devices across heterogeneous IoT networks, regardless of platform, OEM or brand.

The typical smart home comprises devices from multiple vendors with various wireless interfaces and communication protocols. Device developers choose these for their suitability to specific functions, such as high-speed video or data (wifi), low-power sensor and control networks (802.15.4 with Zigbee or Thread), or point-to-point communications for audio or file transfers (Bluetooth). That these devices cannot interoperate is a constant source of frustration for end users as it prevents them from enjoying the promise of a seamlessly interactive smart home.

Instead of forcing developers and end users to choose between the various RF interfaces or walled garden brand ecosystems, the SYNA4381 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 wifi network.

Developers can focus on their application instead of the intricacies of inter-platform communications, thereby simplifying development and accelerating device time to market. End users get simplified setup and seamless control of all their smart home devices.

The SYN4381 has Wifi 6E data rates up to 600Mbit/s, as well as transmit power and receive sensitivity that enable sustained high throughput over an extended range for full-home coverage. Along with proximity detection using HADM, its dual-mode BT 5.2 radio supports best-in-class Wifi, Bluetooth and 802.15.4 coexistence performance. Built-in support for the Thread networking protocol allows devices 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 chipsets, reducing 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. Fuelling the need for multi-standard connectivity is the growing work-from-anywhere (WFA) trend as well as the need for devices from multiple OEMs and brands to be interoperable to reduce user frustration.

“Synaptics is an established leader in wireless combo today with excellent traction at our customers for a wide range of applications such as multimedia streaming, gaming, surveillance cameras and drones, just to mention a few,” said Alex Chou, senior vice president at Synaptics. “The Triple Combo is the next logical step towards 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.”

The SYN4381 Triple Combo is sampling now.