Imagination Technologies’ new Ensigma Whisper radio-processing unit (RPU) family targets Wi-Fi 802.11n and Bluetooth Smart. The C5400 works with Wi-Fi 802.11n and the C5300 addresses Bluetooth Smart while the C5401 (Fig. 1) handles both. All are designed for very low-power operation.
The C5400 is designed to deliver Wi-Fi 802.11n support for power levels on par with Bluetooth Classic. It allows low-power devices to handle audio and video streaming. The C5300 Bluetooth Smart IP is for ultra-low power, short-range connectivity. This type of functionality is used in devices like sensor hubs, wearables, and home automation.
Imagination’s PowerGearing technology optimizes static and dynamic power consumption. It includes implementation of a highly optimized listen mode as well as fast wake-up and sleep times. It also supports rapid sync convergences. Imagination has also optimized the data path width within the architecture between sub blocks to allow lower operating frequencies when providing functionality like streaming.
The Ensigma Whisper family can be combined with microcontrollers like Imagination’s Aptiv line (Fig. 2) as well as third-party CPUs. It is possible to implement a system to handle sensor control and data acquisition without the need for a host processor.
The advantage of using the Aptiv core is the tight integration that Imagination has developed between the RPU and the CPU. Implementations are available with Linux support. The Ensigma Whisper platform can also support Imagination’s FlowCloud connectivity software. This includes features like event logging, asynchronous messaging, and device and user management.