At last week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Cypress Semiconductor announced production availability of a combination solution that delivers 2x2 MIMO 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity to vehicles, enabling multiple users to connect and stream different content to their devices simultaneously.
The new Cypress CYW89359 combo solution is said to be the industry’s first to implement Real Simultaneous Dual Band (RSDB) technology, which enables two unique data streams to run at full throughput simultaneously, by integrating two complete Wi-Fi subsystems into a single chip. The solution combines 2.4-GHz Wi-Fi, 5-GHz 802.11ac Wi-Fi and a Bluetooth engine capable of dual-mode Bluetooth/Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE).
“People now expect to enjoy the same connectivity, rich multimedia content and user experience in a vehicle that they get at home,” says Brian Bedrosian, vice president of marketing for the IoT Business Unit at Cypress. “Cypress’ new CYW89359 combo solution has made the vision of all the passengers in a car connecting at once and each streaming their own high-fidelity video and audio content a reality. “
Automakers also can leverage in-car Wi-Fi to deliver software upgrades and new automotive features. WiFi further forms the basis for Dedicated Short-Range Communication (DSRC) technology, which is expected to play a key role in Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) communications making possible smart infrastructure for traffic management and eventually enabling the self-driving vehicle.
Jeff Baer, senior director, product marketing, Cypress IoT Business Unit gave this reporter a demonstration of the combination solution at CES, basing it around Apple’s CarPlay, which works with a car’s controls — knobs, buttons, touchpad, or touchscreen—to provide smartphone functionality while eyes and hands stay focused on driving. The Cypress solution is, however, equally at home with other automotive systems mirroring phone/tablet displays (e.g., Android Auto and Mirrorlink),
The RSDB architecture of the CYW89359 combo solution allows CarPlay applications and a Wi-Fi Hotspot to operate concurrently without the performance degradation caused by real-time switching between radio frequency (RF) bands, which is normally required by today’s devices.
The CYW89359 is fully automotive qualified with AECQ-100 grade-3 validation and supports infotainment and telematics applications such as smartphone screen-mirroring, content streaming and Bluetooth voice connectivity in car kits.
The Cypress CYW89359 integrates two complete Wi-Fi subsystems and a Bluetooth subsystem on a single infotainment chip.
Baer noted that the combination unit was an outgrowth of the 2016 acquisition in which Cypress Semiconductor acquired Broadcom’s Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Zigbee IoT product lines, intellectual property, and developer ecosystem. He gave as an application example a situation where you have multiple smartphones in the car with different people wanting seamless execution of different wireless apps without having to utilize cellular service. With two complete Wi-Fi subsystems, he said, CYW89359 can handle streaming video on 5GHZ, audio on 2.4GHZ and a conference call on Bluetooth all simultaneously and without the issues that would be created if you had to switch back and forth between bands. Baer described the CYW89359 combo as the highest performing product currently in the company’s Wi-Fi/Bluetooth portfolio.
The CYW89359 follows Cypress' earlier introduction of the CYW43012 single-chip, low power, IEEE 802.11n-compliant, IEEE 802.11ac WLAN Wi-Fi capable chip with integrated Bluetooth 5.0 for IoT applications that require small-form-factor designs. The company offers combo solutions for both 1x1 SISO with up to 433 Mbps PHY data rates and 2x2 MIMO with up to 867 Mbps PHY data rates. These solutions can be coupled with external MCUs from various vendors or Linux on applications processors to implement a complete Wi-Fi + Bluetooth system. Many of the Wi-Fi + Bluetooth combos are supported on Cypress' WICED Wi-Fi Software Development Kit (SDK) that provides code examples, tools and development support.