In today’s fully connected world, living in a
means interacting with many wireless protocols at once. Lighting systems, heating and cooling
systems, security systems, entertainment systems – just about every aspect of home life can now be
enhanced and controlled wirelessly. Despite all the benefits that wireless brings, wireless
connectivity in today’s home has not been headache free. Dealing with so many different,
incompatible wireless protocols on a single home network can be challenging, even for the most
technically advanced Smart Home enthusiast.
But, as my colleague, Ron Martino, explained in a
the new, widely backed industry standard for Smart Home interoperability, called
Matter , is designed to
change that. By standardizing on the IP protocol – the same protocol used to run the internet –
Matter makes it possible for all those wireless protocols to work together in harmony.
The Next Wireless Revolution
To help drive the adoption of Matter, NXP has been quick to introduce solutions that support the
new standard. At CES 2022, we introduced the IW612, the industry’s first monolithic tri-radio
solution, equipped with
Wi-Fi® 6, Bluetooth 5.2, and 802.15.4. It’s designed to support Matter with unprecedented coexistence
performance and radio integration, for seamless Smart Home connectivity.
By any measure, the IW612 is a triumph of engineering. Now, admittedly, I’m a bit biased, since
I’ve seen first hand what our design teams have been able to accomplish in such a short time.
Anyone who has designed with wireless knows that RF engineering is notoriously hard and combining
radios in a single solution only makes the challenge more difficult. Successful RF integration
requires a delicate balance of internal functionality, with special attention paid to
hard-to-control parameters, such as gain values, noise factors, crosstalk attenuation and
spectral efficiency, while also considering external factors, such as thermal constraints,
chip-package and package-board interfaces, and other non-functional properties that can impact
performance and long-term reliability. The need to pass regulatory requirements adds another layer
of complexity, too, by imposing limits on things like radiated and conducted emissions and
The seamless and interoperable smart home
IW612 for Smarter Smart Home Products
As the basis for border routers that support Matter, the
IW612 combines the
most advanced versions of the three most commonly deployed wireless protocols in Smart Home: Wi-Fi
6 (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5.2 (802.15.1) and 802.15.4 (which covers a range of low-power,
low-data-rate wireless personal area networks, or WPANs, including Thread).
It enables simultaneous transmit and receive, for higher bandwidth, improved network efficiencies
and reduced latency in smart home solutions. The IW612 also integrates the critical RF front end
components including +20 dBm power amplifiers (PAs), thereby maximizing range, lowering the bill
of materials (BoM) and reducing supply-chain issues.
By offering a single chip solution for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Thread, the IW612 makes it possible
to integrate the capabilities of a Thread Border Router into everyday products already familiar to
consumers, such as display hubs, smart speakers, voice assistants and thermostats. With
its unique Tri-radio integration of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and 802.15.4 the IW612 is able to deliver
market leading performance and coexistence, along with BOM integration to reduce cost and board
Go Deeper. Learn more about
Matter, the IW612 and how
NXP is enabling the future of Smart Home.
High-Level IoT Protection
Another key capability of IW612 is the integration of advanced IoT security features including
secure boot and firmware updates, key generation and lifecycle management as well as hardware
encryption supporting the latest cryptographic algorithms. The IW612 supports the latest security
standards required by Bluetooth, Thread, Wi-Fi and Matter wireless protocols.
Pre-Integrated and Validated Software
NXP eases the burden of host software integration by providing validated radio drivers that simply
work across NXP’s broad portfolio of application processors and microcontrollers. This gives
product manufacturers the flexibility to select the ideal host processor to meet their product
requirements and enables them to focus on application development and product innovation.
The IW612 in Action
If you are in Las Vegas for CES 2022 this week, then you may have seen our Smart Home demo, which
highlights Matter and showcases the IW612 in the form of a Thread border router and a Matter
controller. The demo shows how switches, lights, sensors, door locks, smart plugs, smart speakers
and other Smart Home devices can easily be controlled and monitored using a Wi-Fi network. It
underscores NXP’s ability to provide all the necessary components for building secure devices that
“just work” with each other, so device manufacturers can finally deliver on the promise of the
truly smart home.
Matter Makes Smart Home Smarter
Interoperability, with built-in security, is why those of us working in Smart Home have been so
quick to support Matter. Rarely have so many global brands, from such a broad spectrum of industry
segments, rallied around a single cause, and it’s easy to see why: by simplifying development,
increasing compatibility, and ensuring security and privacy, Matter will create truly smarter
At NXP, we’ve dedicated significant resources to helping Matter succeed, and we’ve been heavily
involved in the specification’s technical definition. Building on our broad-based leadership in
developing IoT standards, we’ve contributed to key areas of the Matter specification, including
issues of security, platforms, certification and source code. As a true one-stop-shop for all
things relating to the IoT – covering every aspect of compute, connectivity and security – we’ve
given our full support to every Matter use case.
A True Milestone
Years from now, when the history of Smart Home is written, I think 2022 will be viewed as a
breakout year and the start of a new era. That’s because the new Matter standard, with its
emphasis on interoperability and security, is what Smart Home has needed to move forward. It’s
deeply gratifying to think that NXP development teams, and their remarkable achievement in
producing the IW612, will help make that future a reality.