Free Newsletter

Marvell and MediaTek join IoT rush

Mobile chip vendors all racing to the growth promised by connected devices, latest entrants favor ZigBee


Published: 7 June, 2014


In the rush into the IoT, spurred we feel in part by Apple's recent smart home announcements, Marvell and MediaTek are both hoping that their silicon will comprise a large part of the new markets. Both vendors have announced new chips this week, which we'll outline below.

The announcements help secure the position of ZigBee in the IoT ecosystem thanks to the support of these two silicon vendors. The two biggest chip makers, Broadcom and Qualcomm, have both backed Bluetooth and WiFi in favor of ZigBee or Z-Wave. As ZigBee gains ground, it will be interesting to see whether either of the two change their minds.

Marvell has unveiled what it claims is the industry's most complete line of silicon platform solutions, targeting wearables, home automation and security, personal healthcare, automotive, lighting, the industrial internet and more," - so pretty much every 'thing' then. The key part of Marvell's announcement is that the SoCs are Apple compatible and have all been registered as MFi (Made For iPhone) certified, which guarantees that they'll work with Apple's smart home ambitions.

The new product family features the EZ-Connect software platform, and includes the MW300 WiFi, the MB300 Bluetooth and the MZ100 ZigBee microcontrollers. EZ-Connect SDKs and APIs are available to developers, which Marvell says will "save months of software development efforts to leverage the full potential of a built-in microcontroller on the SoC." It's worth pointing out that it's very much in Marvell's interest to make the SoCs easy to use, especially amongst an IoT environment that often features DIY and crowdfunded startup projects.

The MW300 SoC features 802.11n WiFi and has been designed to allow low-power states in standby and reduced power consumption while active. I/O interfaces include SPI, I2C, UART, I2S, PWM, ADC and DAC, which will help developers reduce the bill of materials. An ARM Cortex-M4F drives the unit and should allow it to stream video to other IoT devices - the perfect SoC for an IP security camera.

The MB300 SoC supports dual-mode Bluetooth 4.1, for concurrent Bluetooth Classic and Smart operations. Its I/O scheme is the same as the MW300 but also includes ACOMP, IR, Keyscan and Touch Button. A high resolution Analog to Digital Convertor with direct connectors for microphones provides built-in voice capability for the microcontroller. It also uses the Cortex-M4.

The MZ100, as its name suggests, supports the ZigBee protocol but also the full IEEE 802.15.4 protocol. Based around a Cortex-M3, Marvell says its 10+dB link-budget margin is the best in the industry, and offers the best coexistence with WiFi and Bluetooth. I/O interfaces include SPI, I2C, UART, PWM, ADC, DAC and ACOMP, with a software stack supporting ZLL, ZHA, and 6LoWPAN.

Pages: 1 | 2

Related Stories


  • email story Email
  • print story Print
  • digit digit
  • facebook facebook
  • Twitter Twitter
  • Linked-in Linked-In
  • Comments (0)


Add Comment
No comments yet. Be the first to add a comment!

    BYOD: Market Analysis and Forecasts

    An in-depth insight into the rise of BYOD policies within the enterprise and analysis of the impact the trend will have on IT departments,...

    Voice Command, Control and Search on Mobile Phones: Market Analysis & Forecasts

    This report provides a comprehensive insight into the growing importance of voice command, control and search on handsets, analysing...

    Data Centre Network Equipment: Market Analysis and Forecasts

    This report provides a global assessment of the data centre network equipment market. Besides assessing the key market trends, sub-markets...

    HetNet Market Summary & Forecasts: Macro Cells, Small Cells & Wi-Fi Offload

    Carriers are struggling to cope with the explosion of data traffic on their networks, and the additional deployment of LTE and legacy...

    Over-the-Top Communications: Threats & Opportunities for Mobile Operators

    This report examines the implications of widespread adoption of mobile over-the-top IP communications for mobile operators, handset...

    Portable Gaming Consoles: Market Analysis and Forecasts

    This report provides a global assessment of the PGC market. In addition to assessing the key market drivers, market barriers, vendor...

    Satellite Phones: Will Dual Mode Help the Phoenix Rise from the Ashes?

    Satellite phones have followed an arduous path since their much-hyped launch more than a decade ago. The hype was followed by an e...

    Mobile Widget Platform Market Analysis: Understanding the Business Case and ROI

    This white paper presents an analysis of the mobile widget platform market, as well as metrics supporting a mobile carrier?s busin...


You must be a registered user to post a comment. or
Username *
Email *
Comment *