Redpine Signals: Spearheading the Wireless IoT Revolution

Venkat Mattela, Chairman & CEO Herbert Spencer, the English philosopher and political theorist, maneuvered the phrase “Survival of the fittest” in order to draw a comparison between his economic theories and Darwin's biological theories. There is an unswerving bearing between Spencer’s rendition and that of Venkat Mattela, Chairman and CEO at Redpine Signals as he remarks, “When the market matures, consolidation is bound to happen.” It happened with the mobile chipset players where at one point there were hundreds and now, there are about four. Today, in the wireless IoT space, where the market is nowhere close to maturity, there are a few thousand vendors in areas ranging from chipsets and systems to modules. “By 2020, it will be ‘Survival of the fittest’ all over again as the number of wireless IoT solution providers will shrink from the thousands to single-digits,” predicts Mattela. “We, at Redpine, endeavor to be among the ones standing.”

‘Inch Deep Mile Wide’ Phenomenon

Myriad technologies and components from a multitude of vendors constitute the current IoT space. The market space exhibits an ‘Inch Deep Mile Wide’ phenomenon—negligible volume for any one device. “Due to this market-specific phenomenon, vendors find it difficult to build a sustainable business when a solution provider or consumer has demands on cost reduction,” says Mattela. There are challenges, he admits, “It’s not about acquiring more customers but molding a sustainable business in the wireless IoT landscape.” Furnishing an effective value proposition is critical to this phenomenon as a result of which Redpine has invented mechanisms in productization and support as keys to unlock success in the wireless IoT space.

Driving Wireless Convergence

Mattela recognized the value of fashioning a unique chipset that would emerge to become a game-changer in the wireless IoT space and championed a drive towards wireless convergence which has been the company’s main theme for a decade and a half. “We have successfully created a chipset that is unique and state-of-the art for the wireless IoT market,” asserts Mattela. Redpine introduced the WyzBee®, a new IoT maker platform that is on the cusp of revolutionizing the device-maker community for cost and development time.
Redpine has invested serious efforts in wireless research in myriad areas such as low power, Interference mitigation, Multiple-Input and Multiple-Output (MIMO), and coexistence of multiple wireless protocols working together. Diverse application domains need different connectivity requirements in the vast wireless IoT space. “A washing machine communicating to the network requires an 802.15.4 wireless network, while a fitness gadget demands a Bluetooth low energy wireless connection,” clarifies Mattela. Each device has a different data throughput, range and power requirements. Redpine M2Mcombo chipset, the RS9113, supports dual band 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Classic, Bluetooth low energy, and ZigBee on the same silicon die.
Redpine’s chipset RS9113 is the industry’s first wireless combo chip for the IoT space supporting each of the four wireless protocols: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth classic, Bluetooth low energy and ZigBee with ultra-low power profile. “Our M2MCombo chipset expertise and relentless focus on convergence research has positioned Redpine ahead of competition in the wireless sector for IoT market space. “Redpine offers different form factors for different market segments to address the ‘Inch Deep Mile Wide’ phenomenon. The Multi Protocol Wireless Mini PCI Express (PCIe) Card offers dual-band 1x1 802.11n, dual-mode Bluetooth 4.0, and ZigBee 802.15.4 in a single device over USB in a Mini PCIe Card form factor which makes it an ideal multi-protocol wireless expansion board for IoT Gateways. The fully integrated solution is now available for Intel Moon Island platform. Keeping the strict compliance metrics, for sectors such as the medical industry, Redpine has introduced the Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) 140-2 Level 1 Certified Wi-Fi Module. It is presently available as a single variant-1x1 802.11n Dual Band (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz). Based on Redpine's RS9113 ultra-low-power Convergence SoC, these modules offer dual-band 1x1 802.11n. “The Wi-Fi module is high performance, long range and ultra-low power and features Redpine’s own processor technology, the ThreadArch® multi-thread processor for layer 2 processing, digital and analog peripheral interfaces, baseband digital signal processor, dual-band high-power amplifiers and more,” explains Mattela. After having driven the wireless convergence with the chipset products, Redpine has been concentrating specific focus on the vast and challenging landscape of Enterprise security along with other wireless requirements.

Our R&D is now working on energy-harvesting solutions in an attempt to take the low power definition to the next level

Addressing Enterprise Wi-Fi Requirements

Bring your own device (BYOD) trend is proliferating in today’s enterprise ecosystem with each device requiring to connect to the Enterprise Wi-Fi infrastructure. “As a result, the enterprise Wi-Fi requirements have turned stringent,” observes Mattela. Redpine’s WiSeMCU™ modules integrate the industry’s first embedded WPA2 security module that ensures only authorized personnel to access the network in healthcare and other industrial deployments, while the data is encrypted and network access is authenticated securely.

Adding on to the enhanced security feature on the WiSeMCU modules, Redpine recently launched the world’s first wireless microcontroller module with built-in support for multiple wireless protocols including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Classic, Bluetooth Low Energy, and ZigBee. “The feature,” prides Mattela, “is that the WiSeMCU modules include RS10001 which is an ultra-small 8.6 x 8.6 mm wireless MCU with single-band Wi-Fi, dual-mode BT, ZigBee, and a 100 MHz ARM Cortex M4.” The biggest benefactors of combining the processor with multi-protocol wireless support are the designers who can now craft next-gen mobile and IoT products with seamless connectivity.
When it comes to the enterprise, the key is low power technology principle, small size, enterprise security, and four-in-one embedded wireless protocols. “Redpine’s WiSeMCU family addresses all of them,” assures Mattela.

Speeding Delivery to Market

“There wasn’t a single IoT maker platform in the market until we announced WyzBee—an all-inclusive IoT platform comprising of cloud software, service framework and hardware boards and development tools for device makers—in August 2015. Also, all our expertise of the last 14 years with chipsets and modules was critical to expand to the cloud as we positioned ourselves in a unique way for IoT market,” says Mattela. Redpine’s WyzBee enables clients to create an optimal design in a short period of time. “In addition to offering support for multiple wireless protocols and enhanced device security, WyzBee empowers clients with a single source for complete hardware and software needs,” says Mattela. A highly-optimized single-source hardware and software solution for IoT device creation and deployment means the client does not have to deal with multiple vendors to create a solution. “The client is therefore assured of a faster delivery to market of a new device,” Mattela adds.

"Our M2MCombo chipset expertise and relentless focus on convergence research has positioned Redpine ahead of competition in the wireless sector for IoT market space"

Enterprises of every size that have worked with multiple vendors in the past—be it separate Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or MCU vendors—have leveraged Redpine solutions for cost-effectiveness and faster time to market.

Instilling a Culture of Research and Development

From time of the inception to now, Mattela has cultivated R&D culture deep within his Redpine team. “This custom is embedded in our culture and we are here because of the practices such an environment of learning cultivates,” insists Mattela. A fitting tribute to this culture would be the company’s low power Wi-Fi implementation which has revolutionized the silicon die arena and power profile by leveraging the R&D team’s low power expertise amassed over decades.

“Our R&D is now working on energy-harvesting solutions in an attempt to take the low power definition to the next level,” reveals Mattela. After having directed the company in terms of differentiation and technological innovation, Mattela and his team plan to steer Redpine toward larger revenue by investing on a team of sales professionals and laying specific stress on increasing revenue margins for the company as they continue to innovate with cutting-edge technology. “We’re keenly looking forward to the emergence of our new set of differentiated solutions, around 60 to 70 of them, in the design phase awaiting the evaluation stage based-on Redpine’s MCU and wireless connectivity modules,” concludes Mattela.

Redpine Signals

San Jose, CA

Venkat Mattela, Chairman & CEO

A wireless systems company with unique chipset and system level products for wireless networks for emerging markets