The International CES has quickly become the home of the smart home. A quick stroll through the halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center will reveal dozens of companies – big and small – looking to introduce connected solutions for consumer or industrial IoT applications. Many of these devices integrate energy-efficient MIPS CPUs, whether they’re affordable Wi-Fi chips for smart appliances or high-performance SoCs for home networking hubs.

One of the most exciting IoT projects I’ve seen during my tour of this year’s CES comes from Qualcomm Atheros, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated.

Qualcomm QCA4531 - MIPS IoT(3)Using Weave to control the MIPS-based air conditioning system from a mobile device*

Qualcomm Atheros is demonstrating an implementation of Google’s Weave running on its MIPS-based QCA4531 intelligent connectivity solution. The QCA4531 platform delivers high performance Wi-Fi connectivity hub capabilities for IoT devices, an optimal pairing for Weave use models. The MIPS CPU inside the QCA4531 is an ideal Linux machine, providing performance for a wide range of embedded and IoT applications.

Qualcomm QCA4531 - MIPS IoT(1)The MIPS-based Qualcomm Atheros QCA4531 SoC is a high-performance wireless solution for the IoE*

Weave is a communications platform for IoT systems that enables quick device configuration, phone-to-device-to-cloud communication, and user interaction from mobile devices and the web. Weave can be used together with Brillo or can be integrated as a library in other Linux-based operating systems.

In the last year, the MIPS architecture has played a key role in the IoT space:

  • Several companies such as Ubiquiti Networks or LIFX are using MIPS-based Qualcomm Atheros SoCs for smart home devices
  • Disney Research published a paper on a new communication system that can be implemented inside toys, wearables, mobile devices, and other connected platforms
  • Multiple crowdfunded development boards continue to choose Qualcomm Atheros SoCs for their versatility, positive developer feedback, and extensive documentation

I am looking forward to seeing more MIPS-based devices integrating the open communications standards promoted by our fast-growing IoT ecosystem.

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Editor’s note

* Images courtesy of Qualcomm Atheros, Inc. all rights reserved

About the author: Alex Voica

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Before deciding to pursue his dream of working in technology marketing, Alexandru held various engineering roles at leading semiconductor companies in Europe. His background also includes research in computer graphics and VR at the School of Advanced Studies Sant'Anna in Pisa. You can follow him on Twitter @alexvoica.

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