Atmel Corporation and Celeno Communications, a provider of high-performance Wi-Fi chips and software, are developing integrated solutions for high-performance Wi-Fi Direct remote controls intended for next-generation set-top box and video gateway platforms. Leveraging Celeno’s Wi-Fi chipset, the joint solution will enable wireless designers to bring their products to market faster, while saving overall system costs and power consumption.
The two companies are demonstrating their new set-top box platform (STB) at CES. Celeno’s video-grade Wi-Fi is integrated in the set-top box and video gateway for whole-home HD video streaming to multiple devices. In addition to robust Internet connectivity, Celeno solutions now simultaneously provide a connection to the Atmel-based remote control. Atmel ultra-low power Wi-Fi Direct technology, acquired through its acquisition of Ozmo at the end of 2012, is suited for use in RF remote controls as it eliminates the need to add additional radio technologies to the host platform. Atmel Wi-Fi Direct solutions also offer the industry’s best power consumption, resulting in better battery life for devices using this technology.
Universal Electronics, an early adopter of Wi-Fi Direct, will be showing their new demonstration platform LEAF remote control at CES this year. UEI Leaf offers high data rate, low latency and ultra-low power by utilizing Atmel Wi-Fi Direct RF technology to deliver features such as voice-based user recognition, voice search and motion control in a small form factor with very low power requirements and minimal integration compared to other RF technology choices.
“LEAF offers an enriched user experience, enabling new feature-rich interactive user interfaces, content browsing, motion-based navigation, voice search and gaming,” said Ramzi Ammari, Vice President of Global Product Planning & Strategy, Universal Electronics, the global leader in wireless control technology for the connected home. “The STB’s Wi-Fi is expected to serve as the centerpiece for in-home Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Direct ecosystems, linking all sorts of peripherals, including smartphones, game controllers, microphones, keyboards, headphones, speakers and, of course, the remote control.”
“The use of the Atmel Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Direct technology for connecting to peripheral devices, such as remotes, is a logical choice,” said Lior Weiss, Vice President of Marketing at Celeno Communications. “This solution eliminates the need to add other RF technology to the platform, while providing a more intuitive and feature-rich user experience with existing Wi-Fi signals.”
RF remote controls are rapidly replacing traditional infrared (IR) remote controls, particularly in smart TV and set-top box applications. Unlike RF remote controls, IR remotes cannot support non line-of-sight operation, motion, bi-directional data streams or higher data rates.
Atmel technology is able to offer high bit rates, low latency, support for motion/audio and compatibility with existing Wi-Fi host platforms (the TV or STB), resulting in reduced costs and faster development times. Atmel also provides driver software for host platforms, creating a “virtual USB connection,” which allows system developers to use existing USB software stacks for any Wi-Fi connected peripheral.
Atmel recently extended its wireless product offerings through the acquisition of Ozmo, Inc. With that acquisition, Atmel now offers the world’s first single-chip, Wi-Fi personal area network (PAN) solution, ideal for battery-powered human-interface device (HID) peripherals like remote controls, wireless “mouses” and keyboards, wireless audio adapters and many other applications. The Atmel chip is optimized for low latency, long battery life and Wi-Fi a/b/g compatibility. Able to directly communicate with the integrated Wi-Fi technology found in millions of products today, the fully integrated Atmel Wi-Fi solution can be used for many wireless HID and audio applications.