New Industry Products

WiFi SoC Supports Battery Lifetime of >1 Year

June 03, 2019 by Scott McMahan

Dialog Semiconductor plc has introduced the FC9000, the company's first Wi-Fi SoC to be released since the completion of the acquisition of Silicon Motion's Mobile Communications product line on May 31, 2019.

The FC9000 targets battery-powered IoT devices including smart thermostats, smart door locks, video monitoring systems, and wireless sensors enabling direct Wi-Fi connectivity. Other potential applications include garage door openers, blinds/ window covering, lighting control, home appliances, and sprinkler systems.

According to the company, the WiFi SoC typically supports a battery power lifetime of more than one year.

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The FC9000 offers a highly integrated ultra-low power Wi-Fi SoC, which contains an 802.11b/g/n radio (PHY), on-chip memory, baseband processor, media access controller(MAC), and a host networking applications processor together on a single silicon die. The SoC enables full offload capabilities, running the entire networking stack on a chip. So, no external network processor, CPU, or microcontroller is required. Optionally, the SoC may be used with a microcontroller.

It features VirtualZero™, a synthesis of the company's ultra-low power technologies that allow extremely low power operation of the SoC. VirtualZero shuts down every micro element of the chip that is not being used, which allows a near-zero level of power consumption when not actively receiving or transmitting data. Such low power operation can provide a year or more of battery life, depending on the application. Advanced algorithms enable staying asleep until the precise moment needed to wake up to transmit or receive.

Typical applications

Previously, devices running on Bluetooth, Zigbee, or ZWave standards needed a costly and often bulky gateway or smartphone to facilitate connectivity to the cloud, adding complexity for IoT adoption. The introduction of the FC9000 eliminates this need for additional hardware.

"The FC9000, the first product in our new VirtualZero product line, complements our existing portfolio of leading Bluetooth low energy SoC's for connected devices and represents our next IoT connectivity innovation to pass on to our customers," said Sean McGrath, Senior VP & GM of Dialog Semiconductor's Connectivity and Audio Business Group. "This Wi-Fi device is the first in a series that we plan to launch which solves major pain points for both manufacturers and end-users around IoT network compatibility and power consumption."

The FC9000 utilizes Dialog's proprietary power-saving algorithms, which allow its operation using just a few microamps, improving overall battery life for end-devices.

Venstar, a leading energy management system supplier and one of the largest global thermostat suppliers, is using the FC9000.

"Thanks to Dialog's new SoC, our customers are enjoying a more efficient, reliable Wi-Fi sensor and over a year of battery life," said Steve Dushane, CEO, Venstar. "Being first to market with this technology is giving us a significant competitive advantage."

The SoC also features a separate hardware-accelerated encryption engine that increases the speed of Wi-Fi encryption including WPA2-Enterprise and Personal. This support extends to higher layer commercial grade security encryption, such as TLS, which enables HTTPs, the modern standard for website security.

The FC9000 serves as a full offload system for Wi-Fi networking, running the end device's application code alongside its own. It does not require an external microcontroller or network processor, but it can operate alongside a microcontroller if desired. The SDK included with the device allows rapid design implementation with a generous provision of 1.6MB of SRAM on-board memory.


  • Highly Integrated Ultra Low Power Wi-Fi System On Chip
  • Full Offload : SoC runs full Networking OS & TCP/IP Stack
  • Wi-Fi Processor
    • IEEE 802.11b/g/n, 1x1 MIMO, 20MHz channel bandwidth, 2.4GHz
    • On-chip PA, LNA, and RF Switch
    • Wi-Fi Security (802.11i): WPA-Enterprise, WPA-Personal, WPA2-Enterprise, WPA2-Personal
    • Operating Modes: Station, SoftAP, and Wi-Fi Direct® Modes
    • WPS2 for Easy Wi-Fi Provisioning
    • Connection Manager for Autonomous and Fast Wi-Fi Connections
  • CPU Core Subsystem
    • ARM Cortex-M0+ Core w/ Clock Frequency of 40~200MHz
    • Embedded Memory FC9000
  • ROM : 192KBytes
  • SRAM : 1664KBytes
  • OTP : 16KBytes
  • Hardware accelerators
  • General HW CRC Engine
  • HW Zeroing Function for Fast Booting
  • HW TCP Checksum • Complete Software Stack
    • Comprehensive Networking Software Stack
    • Provides TCP/IP Stack : In the Form of Network Socket APIs
  • Built-in Hardware Crypto Engines for Advanced Security
    • TLS/DTLS Security Protocol Functions
    • RSA Engine for Key Deliberate Generic Security Functions
  • Built-in 4/2 Channel Auxiliary ADCs for Sensor Interfaces
    • 16-bit Sigma-Delta ADC : Differential 2 Channels
    • 12-bit SAR ADC : Single-Ended 4 Channels
    • Provides Dynamic Auto Switching Function
  • Built-in Audio DAC - 16~22-bit Data Conversion
    • SNR : Min +95dB (A-Weighted, Line Out)
    • Supported Audio Sampling Rate : 8kHz/12kHz/16kHz/24kHz/32kHz/44.1kHz/48kHz
  • Supports Various Interfaces
    • eMMC/SD Expanded Memory
    • SDIO Host/Slave Function
    • Quad-lane SPI for External Flash Control
    • 2 Universal Asynchronous Receivers and Transmitters(UARTs)
    • Serial Peripheral Interface(SPI) Master/Slave Interface
    • Inter-Integrated Circuit(I2C) Master/Slave Interface
    • I2S for Digital Audio Streaming
    • Pulse-Width Modulation(PWM)
    • Individually Programmable, Multiplexed GPIO Pins
    • JTAG
  • Power Management Unit
    • On-Chip RTC (Real-time Clock)
    • Wake-up Control of Fast Booting or Full Booting with Minimal Initialization Time
    • Integrated DC-DCs and LDOs
    • Supports Three Ultra Low Power Sleep Modes
  • Clock Source
    • 40MHz Crystal (+/- 20ppm) for Master Clock (Initial + temp + aging)
    • 32.768kHz Crystal (+/- 250ppm) for RTC Clock
    • Integrated 32kHz RC Oscillator • Supply
    • Single Operating Voltage : 3.0 ~ 3.6V(typical: 3.3V)
    • Digital I/O Supply Voltage : 1.8V / 3.3V
  • Package - 7mm × 7mm, 0.4mm Pitch, 60-Pin, QFN
  • Operating Temperature Range: -40°C to 85°C
  • Wi-Fi Alliance certifications
    • Wi-Fi Direct®
    • Wi-Fi Protected Setup™

The FC9000 SoC is in volume production and is available as an SoC or integrated module. Both are Wi-Fi Certified. For worldwide operation, the modules are FCC, IC, and CE certified.

Evaluation boards and a complete software development kit (SDK) are available. The SDK includes sample applications, power management tools, provisioning apps, AT command library, and more.