Apple TV (HomeKit mockup)

Chip maker Broadcom, which supplies Wi-Fi and Bluetooth chips for Apple products, on Tuesday announced a software development kit that supports HomeKit, Apple’s home automation platform supported across iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices running iOS 8.

The announcement is the strongest indication yet that Apple has granted full HomeKit certification to Broadcom’s hardware developer platform. It ensures that upcoming Internet of Things (IoT) home automation devices will be able to seamlessly connect with the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

Vendors tapping Broadcom’s Wireless Internet Connectivity for Embedded Devices (WICED) SDK can easily create HomeKit-compliant home automation devices which can be controlled from a HomeKit-supported app and Siri on iOS devices.

WICED highlights:

  • Support for 802.11ab/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Smart
  • Bridging capability to connect endpoints that are not HomeKit-enabled
  • Compact design to support multiple microcontrollers (MCUs) and systems-on-a-chip (SOCs)
  • Low memory footprint
  • Integrated development tools
  • Reliable interoperability and integrated security
  • Upgradeable over wireless connections

The announcement makes Broadcom the first company to meet HomeKit technical specifications for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Smart hardware.

HomeKit diagram 001

The WICED platform supports bridging, which basically permits the creation of HomeKit-compatible home hubs.

For example, a product like a Bluetooth Smart light bulb will be able to connect to a smart plug containing Broadcom’s WICED module, creating a bridge from the light bulb to the user’s HomeKit-supported app on their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

Broadcom also announced a new Bluetooth Smart chip that offers twice the data rates over a Bluetooth Smart link. It’s basically future-proofing the WICED platform with high data rate and power-efficient 2 Mbps mode, anticipated to be standardized in an upcoming Bluetooth 5.0 specification.

Source: Broadcom