Dialog Semiconductor is aiming to simplify smart home device creation with its development kit, promising reduced time-to-market and increased functionality of smart home and other IoT devices. With the recent introduction of iOS 10, Apple HomeKit is – Dialog observes – now an integral part of iOS, including its dedicated app that creates an enhanced user experience. The Apple Home app is compatible not just with iPhone, but is also optimized for iPad and the Apple Watch running watchOS 3. With the app, an Apple TV or iPad can easily be turned into a smart home hub, enabling home control from anywhere.
Dialog’s second-generation kit supports all current HomeKit Accessory Profiles within Apple’s updated IoT platform. The kit itself is built on Dialog’s DA14681 System-on-Chip (SoC), a highly-integrated single chip that is purpose-built for IoT development, providing connectivity to a variety of battery-powered devices. It is presented as the first SoC on the market with dedicated hardware acceleration for HomeKit security operations which ensures end-to-end application encryption, safeguarding personal information in transit.
“Our new development kit lowers the barriers for smart home device development,” said Sean McGrath, SVP and GM Connectivity, Automotive and Industrial Business Group. “Beyond the simplicity of the highly integrated connectivity SoC at the heart of the kit, its fastest response times create the best possible user experience for end devices, with initial pairing taking less than 2.8 seconds and responding faster than 250 msec whenever an iOS device issues a command. This creates an instant response whenever a user interacts with a HomeKit-powered light, door lock, smoke detector or other accessory.”
The DA14681 supports Bluetooth 4.2 to provide seamless connectivity, and balances power efficiency and performance, with an ARM Cortex M0 processor, expandable flash memory, a Power Management Unit (PMU) for sensors and motors, and built-in charger that supports a USB interface. The kit consumes less than 5 µA on standby, uses 170 kB of Flash memory and provides 64 kB of RAM for apps to utilize, even allowing user defined profiles to further customize applications on top of pre-configured HomeKit profiles.
To give developers all of the tools they need to create next-gen IoT applications, the DA14681 development kit consists of the HomeKit SDK, Basic and Pro versions of the kit, and a flexible add-on board to interface with the separately available MFi chip.