Wearable Tech World Feature Article
December 11, 2013

Broadcom Makes a Play for Wearable Tech Market with WICED Smart Chip

Broadcom is well-known for its telecommunications processors and SoCs (system on a chip), with offerings like the BCM43460 SoC, one of the first to support 5G Wi-Fi, only further entrenching its name in the industry. However, despite being one of the top players among mobile devices, the company has yet to really penetrate the wearable technology space — until recently, that is.

Indeed, its new Wireless Internet Connectivity for Embedded Devices (WICED) smart chip from Broadcom should allow it to enter the wearable technology space, while also offering some appeal to the Internet of Things (IoT) market. The chip is designed to enable new use cases for wearable devices, including smartwatches, heat and blood pressure monitors, and more.

The new WICED chip offers a number of features that make it ideal for low-power, always on applications like with wearable technology and certain IoT scenarios. In particular, it supports wireless charging for devices too small to support power cord charging and a low-power ARM Cortex M3 applications processor that reduces both size and cost for OEMs.

The former features comes courtesy of WICED, which supports A4WP wireless charging and enhanced data security modes, as well as secure over the air (OTA) firmware updating. The integrated ARM Cortex M3 processor, meanwhile, features radio frequency and Embedded Bluetooth Smart Stack on a single chip.

“We are committed to pushing the boundaries on what wearables are capable of with our new WICED smart chip,” said Brian Bedrosian, Broadcom senior director of Embedded Wireless and Wireless Connectivity, in a statement.

Broadcom has chosen the ideal time to enter the wearable technology space as the market is predicted to hit $19 billion by 2018, according to recent data from Juniper Research. This announcement also came shortly before this week’s Wearable Tech Expo, making it timely to say the least.

The Broadcom WICED smart chip is currently undergoing standard evaluations and is expected to be available sometime next year.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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