Ensigma Whisper radio processors take on low power connectivity

Digital baseband integration has been a growing trend in wireless applications as it offers tangible benefits for system architects looking to reduce cost, form factor and power consumption.

Until now, our Ensigma Explorer RPUs (radio processors) have been leading the charge in high performance baseband integration. We’ve seen several strategic design wins in the last year that are a testament to the unique capabilities and superior architecture of our RPUs; for example, Toshiba has recently announced the expansion of the TZ5000 family of processors – these chips use an Ensigma C4500 RPU for high-performance 802.11ac 2×2 connectivity.

In addition, multiple fabless companies from Korea and China (including Rockchip) have licensed Ensigma Explorer radio processors in their quest to move more (or all) connectivity on-chip.

The new line-up of Ensigma Whisper RPUs

Today we are announcing three new Ensigma Whisper RPUs based on the revolutionary architecture we introduced last July. In a similar manner to their high performance Explorer RPU counterparts, Whisper radio processors deliver a choice between multi-standard support or single-point solutions for customers looking to integrate low power Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Smart and other existing or emerging standards in their SoCs.

  • Ensigma C5300 delivers Bluetooth Smart for ultra-low power, short range connectivity providing control functionality in devices including sensor hubs, wearables and home automation

Ensigma C5300 - Ensigma Whisper RPU

  • Ensigma C5400 supports Wi-Fi 802.11n for low-power devices capable of audio/video streaming; enables customers to achieve Wi-Fi connectivity at the power levels of Bluetooth Classic while delivering better performance per mW

Ensigma C5400 - Ensigma Whisper RPU

  • Ensigma C5401 is designed for wearable applications and supports both Bluetooth Smart (for control) and Wi-Fi 802.11n (for streaming); in addition, both standards can work concurrently

Ensigma C5401 - Ensigma Whisper RPU

In the introduction to my article I talked about our unrivalled flexibility and scalability; our engineering team has taken these two concepts and put them at the heart of these new parts, making ease of integration a central part of the architecture. For example, SoC architects can choose to remove the embedded host CPU completely or use Ensigma RPUs to alleviate its load, leading to a significant reduction in size and energy consumption – both vital requirements for low power connected devices.

Ensigma Whisper RPU - choice of CPU configs

In addition, Ensigma Whisper RPUs are based on an innovative architecture that reduces all aspects of power consumption, including the energy required for processors to wake up from an idle state. Since devices using low power connectivity will likely operate in a burst-like fashion (wake up – send data – go to sleep), this reduction in idle and wake-up power consumption will lead to a significant increase in battery life for wearables and other IoT devices.

Ensigma Whisper RPUs - power consumption

You can read more about the new Ensigma Whisper RPUs in our press release; here is a quick sample:

Re-purposing mobile or other existing connectivity chips or IP won’t work for wearables and other ultra-low power IoT devices. Connectivity IP must be built from the ground up for these new applications, with a focus on low power consumption and compact area. The new [Ensigma] Whisper RPUs are configurable engines that are purpose-built for integration onto next-generation SoCs targeting IoT and other applications including smartwatches, home automation, healthcare, automotive, industrial and beyond.


Our ability to provide a complete connectivity solution (including RF, baseband, firmware, software, support and certification) uniquely positions Imagination as a leading force in the connectivity IP market; you can read more about building next-generation connected processors for IoT and wearables here and here.

Make sure to follow us on Twitter (@ImaginationTech) and come back to our blog for the latest news and announcements from Imagination.

2 thoughts on “Ensigma Whisper radio processors take on low power connectivity”

  1. I’m glad to hear about the new Ensigma Whisper RPUs. I was wondering if these bring benefits to probably the most widely deployed class of wearables today – Bluetooth hands free devices (and of course headsets.) Those devices with limited space for battery would need as efficient an RPU as possible I guess?

    • These new RPUs are ideal for any low energy devices; the categories you’ve mentioned are relevant but also things like game controllers, cordless barcode scanners or any other wireless accessories.

Please leave a comment below

Comment policy: We love comments and appreciate the time that readers spend to share ideas and give feedback. However, all comments are manually moderated and those deemed to be spam or solely promotional will be deleted. We respect your privacy and will not publish your personal details.

Search by Tag

Search for posts by tag.

Search by Author

Search for posts by one of our authors.

Featured posts
Popular posts

Blog Contact

If you have any enquiries regarding any of our blog posts, please contact:

United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)1923 260 511

Related blog articles

Connecting to CES 2019

Attending CES on an annual basis does enable one to make comparisons and get a sense of how technology and trends are progressing. Therefore, as well as meetings and discussions around our recent graphics and AI announcements we took the

AI in the UK: Year in Review

As a company focused heavily on enabling AI processing, it’s important to us that the country where we live is supporting efforts around AI technology development and policy. Indeed, the government, academic institutions, investors, and the entire ecosystem in the

CES 2019 banner

Get some facetime with Imagination at CES 2019

As the holiday season starts to fade to a distant memory the reality of CES is once again looming large our horizons, promising a new flurry of technology announcements to try and make sense of. As the saying goes, what

Lenovo 300e

PowerVR 2018 consumer tech round-up

Before we shut up shop for the year here at Imagination HQ, we thought we take a quick look at some of the end user products that Imagination tech found its way into in 2018. Our IP has appeared in

Stay up-to-date with Imagination

Sign up to receive the latest news and product updates from Imagination straight to your inbox.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.