The International CES has quickly become the home of the smart home. A quick stroll through the halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center will reveal dozens of companies – big and small – looking to introduce connected solutions for consumer or industrial IoT applications. Many of these devices integrate energy-efficient MIPS CPUs, whether they’re affordable Wi-Fi chips for smart appliances or high-performance SoCs for home networking hubs.

One of the most exciting IoT projects I’ve seen during my tour of this year’s CES comes from Qualcomm Atheros, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated.

Qualcomm QCA4531 - MIPS IoT(3)Using Weave to control the MIPS-based air conditioning system from a mobile device*

Qualcomm Atheros is demonstrating an implementation of Google’s Weave running on its MIPS-based QCA4531 intelligent connectivity solution. The QCA4531 platform delivers high performance Wi-Fi connectivity hub capabilities for IoT devices, an optimal pairing for Weave use models. The MIPS CPU inside the QCA4531 is an ideal Linux machine, providing performance for a wide range of embedded and IoT applications.

Qualcomm QCA4531 - MIPS IoT(1)The MIPS-based Qualcomm Atheros QCA4531 SoC is a high-performance wireless solution for the IoE*

Weave is a communications platform for IoT systems that enables quick device configuration, phone-to-device-to-cloud communication, and user interaction from mobile devices and the web. Weave can be used together with Brillo or can be integrated as a library in other Linux-based operating systems.

In the last year, the MIPS architecture has played a key role in the IoT space:

  • Several companies such as Ubiquiti Networks or LIFX are using MIPS-based Qualcomm Atheros SoCs for smart home devices
  • Disney Research published a paper on a new communication system that can be implemented inside toys, wearables, mobile devices, and other connected platforms
  • Multiple crowdfunded development boards continue to choose Qualcomm Atheros SoCs for their versatility, positive developer feedback, and extensive documentation

I am looking forward to seeing more MIPS-based devices integrating the open communications standards promoted by our fast-growing IoT ecosystem.

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Editor’s note

* Images courtesy of Qualcomm Atheros, Inc. all rights reserved


  • Ronak Joshi

    So can we see real products on shelves featuring the QCA4531 anytime soon?

    • When I visited the Qualcomm booth at CES, they had QCA4531 dev boards up and running. I’m sure consumer products will soon follow.

      • Ronak Joshi

        That’s great, hopefully with mass market rather than niche appeal.