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Imagination Rolls Out Ensigma, Its All-Encompassing Connectivity IP Family

Imagination launched a complete suite of Ensigma IP solutions, including Wi-Fi/Bluetooth software, media access control (MAC) layer, baseband, analog front end (AFE) and RF. The Ensigma family of connectivity IP solutions will be available to customers through a range of flexible licensing and support models.

Imagination can supply Radio Processing Units (RPUs) to customers who prefer to buy the solution from a third party instead of making it themselves, and it can also provide them with RF IP, if they need it for their products.

Imagination seems to aim at offering complete connectivity solutions, so potential customers are more willing to invest in adopting its other technologies. To this end, Imagination has partnered with some RF providers, but it's also working with RF technology that was built in-house by some of is customers, to ensure these technologies are compatible with its Ensigma basebands. The customers who don't already have their own RF technology can license Imagination's own Ensigma RF, either as IP blocks for SoC integration or for standalone use.

Toshiya Matsui, general manager of Toshiba, said: “We leveraged multiple Imagination IP cores in our highly integrated IoT processors. This includes the Ensigma Explorer RPU that provides the high-speed Wi-Fi which is a hallmark of these processors. The fact that Imagination also offers RF made it easy for us to take these processors into production."

Chakra Parvathaneni, vice president of Ensigma business operations at Imagination, said that we'll see more connectivity solutions become integrated into the SoC. He also noted that Imagination has been preparing for this transition with the "world's most complete end-to-end connectivity IP solutions from RF to baseband." He added that the company's Ensigma Explorer and the low-power Whisper RPU families are already shipping in millions of units.

Imagination has also partnered with Synopsys to ensure that its latest DesignWare Bluetooth Smart IP and Analog Front-End IP solutions can interoperate with Imagination's Ensigma baseband IP.

Imagination's Ensigma connectivity IP is now available to license as three different IP subsystems, which incorporate RF, AFE and baseband in different categories of products:

  • Ensigma Whisper Wi-Fi 802.11n 1×1 subsystem for wearables, home automation, and healthcare
  • Ensigma Whisper Bluetooth Smart and 802.15.4 subsystem for very low-power wearables and IoT sensors
  • Ensigma Explorer Wi-Fi 802.11ac 2×2 MIMO subsystem for higher-performance applications such as video streaming, Wi-Fi cameras and access points

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Lucian Armasu
Lucian Armasu is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers software news and the issues surrounding privacy and security.