February 11, 2023

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    From the engineer's perspective the goal of any project development is to create a technically advanced, profitable, scalable, and certified product as quickly and easily as possible. While this may be the expectation, to successfully achieve this goal depends heavily on the supplier development, partners, and components you choose to work with.

    At Qorvo, we aspire to meet these high expectations as well and want to see our IoT product development customers achieve them too. Therefore, we go to great lengths to provide both the needed hardware, software and development tools to help our customers meet these goals.

    The Tools Needed for Success

    Several key items are required to meet the high aspirations of a successful IoT product. In the below image we outline some of these tools.

    Usually, the first step to a design is gathering data and insight to help you better understand a high-level overview of the type IoT product you wish to create. At this stage, tools like white papers, tutorial videos, articles related to market trends, your product design and product briefs are used. These tools help you get a better handle on what is required, who might be the best target partners to help with your design or what type components are good to use.

    After the initial data gathering stage is completed and the development direction is understood, the next step is evaluating the design and development partner. This is where hardware and software tools are required. Generally speaking, hardware will need to be purchased along with any required software. If using Qorvo design kits and software – this is where things get easier. Qorvo has all the evaluation and design tools a developer will require. We have design kits for IoT end-node devices, like light bulbs and thermostats, as well as a gateway design kit to allow you to wirelessly connect to your end-node and network of choice.

    These development kits come with free application reference designs, software and source code. The pre-built applications included in the development kit allow developers to easily evaluate network connectivity, standards support, typical IoT use cases, RF performance, and software and hardware differentiators like Qorvo's ConcurrentConnect™ Technology.

    Another value-add feature of using Qorvo's development kits is that they are all pre-certified. This makes finalizing and certifying your product more straightforward and agile. Additionally, you'll have added confidence in getting to mass production quickly with a successful product.

    The Software Aspect of Design

    Software is a critical key driver for all IoT designs. Having a robust, easy-to-use, fully functional debugging, compiling and easy to extend software is a must. This allows IoT developers to easily create, assess, and validate the design. Qorvo uses tools from leading software and hardware suppliers like SEGGER, Raspberry Pi, GitHub and others to include these, and other tools in the development kit. The development kit is a one-stop-shop for supporting you through your development phase and you do not need to purchase software or hardware separately – streamlining the software element. We offer these software tools for both our IoT and gateway development kits.

    Our software tools include:

    IoT End Nodes (ConcurrentConnect™ Technology enabled)

    • IoT end-nodes and reference designs that are Matter™ standard enabled
    • SEGGER industry standard tools for embedded software development
      • Includes – compiler/IDE licensed by Qorvo for its customers and J-Link debugging integrated on development boards
    • GitHub software delivery platform
      • Free software available to everyone, including sources
      • Intuitive user experience
      • Built-in version control
      • Easy integration with 3rd party software repositories like – Matter™, Thread, FreeRTOS, etc.
    • Over-the-air firmware compression default – maximizing the available flash for user applications
    • Software support tools
      • Qorvo smartphone applications (iOS and Android)
        • Bluetooth® Low Energy Mesh and Bluetooth Low Energy connectivity for user testing
      • Commissioning tooling (Bluetooth Low Energy Mesh)
      • Software Driver examples – how to use API's and hardware features

    Gateways (ConcurrentConnect™ Technology enabled)

    • Matter™ standard enabled gateway
      • Commission and control Matter devices using the gateway as your border router
    • Our gateway is built around and optimized for Linux – a standard operating system for a gateway
      • Familiar software tooling for the developers
      • Modular applications
    • Includes Zigbee coordinator functionality
      • Including smartphone connectivity
      • Commission / control Zigbee devices
    • Thread border router functionality supporting Matter standard
      • Pre-integrated on development board
      • Porting documentation for customers
    • Full access to Bluetooth Low Energy stack
      • Amazon Common Software (ACS) compatible – standardized Bluetooth API
      • Scanning / connecting / data transfer
    • Configuration and startup simplified through scripting
    • Raspberry Pi development board as main board

    The above software capabilities and tools help our customers do more with less. We have all the built-in user interfaces and functionality for your design application, getting IoT developers to market faster with their product design.

    The gateway software and tools are built around Linux, the operating system that is used in typical gateway platforms. This allows developers to easily port and integrate the tools and software from the development kit into their final product. Applications for the new Matter driven Thread based border router are built in.

    The design phase is only one part of developing a product. The product also needs to be tested, validated and support mass production needs. Therefore, a development kit has a broader use beyond developing the main application. It should also provide all documentation and tools to achieve the end-to-end product lifecycle. Qorvo's development kits support standard mass production test tools, like Litepoint and other testing equipment. We also offer our RF expertise during the design process to ensure the product is optimized and attains full certification.

    Certified Software and Hardware Reference Designs

    An important aspect to getting your design into mass production is certifying it. Without proper certification your design will not be as successful on the open market as desired. Working with a design partner, like Qorvo who has already pre-certified all software and hardware applications – provides confidence that your final product will be successfully certified when that time comes in your development process. Furthermore, Qorvo's software and hardware are pre-certified by the following organizations:

    • Bluetooth 5.3 certified
    • Zigbee R22 certified
    • Thread 1.3 certified

    A strong software is the backbone to running hardware. Therefore, it must be robust, reliable, secure and pre-certified. Qorvo not only provides all the software at your fingertips but also provides the hardware. All of which are pre-certified so developers can concentrate their design efforts on innovation rather than worrying about the software or hardware.

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    Learn How Matter Makes the IoT Secure