Telink Semiconductor, developer of highly integrated low power radio-frequency and mixed signal system chips for Internet of Things (IoT) applications, has announced it is releasing an updated version of its Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) software development kit (SDK) for Apple HomeKit. This means that any Apple HomeKit licensees can use Telink Semiconductor’s SDK to develop products and accessories, based on a single chip solution that features built-in security key authentication. HomeKit enables Apple devices to communicate with and control IoT connected devices in the home, such as smart locks, lights, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems, and sensors, and more.
Apple HomeKit is unlike other platforms in that it doesn’t need a central hub device, since the ecosystem is designed in a way that works around existing iOS devices, with an iPad acting as the hub. Devices can communicate with each other with HomeKit being the interface that ties all the devices in the network together. HomeKit devices work exclusively on either Bluetooth or WiFi; and there are rigorous encryption requirements to enable a secure environment, and specific chip set requirements are needed to achieve certification. Additionally, with HomeKit, communications between products is done locally rather than having to transmit data via the cloud.
As with many other services offered, Apple has put much emphasis on security for HomeKit, via end-to-end encryption between the iOS device and accessory, making it the most secure smart home solution on the market. Telink is one of the few companies that have security hardware built-in to a low power BLE chip. Telink’s Bluetooth LE chips such as TLSR8267 and TLSR8269 were designed with HomeKit in mind from day one.
Wenjun Sheng, CEO of Telink Semiconductor, says, “Telink is a strong supporter of Apple HomeKit and one of the first ones to deliver SDKs to smart home accessory manufacturers. We already have customers lined up for our new HomeKit chip solution, which means we expect new Telink-based HomeKit devices on the market this year.”
Combined with Telink’s patented BLE mesh technology, this creates a powerful smart home solution providing concurrent simultaneous real time control of connected devices using different standards in the home through HomeKit. It can manage multiple nodes’ online and offline status using network traffic control technology within the chips. In addition, the technology provides a synchronized control mechanism within multi-hop or large mesh networks. The same hardware can also be used for Apple HomeKit support.