GainSpan Announces Industry's First "Hostless" Architecture that Supports Apple HomeKit

By Rob GrayAugust 24, 2016

Earlier this month, GainSpan Corporation — an industry leader for low-power, Internet of Things (IoT) solutions — introduced the industry's first-ever "hostless" architecture solution compatible with Apple's latest HomeKit Accessory Protocol (HAP).

Certified by Apple, GainSpan's low power, Wi-fi modules now integrate the Apple's HomeKit with necessary Software Development Kit (SDK) support, and referral manual for hardware design platform. The self-explanatory SDK, helps device manufacturers to speed up the time-to-market for their HomeKit-compatible products.

The Underlying Technology of GainSpan’s SoC Architecture for Apple HomeKit

The Apple HomeKit is an IoT framework for devices running on iOS. The technology secures communication and interoperability between smart home accessories, leveraging easy operational functionalities of the connected devices.

GainSpan's HomeKit Application Development platform for iOS is supported by its new GS2200M mini module, featuring a custom Wi-Fi system-on-chip (SoC). The highly advanced SoC architecture integrates 802.11 b/g/n radio, dual integrated Cortex-M3 microcontrollers (MCU), and extended on-chip memory resources. This enables hosting of HomeKit product applications on both digital and analog interfaces, eliminating the need for an external MCU. The Architecture ensures simplicity, compactness, improved efficiency, and cost-effectiveness for IoT home accessories.

"GainSpan's Wi-Fi SoC architecture is unique in terms of its extended memory, processing power, security and networking features, which make it an ideal platform for developing IoT end-products," says Pankaj Vyas, GainSpan vice president of software engineering. "The addition of HomeKit now provides developers with an ultra-low power Wi-Fi solution to create innovative, connected products for the home that can be managed by Apple devices."

The Application Development Kit (ADK) packs in SDK support for Apple's most recent HomeKit Accessory Protocol specification. The ADK includes application source code, applicable for designing HomeKit accessories. It also features a complete set of electrical schematics and circuit board specifications for hardware development on the GS2200M module.

Implications of the Latest Apple Home Kit for End Users

Designed on GainSpan's industry-leading IoT architecture, the Apple Home Kit promises to deliver a wide set of benefits to smart home users. This is how it works —

Apple's HomeKit system can be predefined with three programmable modes: Rooms, Zones, and Homes. The 'Room profile' is basically rooms in a house, and may consist of a number of connected accessories. 'Zone' is defined by a cluster of rooms clubbed together, for instance, an entire floor. 'Home profile' comprises the whole set of 'Rooms' and 'Zones'. It is necessary for users to define at least one home to enable the functionalities of connected accessories.

The application makes way to create innumerable Rooms, Zones, and Homes, providing the scope to rename, modify, or delete profile preferences as and when needed. In case an individual has multiple Home profiles, setting a default 'Home' will enable faster performance of the app.

Application Features of Apple's Home Kit

Apple's home automation App on GainSpan's "Hostless" Architecture, is designed to assist users with various tasks on iOS enabled devices. Features include -

  • Setting up and configuring connected devices in a Home
  • Specific Profile Creation and User Management
  • Adding, Modifying, or Discarding Functions
  • Flexibility to define Preferences, Scenes, and Environment

"End product manufacturers using GainSpan's HomeKit SDK and development platform benefit from a Wi-Fi solution that provides not only pre-integrated and certified HomeKit support but is also "pre-optimized" for lowest power over a wide range of operating modes," states Richard Najarian, GainSpan senior director, solutions marketing. "Manufacturers are able to save months on their product development effort and can instead focus on innovative features and improved user experience as differentiators," Richard added. Contact WPGA for more information on this product.