Trident IoT brings new Z-Wave chips to the smart home market

Discussions about IoT connectivity often revolve around technologies like Wi-Fi, Matter, LPWAN, LoRaWAN, Bluetooth Low Energy, and even cellular, depending on use case requirements for distance, bandwidth, latency, power consumption, footprint, and other factors. 

But, do not forget about Z-Wave, a technology whose low-bandwidth (100 kbps), low-frequency (operates in sub-1 Ghz territory) profile makes it ideal for many smart building automation and smart home applications where numerous sensors and other devices need to be supported. Z-Wave is no upstart either; it has been around for a quarter of a century, gradually building up a list of product partners who now offer more than 4,500 products.

Supporters of the technology celebrated its progress and announced new products at the recent Z-Wave Alliance Summit and Unplug Fest 2024 in Austin, Texas. One of those unveilings came courtesy of Trident IoT, an RF technology and engineering start-up based in Carlsbad, California, which just last month announced a fresh $10 million funding round led by one of the bigger names in the smart home space–Todd Pedersen, entrepreneur and founder of Vivint and Vivint Solar, who also joined Trident IoT’s board.

During the event, Trident IoT announced the release of its new Taurus Z-Wave Series of system-on-chip (SoC) devices and modules. Those products will support not only Z-Wave in its original flavor, but also Z-Wave Plus technology (wider range, faster processing, more memory), and more recent extension Z-Wave Long Range (ZWLR), which can extend connectivity up to 1.5 miles. ZWLR support will include support for European specification of the technology, which the Z-Wave Alliance announced back in February.

The Taurus Z-Wave Series also will ship with an SDK based on Open Z-Wave Specification Release 2024A. The new chips feature an Arm Cortex-M33 microprocessor, 1MB of flash program memory, and 288KB of SRAM data memory for fast processing and response time, Trident IoT said. The sub-1 GHz radios transmit at +20dBm and +14 dBm, which provides power to support communication distances of more than a mile. In addition, using the ZWLR 12-bit addressing space, the Taurus Series supports networks of up to 4,000 nodes; Taurus chips also leverage ZWLR dynamic power control, enabling end point battery life of up to 10 years from a single coin-cell battery.

Mariusz Malkowski, CTO and Founder, Trident IoT, told Fierce Electronics that the company already is “engaging with select partners to provide early access to the Taurus Z-Wave Series, allowing them to begin initial testing and product development ahead of the broader market release.” He added that the new series is expected to start shipping at scale during the fourth quarter of this year. 

Malkowski also said the Taurus Z-Wave Series  will help cut product development time for developers and usher more Z-wave-enabled devices to market. “The new silicon series aligns with Trident IoT's mission to reduce time-to-market, offering end-to-end engineering consultation and an extensive reference library to help developers quickly implement the new silicon in their devices,” he said. “The combination of silicon, design services, and in-house compliance testing offers a comprehensive solution that can cut product development timelines by up to 60%. This acceleration will not only increase the number of Z-Wave products available, but also elevate the technology's profile in the IoT industry, encouraging broader adoption and innovation around Z-Wave standards. This, in turn, means more products will reach the market sooner, bolstering Z-Wave's presence in various applications such as smart home, hospitality, and multi-dwelling units.”