MIPS-powered BT Whole Home Wi-Fi makes a mesh of things
Here at Imagination, we pride ourselves on making the technology that our partners use to make great products. A great example is the new Wi-Fi Whole Home Wi-Fi product recently launched by UK telecoms and broadband provider BT, that’s designed to banish Wi-Fi-dead spots in the home.
As anyone living in a larger property or a home with thick walls can attest, patchy Wi-Fi is infuriating. You have great coverage in most places, only to be confronted with a particular spot somewhere in the house where the Wi-Fi refuses to play ball – and odds on that this spot is exactly where you want to sit. BT’s 3-in-1 Whole Home Wi-Fi is designed to deal with these issues by covering your house in a comforting blanket of Wi-Fi.
The kit consists of three circular Wi-Fi repeaters, or nodes, that you place around the house. Rather than just extending the network as conventional network extenders do these link together to create a mesh network. The nodes are self-configuring but a supporting smartphone app helps the user find the optimal location to place each one and lets them monitor traffic. End user devices will automatically connect to the best one depending on their location, without the end user having to do anything.
The BT Whole Home Wi-Fi system is based on MediaTek silicon and employs its Adaptive Network Technology to create the mesh.
Internally, it’s based on MediaTek chipsets, including the MT7621 SoC. This sits at the heart of the system and manages the heavyweight routing and control functions. It’s powered by Imagination’s MIPS 1004Kec dual-core CPU and is key in giving the MT7621 the low-power consumption and high-performance characteristics of the chip. This makes it a great fit for the BT Whole Home Wi-Fi and many other networking products, such as those listed here. The chip is responsible for creating the smart mesh network that makes the magic happen. It handles network setup, configures automatic routing and hand-off for network traffic and provides network healing in the event of node failure.
The 1004K core is one of the MIPS ‘Classic’ CPUs and was the industry’s first embedded multi-threaded, multi-processor licensable IP core. Over time, we’ve seen this IP core succeed in applications from networking to DTV to ADAS. Multi-threading technology is implemented in multiple generations of MIPS CPUs, including the interAptiv family, the MIPS Warrior I6400 and the new MIPS I6500 CPU.
The BT Whole Home Wi-Fi retails for £299 ($378) in the UK and is already garnering good reviews in the tech press for its excellent performance. Of course, Wi-Fi ‘not-spots’ are not unique to BT; the problem of whole-home Wi-Fi coverage is universal. So we can expect other operators to roll out products based on MediaTek’s innovative technology. So there you go: MIPS technology helping you stay connected throughout the home!