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New WiFi chip promises 35-year battery life on a single AAA battery

A Taiwanese semiconductor company has launched a wireless chip that it claims will be able to work for as long as 35 years on a single AAA battery.

Rockchip, better known for its low-cost ARM-based chips and for its partnership with Intel, unveiled the product, called the RKi6000, at Computex in Taiwan.

The chip was developed with a third party that remains anonymous although it wouldn't be surprise if it turned out to be Intel.

At 20mA under load, the power consumption of that chip is comparable to that of Bluetooth 4.0 LE, utilising about one seventh of what other Wi-Fi products would use, opening the prospect of using Wi-Fi in IoT scenarios with tiny coin cell batteries.

The RKi6000 runs Wi-Fi 802.11b, which while not particularly fast, provides with a far higher transfer rate than BT 4.0 (1Mbps) or Zigbee (0.25Mbps).

Having one single radio technology simplifies deployment, development and maintenance of any infrastructure.

Rockchip hasn't confirmed any design wins but did confirm that products with the RKi6000 will be available in the third quarter of 2015.

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