IoT Chips: The Indispensable Need for Internet of Things World

IoT chip is a specialized integrated circuit embedded in machines, objects, and things. With the help of embedded technologies, such as processors, sensors, connectivity ICs, memory devices, and logic devices, IoT chips can be used in IoT sensors, smart gateways, etc., to provide connectivity, data processing, and communication. They are crucial in collecting, transmitting, and processing data within IoT systems. The article discusses the performance benefits of top IoT chips, including multimedia support, AI capabilities, low-power operation, protocol concurrency, and voice activity recognition.
IoT Chips
Table of Contents

IoT chips vary from traditional chips in that they utilize less power to do more targeted processing, whereas conventional chips are more frequently employed in general-purpose applications that need for computational processing. A reader once came to the following conclusion in an essay by Ed S. Perling to support this claim: IoT devices have to off-load communication, forget computing, to internet through an external device (‘IoT hub’) and continue to do what they had been doing. Adding an IP address to a ‘IoT hub’ looks more practical than connecting all devices to internet. Dusun IoT utilizes advanced IoT chip technologies from manufacturers like Rockchip, MTK, NXP, ESP32, Nordic, and Silicon Labs.

carrier board of dsgw-210 iot hub

Why Need IoT Chips

IoT enables communication between billions of linked smart devices over the nearly ubiquitous communication protocols. Any system may utilize the Internet to innovate and make a variety of devices smarter and more conscious thanks to the widespread availability of dependable wireless IoT connectivity and affordable, low-power embedded components.

The rising demand for IoT devices is the main driver of the IoT chips industry’s expansion. The adoption of IoT chips used in various IoT devices is further fueled by the growing popularity of automation across a variety of end-user verticals, including healthcare, consumer electronics, industrial, automotive, BFSI, and retail. These devices necessitate the integration of connectivity expertise as well as the development of various networking protocols.

In addition, increasing inclination towards artificial intelligence (AI) will accelerate the IoT chips across the end-user verticals. The term “AIoT” stands for “AI+IoT,” It is the fusion of Internet of Things (IoT) with artificial intelligence (AI) technology. Underlying data is gathered via the IoT devices, and artificial intelligence analyses, analyzes, and executes associated operations. The two technologies complement each other.

Artificial intelligence (AI) enables devices to become programmable systems that can learn, reason, and process information like humans. As a result, IoT devices need AIoT chips with low power consumption, small size, and great performance for the operation of AI algorithms, data processing, and application-driven/triggered decision-making.

edge ai gateway block diagram

According to report from Mordor Intelligence, the global IoT market chip market size will reach  USD 17.92 billion in 2023, and is estimated to reach USD 37.85 billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 16.13% during the forecast period (2023-2028).

iot chip market size by mordor intelligence
source: mordor intelligence

Is the Single IoT Chip Enough for IoT Solutions?

IoT applications ideally require a single chip with reducing energy consumption combined with the miniaturization of form factor. These requirements have led to the development of various IoT SoCs (System on Chips). The IoT SoCs uses a more sophisticated technique to primarily improve the three key metrics that make up the chip’s “PPA” (power consumption,performance and area).

However, a single-chip solution is not always feasible or favored by all IoT solutions, because businesses sometimes require more than just a single chip product. The IoT modules installed in various things must connect them to other nearby IoT devices or the cloud and exchange data. Here is an illustration of a block diagram for the DSGW-210 IoT gateway hardware. You can see how many IoT chips it uses.

Types of IoT Chips Available In the Market

IoT chips are vital in enabling IoT devices, facilitating the interconnection and functionality of the Internet of Things ecosystem. In detail, IoT chips provide essential functionalities for IoT devices, including data sensing and acquisition from sensors, wireless connectivity for communication, data processing and control capabilities, energy efficiency features, security, and encryption measures.

There are many IoT chips available in the market for different applications. Based on hardware, IoT chips may be divided into processor chip, sensor chip, connectivity IC (integrated circuit), memory device chip, and logic device chip.

For AIoT, there are four essential IoT chips: SoC, MCU, communication chip, and sensor chip.

  • The SoC serves as the hub for data processing and is essential for achieving intelligence;
  • The MCU serves as the focal point for data gathering and command execution, supporting SoC in realizing intelligence;
  • Connectivity chip is the heart of data transmission and the key to distant communication;
  • Sensor chip is the center of data acquisition and the foundation for detecting outside signals.

Following is a brief description of some common types of IoT chips used by Dusun IoT.

Sensor Chips

Sensor IoT chips convert analog signals from sensors into digital data that other IoT device components can process and transmit. These IoT chips interface with various sensors to collect environmental data like temperature, humidity, and motion. 

Communication IC (Intergrated Circuit)

These IoT chips provide wireless connectivity options for IoT devices. Some common examples of communication interfaces include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Zigbee, Z-Wave, LoRawan and cellular network connectivity. Communication chips enable IoT devices to connect to networks, exchange data with other devices or cloud services, and allow remote monitoring and control.


Nordic Semiconductor focuses on ultra-low-power wireless chips. Their specialty is Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) applications and mesh networking. By incorporating Nordic nRF5284 Bluetooth Low Energy Module base on its wireless chip, Dusun Bluetooth gateways can offer extended battery life for connected devices while ensuring efficient and reliable wireless connectivity.

In addition to supporting Bluetooth 5.0 and higher capabilities, the Nordic low-power Bluetooth chip nRF52 series supports multi-protocol and NFC, depending on the protocol stack, and has superior power consumption—about half that of the 51 series. It can serve as both a host and a slave simultaneously, and the RF chip includes a Balun chip to eliminate the need for extra resistance devices.

Silicon Labs

Silicon Labs offers a range of IoT chips that facilitate wireless connectivity, energy management, and sensor integration. These chips often support multiple wireless protocols, allowing Dusun IoT gateways to connect with various devices. The high-performance analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) provided by Silicon Labs enable accurate sensor data acquisition, enhancing the gateway’s monitoring and control capabilities.

Here, we’d like to discuss the ZigBee technology from Silicon Labs. Since the early days of ZigBee emergence, Silicon Labs has been working on it. Its ZigBee technology comes from Ember, a startup that has been implement R&D on ZigBee since its inception. Ember was acquired by Silicon Labs in 2012.


Your first thought while considering Semtech could be LoRa. This is logical given that they developed and are the primary proponents of the well-known LPWAN technology. One thing need to clarify here is the LoRa chip with LoRaWAN chip, a lot of customers get confused about it. They often ask us if Dusun IoT can manufacture LoRa gateway? Dusun IoT only make LoRaWAN gateway, which uses SX1302 digital baseband chip, which employs a more advanced process to get a greater cost performance.

Difference between LoRa and LoRaWAN gateway:

LoRaWAN is a low-power wide-area network networking technology. LoRaWAN gateway utilizes the standard LoRaWAN communication protocol and connects to a dedicated LoRaWAN server, in order to realize data communication between nodes and the network. A LoRaWAN gateway can have a large number of accesses and strong communication performance.

LoRa is private and usually used for regional intercommunication. It’s low cost but the quantity of access points is limited.

No matter using LoRaWAN or LoRa, it is a patent of foreign Semtech company.

You may be interested in what is LoRaWAN gateway?

You may be interested in BLE SOC: Transforming Smart Homes, Wearables, and IoT Devices!

You may be also interested in The Best WiFi SOCs for IoT Device Development

Processor Chips

Processor IoT chips provide computational power and control. These IoT chips handle tasks such as data processing, running algorithms, managing memory, and interacting with other device components. 


Rockchip’s IoT chips provide high-performance processing capabilities, enabling efficient data handling and computation tasks within the Smart gateways. These chips are known for their high computing efficiency, allowing the gateway to operate reliably for computationally extensive jobs.

MTK (MediaTek)

MediaTek chips offer exceptional wireless connectivity options, especially for WiFi. By incorporating MTK7688 chips, Dusun IoT’s DSGW-030 wireless USB gateway can support seamless communication between devices and the cloud, enabling efficient data transfer and remote management.


NXP’s IoT chips offer robust security features, crucial for safeguarding sensitive data transmitted over the IoT network. These IoT chips often include built-in hardware encryption, authentication mechanisms, and secure boot features. DSDW-081 Modbus RS485 Ethernet converter gateways benefit from NXP’s secure connectivity solutions, ensuring data integrity and protection against unauthorized access.


The ESP32 IoT chip, developed by Espressif Systems, provides Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity capabilities, making it suitable for various IoT gateway applications. The low-power operation of ESP32 chips allows DSGW-092 ESP32 Bluetooth gateway to conserve energy while maintaining reliable wireless connections.

How To Choose a Good IoT Chip?

Choosing a good IoT chip for your project requires careful consideration of several factors. Here are some key aspects to consider when selecting an IoT chip:

Connectivity Options

IoT devices connect to wireless networks and send and receive data using a number of protocols, such as NB-IoT, LTE, BLE 5, Zigbee 3.0, etc. Evaluate the wireless connectivity options offered by the IoT chip, and make sure it is compatible with your desired network protocols, transmission range, coverage requirements, data transfer rates, and integration with existing infrastructure or cloud services.

Power Consumption

The right low-power IoT chips greatly will simplify a developer’s task. Therefore, it is necessary to determine the power requirements of your IoT device and consider whether the IoT chip supports low-power modes, sleep/wake-up functionality, or energy-efficient features. It is crucial for battery-powered devices or applications where power efficiency is critical.

Processing Capabilities

Evaluate the processing capabilities of the IoT chip, including the type of processor, clock speed, memory capacity, and support for running software or firmware. The chosen IoT chip must handle the computational requirements of your application, such as data processing or running machine learning algorithms.

compare: RK3568 vs Raspberry Pi 4

Security Features

Security is a crucial consideration for IoT devices. Review the built-in security features of the IoT chip, such as encryption. The ideal IoT chips support secure boot, storage, and authentication mechanisms. 

Compatibility and Interoperability

Ensure the IoT chip is compatible with your desired hardware and software components. Consider its interoperability with other devices, protocols, and cloud platforms to ensure seamless integration within your IoT ecosystem.


Assess the scalability of the IoT chip for potential future expansions or upgrades. Look for the chip’s compatibility with evolving technologies and standards to ensure your IoT solution remains viable and adaptable in the long term.

The Significance of IoT Chips in IoT Gateways

IoT chips play a crucial role in IoT gateways, which bridge IoT devices and the broader network infrastructure. The choice of an IoT chip in an IoT gateway is instrumental in determining the gateway’s performance, compatibility with various devices and protocols, and overall reliability.

As a leading IoT gateway vendor, Dusun IoT recognizes the critical role of IoT chips in delivering superior gateway performance. Dusun IoT leverages advanced IoT chips to create high-quality gateways for reliability, energy efficiency, and excellent connectivity.

With Dusun IoT’s cutting-edge gateway solutions powered by top-notch IoT chips, businesses, and industries can unlock the full potential of their IoT applications, driving innovation, efficiency, and success.

IoT Gateway Powered by Cutting-Edge IoT Chips

Dusun IoT offers IoT gateways powered by cutting-edge IoT chips. Dusun IoT’s gateways deliver enhanced performance, improved energy efficiency, and robust security features by utilizing advanced IoT chips.

Overview of Dusun IoT’s Expertise In Developing IoT Solutions

Dusun IoT is an experienced company specializing in IoT solutions. They excel in developing IoT hardware devices, including gateways and single-board computers, and offer end-to-end solutions for various IoT applications. Their expertise includes IoT hardware development, programmable gateways supporting multiple wireless protocols, IoT cloud platforms, and application development.

Dusun IoT also provides customization services, white-labeling options, and professional support throughout the IoT solution lifecycle. Their proficiency in wireless communication and integration of IoT technologies further strengthens their ability to deliver comprehensive and tailored solutions for different industry needs.

Advanced IoT Chip Technology In Dusun IoT Gateways

Dusun IoT gateways incorporate advanced IoT chip technologies from multiple manufacturers, including Rockchip, MTK (MediaTek), NXP, ESP32, Nordic, and Silicon Labs. Here are some key features and capabilities associated with these chipsets when integrated into Dusun IoT gateways:

By leveraging the advanced IoT chip technology from Rockchip, MTK, NXP, ESP32, Nordic, and Silicon Labs, Dusun IoT gateways deliver robust processing power, secure connectivity, energy efficiency, and support for various wireless protocols. The specific models and versions of these chips implemented by Dusun would determine their IoT gateways’ exact features and capabilities.

Performance Advantages Enabled By Top IoT Chip

Rich Multimedia Support

Many IoT applications require multimedia support for audio/video streaming, image processing, or voice recognition. Rockchip’s IoT chips provide robust multimedia capabilities, including hardware-accelerated video decoding and encoding, audio processing, and image recognition.

eCos Turnkey Solution

An exclusive feature of MT7628K SoC, developed by MediaTek, is the availability of the eCos turnkey solution. This IoT chip provides a comprehensive software platform, including the embedded Configurable Operating System (eCos), a highly configurable, royalty-free, open-source real-time operating system. The eCos turnkey solution simplifies the development process for compact routers, repeaters, IoT bridges, storage, and audio applications.

Integration of NPU and ISP for AI and Imaging Capabilities

The NXP IoT SoC, i.MX 8M Plus stands out by integrating a Neural Processing Unit (NPU) and an Image Signal Processor (ISP) on a single chip. This combination empowers the processor with efficient AI inference capabilities and advanced image-processing functionalities. The NPU enables on-device AI processing, eliminating the need for cloud connectivity and ensuring real-time inference with enhanced privacy.

Simultaneously, the integrated ISP on a single IoT chip enhances imaging capabilities, supporting high-resolution image capture, real-time processing, and computer vision applications. This integration offers developers a compact, power-efficient solution for AI-driven applications with advanced imaging requirements.

Ultra-Low-Power Operation and Complete Integration Solution

The ESP32 IoT chip offers a unique combination of ultra-low-power operation and Wi-Fi/Bluetooth IoT application integration. It incorporates advanced power management features, including fine-grained clock gating and multiple power modes, to minimize energy consumption. The IoT chip wakes periodically based on specified conditions, optimizing power usage.

Additionally, the ESP32 integrates essential components such as an antenna switch, power amplifier, and filters, resulting in a compact PCB design. Its fully integrated radio, baseband, and advanced calibration circuitry eliminate the need for expensive Wi-Fi testing equipment during mass production. The ESP32’s unique features make it an ideal IoT chip for energy-efficient, space-constrained IoT applications.

Full Protocol Concurrency

One unique feature of the Nordic IoT chip (nRF52840) is its ability to support full protocol concurrency. It can simultaneously run multiple wireless protocols, including Bluetooth Low Energy, Bluetooth mesh, NFC, Thread, Zigbee, 802.15.4, ANT, and 2.4 GHz proprietary stacks.

This level of protocol concurrency enables flexible and versatile connectivity options for various IoT applications. This exceptional feature makes the IoT chip well-suited for complex IoT deployments, where different protocols may be required to interact with multiple devices and systems. 

Embedded Voice Activity Detection (VAD)

An advanced feature of the Rockchip IoT chips is its embedded Voice Activity Detection (VAD) function. This feature monitors human voice continuously, allowing the processor to promptly detect and respond to voice requests. By integrating VAD directly into the IoT chip, the IoT gateway enables fast setup of intelligent voice interaction applications.

The embedded VAD function enhances the user experience by enabling swift and accurate voice recognition and contributes to power optimization. By actively monitoring human voice and responding only when necessary, the Rockchip IoT chip helps reduce overall system power consumption, improving battery endurance in devices utilizing the processor.

Dusun IoT SoM & SBC

Dusun IoT offers numerous embedded hardware solutions for developers, including System on Modules (SoMs) and Single Board Computers (SBCs). 

Dusun’s SoMs are compact and highly integrated computer modules easily plugged into carrier boards. They typically include a processor, memory, storage, power management, and various peripheral interfaces. Dusun’s SOMs are flexible and scalable computing platform for IoT product development. With its development environments, and support for third-party software, Dusun SoMs simplify the design process and accelerate time-to-market.

Dusun’s SBCs are complete computers built on a single circuit board, including microprocessors, memory, I/O, and other capabilities. They provide a ready-to-use embedded development platform, reducing development costs and technical risks while speeding up time-to-market. With Dusun’s SBCs, developers can quickly prototype and deploy their IoT applications, benefiting from the convenience of a comprehensive hardware solution.

Dusun IoT offers services in embedded hardware development, supporting developers throughout the design, prototyping, and manufacturing process. Whether you choose their SoMs or SBCs, Dusun’s solutions provide seamless connectivity, reliable performance, and the flexibility to bring your IoT ideas to life.

IoT chips FAQs

Can I design a custom IoT gateway using an IoT chip?

It is possible to design a custom IoT gateway using an IoT chip. It needs strong technical knowledge and expertise in hardware design, software development, and IoT protocols. Creating a custom solution involves selecting the right components, integrating them effectively, and ensuring compatibility and reliability. However, using an IoT gateway from a trusted vendor like Dusun IoT is often recommended. Trusted vendors provide pre-built gateways with tested hardware, optimized software, and extensive support. This approach saves time, reduces development complexity, and ensures a reliable and secure IoT solution.

Which IoT chip best suits voice-controlled smart home applications in an IoT gateway?

The ESP32 SoC’s integrated wireless connectivity, voice recognition, and natural language processing support make it an ideal choice for smart home applications. The ESP32 offers various interfaces, including I2S and PDM for audio input/output, and compatibility with popular voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. It is a versatile and reliable solution for creating innovative voice-enabled devices in the smart home ecosystem.

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