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Adding wireless comm capability to embedded systems

Posted: 01 Feb 1996     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:wireless communications  embedded systems 

Modern microcontrollers offer more capability than is often used in a typical embedded system application. Normally, processor capacity is applied to data gathering and control functions such as sensing temperature, controlling motors, or driving other physical interfaces. Communications capability is usually a secondary consideration resulting in applications that don't really work together if they communicate at all. For this reason, many of today's products don't team up and share a workload or exchange information. Future microcontroller-based products will have the smarts to operate as a collective whole by taking advantage of a variety of communication technologies. One technology gaining popularity is wireless data communications. Mobitex wireless data is a mobile radio system used for a variety of applications. Available in more than 6,000 US cities and 33 countries worldwide, it is an international standard for packet switched messaging and data interchange. In this article, I show how wireless data capability can be incorporated into an embedded system by looking at the Mobitex system and exploring the design and usage of Mobitex interface software intended to be highly portable across many microcontroller platforms. The focus is on the software design and system integration aspects rather than radio frequency application and theory.

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