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'Smallest' WiFi module debuts

Posted: 16 Oct 2008     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Nano WiReach  WiFi bridge  IP routing  encryption algorithms 

Connect One Ltd has released Nano WiReach, an embedded WiFi bridge that connects any embedded device to 802.11b/g wireless LANs with minimal programming. Measuring 1.7x3.3 cm, the Nano WiReach's multiple hardware interfaces and extensive firmware functionality make it the smallest and most versatile WiFi solution for embedded devices today, claims the company.

Based on Connect One's iChipSec CO2144 IP controller chip, Nano WiReach includes a full suite of Internet protocols and applications, enabling immediate and full–featured connectivity for embedded solutions without any WiFi driver development or porting.

Nano WiReach's firmware supports several modes of operation:

• LAN to WiFi bridge—allows transparent bridging of LAN over WiFi using direct RMII connection to existing MAC hardware. Any MCU with a built-in Ethernet MAC can be connected to WiFi with zero development effort.

• Serial to WiFi bridge—enables transparent bridging of serial data over WiFi using the module's 3-Mbps UART

• Full Internet Controller mode—allows simple MCUs to use the Nano WiReach's protocol and application capabilities to perform Internet operations such as e-mail, FTP, SSL, embedded web server and others. Internet controller mode can be used with any hardware interface.

• Embedded IP routing—allows multiple WiFi clients to user a single WAN connection to the Internet, using the Nano WiReach as a router

• PPP emulation—offers existing (e.g., cellular modem) designs currently using PPP to interface to the cellular modem by connecting transparently over WiFi with no changes to application or drivers

Nano WiReach includes RMII, USB, SPI and fast UART interfaces for integration into existing or new designs. It is available in two versions—one with an antenna connector and one with a built-in antenna.

Nano WiReach also offers Internet security, which includes WiFi encryption algorithms (WPA/WPA2, in both PSK and enterprise modes) and Internet SSL encryption algorithms. In addition, it serves as an inherent firewall, protecting the embedded application from attacks originating from the Internet.

Connect One claims that Nano WiReach effectively and quickly WiFi-enables devices that use any kind of embedded real-time operating system. Designers do not need to port/write WiFi drivers or significantly reprogram their applications to connect to WiFi using the Nano WiReach. In Internet Controller mode, Nano WiReach is driven by simple text commands and offloads the WiFi drivers, WPA supplicant, Internet security, networking protocols, and all communication tasks from the host MCU and application. the company says that this offloading of communication tasks frees up host processing bandwidth and simplifies the wireless design process. Since Nano WiReach's firmware is remotely updateable, new security or connectivity protocols do not require application redesign, increased memory, or faster processor speeds.

Nano WiReach supports 10 simultaneous TCP/UDP sockets; two listening TCP sockets; SMTP, MIME, POP3, FTP, Telnet, and HTTP/HTTPS clients; an HTTP/HTTPS embedded Web server with a website for the host application and one for configuring the module. Nano WiReach supports 64/128-bit WEP, WPA/WPA2 (PSK and Enterprise) encryption, AES-128/256, SHA-128/192/256, 3DES; the SSL3/TLS1 protocol for a secure client socket session and a secure FTP session.

The module operates at an industrial temperature range of -40° to 85° C (-40° to 185° F) and is RoHS-compliant.

Nano WiReach will be available in November. Pricing starts at Rs.2,537.63 ($59).





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