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I/O modules promises ease of 802.11n adoption

Posted: 04 Jan 2010     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:802.11n  Wi-Fi  wireless connectivity  embedded systems 

Connect-io-n module

Redpine Signals Inc. unveils the Connect-io-n series of highly-integrated single-stream 802.11n Wi-Fi I/O modules that provides future-proof wireless connectivity for embedded systems, particularly those involved in connecting the Internet of Things. The technology offers self-contained single-stream 802.11n modules at a smaller size, lower cost and lower power than legacy 802.11b and 802.11g modules, thus paving the way for widespread adoption of the 802.11n standard.

The products include the RS9110-N-11-23, a self-contained 2.4GHz Wi-Fi client device with a standard serial or SPI interface to the MCU host; the RS9110-N-11-24, a fully contained 2.4GHz Wi-Fi client device with networking stack included; the RS9110-N-11-27, a dual-band 2.4/5GHz Wi-Fi client device with a standard serial or SPI interface to the MCU host; and the RS9110-N-11-28, a dual band 2.4/5GHz Wi-Fi client device with networking stack included.

Wireless connectivity for embedded devices is typically characterised by low throughput, low power consumption, and relaxed latency requirements. However, Wi-Fi embedded devices are seen in ever greater numbers in a variety of environments, many of which are 802.11n-based. Legacy 802.11b/g devices and 802.11b devices in particular, cause considerable disruption to an 11n network. First, they occupy the airways far longer to transmit a given amount of information than other nodes in the network. Second, they force the Access Point—and all nodes on the network—to adopt bandwidth-consuming protection mechanisms to accommodate the legacy device. The explosive growth in adoption of Wi-Fi into embedded devices has prompted major industry groups, such as the Wi-Fi Alliance, to start disallowing 802.11b devices in upcoming certification programs such as Wi-Fi Direct, the specification to support direct Wi-Fi connections between devices.

Redpine's modules are the first in the industry to bring single-stream 802.11n connectivity to standard 8bit MCUs. Aimed at plug-and-play integration of Wi-Fi into such platforms through an SPI or UART interface, these modules are available in software variants that can either provide a built-in TCP/IP stack or enable the use of the MCU's networking stack.

The Connect-io-n series is based on Redpine's mature Lite-Fi chipset, the industry's first Wi-Fi certified 802.11n single-stream device, which has been successfully integrated into a significant number of embedded systems over the past two years. Connect-io-n modules have best-in-class transmit power of 18dBm and receiver sensitivity down to -98dBm, enabling excellent range. With shutdown power of less than 0.01mW, associated mode power of less than 3mW and active operational power of less than 30mW





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