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Wireless combo solution designed for Sitara ARM MPUs

Posted: 15 Jul 2011     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:OpenLink  Bluetooth  Wi-Fi connectivity  ARM MPUs  Linux-based 

Texas Instruments Inc. (TI) launches its first module platform housing the WiLink 6.0 (WL1271) single-chip, wireless combo solution with TI's open source, Linux-based OpenLink drivers which is pre-integrated with TI's AM18x Sitara ARM microprocessors (MPUs).

The OpenLink drivers are built on the community-validated mac80211 Wi-Fi driver and BlueZ bluetooth protocol stack. This enables customers developing industrial or point-of-service applications on cost-effective ARM MPUs to easily introduce reliable, low-power Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless technologies.

According to TI, this release signifies that the first time its customers can easily repurpose Sitara ARM MPU-based designs as Wi-Fi access points via the new WiLink 6.0 OpenLink platform. According to the company, OpenLink technology offers mobile-grade, battery-optimised Wi-Fi connectivity supporting native Linux designs, giving customers tested wireless technologies that can be easily re-integrated into designs as they migrate from one kernel version to the next. Additionally, TI's mac80211 Wi-Fi driver is optimised to maximise system level throughput.

As a result, battery-friendly customer products built on Sitara ARM MPUs can serve as a mobile Wi-Fi gateway or support peer-to-peer file transfers with other Wi-Fi enabled devices. These capabilities eliminate the need for external access points and create new opportunities for unique use cases depending on mobile, self-networking devices.

The AM18x Sitara ARM EVM + WL1271 development kit is the latest version of TI's original AM18x Sitara ARM EVM and includes elements that is said to create a unique, quick-start experience right out of the box so that a user can be up and running with a demo application in 30 minutes or less.

Additional features include predefined, validated hardware interfaces and software functionality that can minimise the risk and design trade-off analysis. WPA supplicant, hostpad, BlueZ Stack, Open Obex software profiles include all components required for end-to-end connectivity functionality as well as first-time availability of soft access point via AM18x Sitara ARM EVM.

Features such as integrated system components (all firmware, low-level drivers and applications) reduce engineering costs and speed time-to-market. According to TI, its robust TI E2E community and third party support provides innovation through collaboration and faster time-to-market.

The production-ready WiLink 6.0 (WL1271) OpenLink module is packaged as a daughter card and bundled in the AM18x Sitara ARM EVM + WL1271 Development Kit, priced at Rs.51,000 ($1,150.00). For customers already working on an AM18x Sitara ARM EVM, the stand-alone daughter card is available for Rs.11,000 ($249). [Note: The WiLink 6.0 OpenLink daughter card is compatible with all existing AM18x Sitara ARM EVMs, except the AM1810 Sitara ARM MPU.]

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