Electronic Design

Peripheral Chip Connects Mobile Devices To Wireless GSM

A peripheral chip known as the iChip Internet controller provides embedded Internet connectivity for devices via GSM modems. It targets wireless designs in telemedicine, environmental monitoring, e-commerce, industrial controls, and remote data collection over the Internet.

This device connects in tandem with a host processor to mediate the interface between the host CPU and the Internet. With it, users can accelerate time-to-market by eliminating the need for a major hardware redesign or a new operating system. Since the iChip functions with any host processor and operating system, it's no longer necessary to have an expensive processor or extra memory to run the Internet protocols.

The firmware-based iChip includes up to 512 kbits of on-board Flash memory for storing and updating the TCP/IP and other Internet protocols. This ensures a device's long-term viability despite future changes in protocols. A high-level AT+I command set, an Internet extension to the Hayes AT protocol, lets designers who lack Internet programming capability quickly configure their devices. Just a few lines of code written on the host processor will invoke the Internet protocols stored in the iChip's Flash memory.

In addition to supporting wireless modems, the iChip's HTTP client software lets users download web pages to the device. It supports opening and closing up to five UDP or TCP sockets for streaming audio or video, accessing of secure servers or running proprietary protocols, and binary MIME attachments for large e-mail files. Also, it supports auto-baud rate detection for easier modem configuration. It has a stay-online feature for sending and receiving multiple messages within one Internet session. And, its hardware flow control frees the host CPU from managing modem communications.

Available immediately, the iChip costs $20 in 10,000-unit quantities.

Connect One Ltd., 4677 Old Ironsides Rd., Santa Clara, CA 95054; (408) 986-9602; fax (408) 986-9604; www.connectone.com.

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