Electronic Design

Wireless Module Brings Wi-Fi To M2M

Machine-to-machine (M2M) communications typically are used with cellular network connections to monitor or control remote objects. But M2M can be implemented with any wireless connectivity that provides a portal to the Internet. Wi-Fi is a good choice because of the wide availability of access points and hot spots.

The SN8200 from Murata Wireless Solutions (MWS) is a small, low-power, self-contained, certified Wi-Fi network controller module that provides simple serial-to-Wi-Fi connectivity to the Internet. It offers an immediate solution for manufacturers who are looking to add wireless connectivity to home appliances or other devices for the healthcare equipment, industrial control, and monitoring markets.

The module is enabled with Broadcom’s Wireless Internet Connectivity for Embedded Devices (WICED) architecture and Software Design Kit. It integrates 11n Wi-Fi, TCP/IP network stack, security supplicant, and other network application features, such as a Web server. It also includes Murata’s Simple Network Interface Card (SNIC) serial-to-Wi-Fi interface protocol, which treats the Wi-Fi module as a simple serial port. This significantly reduces the development and integration effort for design engineers and shortens time-to-market.

The SN8200 is Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Industry Canada (IC) certified. It also complies with European Telecommunication Standards Institute (ETSI) standards EN 300 328 and EN 301 489. And, it can support extended operating temperatures and lifetime expectancies for a variety of applications and environments as well.

The module includes the latest and most advanced IEEE 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi system-on-a-chip (SoC) from Broadcom and an STM32 32-bit ARM Cortex M3 microcontroller from STMicroelectronics that hosts the networking application and provides the network stack and Wi-Fi application programming interface (API). It also combines a diversity-enabled RF front end, power management unit (PMU), and on-board antenna.

The SN8200 is the first module from MWS’s Network Controller Module product line. The family comprises footprint-compatible modules with flexible software personalities and hardware configurations to match customer needs. Variants include antenna diversity, microcontroller speed, flash memory size, peripheral interfaces, and advanced software feature options like access-point mode, Wi-Fi Direct, Smart Energy Profile 2.0, and IPv6.

Development kits are available now from Avnet (www.avnet.com) for $199. The SN8200 module is priced in the mid-teens to high teens in volume.

Murata Wireless Solutions
www.murata-ws.com

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