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Wi-Fi, LAN modules offer increased design flexibility

Posted: 15 Jun 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Wi-Fi? WLAN? controller?

Nano Socket iWiFi

Connect One has unveiled the Nano Socket family of embedded LAN and Wi-Fi modules based on its CO2144 Internet controller and targets machine-to-machine solutions.

Nano Socket iWiFi is an 802.11b/g embedded Wi-Fi module with an integrated Wi-Fi antenna. Nano Socket LAN is a 10/100BaseT LAN module with an integrated RJ45 connector.

With the Nano Socket family, only a few hours are required to add full-featured Internet access functionality over LAN or Wi-Fi to an embedded device, including TCP sockets, SSL encryption, routing, e-mail, and file transfers. The logical interface between the host application and the modules is Connect One's AT+i Protocol, a simple text-based API that enables fast and easy implementation of Internet networking and security protocols.

The Nano Socket family includes a plethora of security features. The modules serve as a communications offload engine and inherent firewall, protecting the embedded device from the Internet attacks. Both modules boast high level of Internet security and encryption algorithms (AES-128/256, SHA-128/192/256, 3DES, SSL3/TLS1 protocol for a secure client socket session) for complete, end-to-end encryption support. The Nano Socket iWiFi also includes the latest WLAN encryption schemes (64/128-bit WEP, WPA/WPA2 enterprise). Both modules share the same simple header-based pinout, allowing customers reduced assembly costs and increased flexibility when designing solutions. A single product design can easily accommodate both LAN and Wi-Fi.

The modules support several modes of operation:

??Serial-to-LAN/Wi-Fi Bridgetransparent bridging of serial data over LAN or Wi-Fi

LAN-to-Wi-Fi Bridge transparent bridging of LAN over Wi-Fi using direct RMII connection to existing MAC hardware.

??Full Internet Controller mode allowing simple microcontrollers to perform complex Internet operations such as e-mail, FTP, SSL, and others.

??PPP emulationoffering existing (e.g., cellular modem) designs currently using PPP to interface to the cellular modem by connecting transparently over LAN or Wi-Fi with no changes to application or drivers.

Large-volume customers can build a chip-level solution identical to the Nano SocketLAN family functionality by adding an iChip CO2144/2128 and the relevant PHY to the main PCB. Customers can benefit from quick time to market afforded by the modules, and later migrate to a lower cost, chip-based solution and realize significant cost savings. Reference designs outlining the transition can be downloaded from Connect One's Website.

Embedded developers wanting to add a web user interface to their solutions may use the modules' included CO2144 as an embedded HTTP/HTTPS web server. By uploading the application website into the CO2144 and using simple AT+i commands, the embedded device instantly offers a modern WebUI to the end user.

"We designed the Nano Socket module family for customers interested in a simple solution to add LAN or Wi-Fi connectivity to their devices," noted Ariel Shulman, Connect One vice president of sales. "The shared form factor and onboard antenna or LAN connector enables customers to release their products quickly and reliably, while reducing development and maintenance costs."

The Nano Socket family eases development by including USB, SPI, USART and RMII interfaces. The Nano Socket LAN operates at an industrial temperature range of -40C to 85C and is RoHS-compliant.

Nano SocketLAN is available now and is priced at under $25 for large volume customers. Evaluation can be done using an II-EVB-363MS evaluation board ($160 list price).

Nano Socket iWiFi is available now and is priced at under $35 for large volume customers. Evaluation can be done using an II-EVB-363MO evaluation board ($160 list price).

- Henri Arnold
EE Times Europe

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