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Microchip expands embedded wireless line

Posted: 25 Apr 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Bluetooth? Wi-Fi? IEEE 802.15.4. XBee?

Microchip Technology Inc. has extended its embedded-wireless portfolio. Additional Bluetooth devices include the PIC32 Bluetooth audio development kit featuring modules, stacks and CODECs, and XBee footprint-compatible socket modules with integrated stacks. The Wi-Fi offerings comprise IEEE 802.11b/g Wi-Fi modules with Microchip's feature-rich and free source-code TCP/IP stack running on a PIC MCU for greater configurability, as well as XBee footprint-compatible socket modules with integrated stacks for ease of use, the firm indicated.

Microchip's next-generation, 2.4GHz IEEE 802.15.4 MRF24XA transceiver radio provides a very low operating voltage range of 1.5-3.6V and receive power consumption of only 13mA, which enables years of battery life, boasted the firm. This is also Microchip's first radio that can support both the IEEE 802.15.4 and proprietary data rates (from 125kb/s to 2Mb/s) including the ZigBee, MiWi and other proprietary protocols.

Some designers want an easy way to migrate their 802.15.4 designs to either Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, in order to make them accessible from smartphones and tablets, or to add Internet connectivity. This includes applications such as wireless sensor networks, remote monitoring/control and measurement, and M2M cable replacements for home, commercial and industrial networks. The RN XV series of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth socket modules provide agency-certified, drop-in connectivity for any XBee socket.

To simplify designs, the stacks are integrated on the module, configured via simple ASCII commands, and can easily connect to any MCU via a serial interface.

The low-power and agency-certified MRF24WG0MA/MB modules connect at all IEEE 802.11b/g data rates, up to 54Mb/s, and are Microchip's first to support a sustained throughput of 5Mb/s. This provides a footprint-compatible migration path for users of Microchip's existing Wi-Fi modules who need greater speed or increased access-point compatibility, along with more features, stated the firm.

Bluetooth digital audio is rapidly expanding in high-volume applications such as accessories for smartphones and tablets, as well as audio sound bars. To meet this demand, designers need a cost-effective development platform that provides high-quality audio. Microchip's 32bit PIC32 MCUs provide a high-performance platform for developing quality digital-audio playback and accessories. The PIC32 Bluetooth audio development kit builds on Microchip's existing stack-integrated Bluetooth audio module with a new low-cost, agency-certified Bluetooth HCI transceiver module based on a standard radio, AVRCP and A2DP Bluetooth profiles tailored for the PIC32, as well as both standard and advanced audio CODECs such as SBC, AAC and MP3. Additionally, this kit can be used with Microchip's existing Made for iPod and Android stacks. Together, these elements provide a versatile and powerful development platform with a high level of customisation and flexibility.

The MRF24XA 2.4GHz IEEE 802.15.4 transceiver is sampling in a 32-pin QFN package. Pricing starts at $1.89 each in 1,000-unit quantities. It is supported by the MRF24XA PICtail/PICtail Plus Daughter Board (part # AC164152-1, $24.95), which is expected to be available in May.

The XBee footprint-compatible, 20-lead RN41XVC and RN42XVP Bluetooth socket modules, as well as the RN171XVW, RN171XVS and RN171XVU Wi-Fi socket modules, are all available today, starting at $14.56 each in 1,000-unit quantities. These socket modules are supported by the evaluation kit for RN XV Series (part # RN-XV-EK1, $24.95), which is available now.

The 36-pin MRF24WG0MA and MRF24WG0MB Wi-Fi modules are available today at a cost of $18.75 each, in 1,000-unit quantities. These Wi-Fi modules can be evaluated using the Wi-Fi G Demo Board (part # DV102412, $50.00) and MRF24WG0MA PICtail/PICtail Plus Daughter Board (part # AC164149, $35), both of which are available now.

The PIC32 Bluetooth audio development kit (part # DV320032), is available now via Microchip's Early Adopter Program, and is expected to be widely available this summer.

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