Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Qualcomm Atheros + Freescale Offer Wi-Fi Chip for M2M and SmartGrid

Qualcomm Atheros introduced a highly integrated Wi-Fi system-in-package (SIP) for microcontroller (MCU) based design. The new module is based on Qualcomm Atheros' 802.11b/g/n single-stream Qualcomm Atheros Align technology and is aimed at machine-to-machine (M2M) communications in the smart home/building/grid markets.

The AR4100 is the industry's smallest FCC-certified SIP package, integrating all Wi-Fi functionality into a low profile 8.3 mm by 9.2 mm LGA package that can be mounted via low-cost PCB manufacturing flows. It is optimized for client applications hosted by low-resource MCUs that send infrequent data packets over the network. MCUs interface to the AR4100 via a simple serial peripheral interface bus (SPI) and will be initially aimed at customers in the smart home, smart grid and smart building markets.

Qualcomm Atheros is collaborating with Freescale Semiconductor to bring the AR4100 to market. The two companies have worked together to develop an implementation for Freescale's Tower development System. The TWR-WIFI-AR4100 is a peripheral module for the Tower System that allows the AR4100 to be quickly added to tower designs based on select Kinetis and Coldfire processors.

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