Its main focus, however, is the development and manufacturing of PCIe Wi-Fi modules in various mechanical and functional designs. These modules are partly based on the original reference designs of Qualcomm Atheros, though some are COMPEX's own developments.
As a rule, the company offers PCI express mini cards measuring 30mm × 50.95 mm (full size) or a smaller 30mm × 26.80mm (half size) design with a 52-pin connector. Despite the fact that many users demand and prefer the smaller "half size" design, the increasing complexity of today's Wi-Fi standards no longer allows for a design implementation on such small cards. Therefore, COMPEX offers most of its modules as full-size cards.
In some module designs with multiple antenna technology, such as MIMO4x4, or even in high-power designs, COMPEX had to resort to oversizes such as, e.g. 50mm x 50.95mm or 50.3 x 70.3 x 5.5 mm to make room for the large number of components required. COMPEX offers all modules with an extended commercial temperature range of -20°C to +70°C. Since COMPEX focuses on industrial applications, some of these are also available in the industrial temperature range of -40°C to +70°C, using exclusively components with a full industrial qualification. The limited temperature range of +70°C instead of the usual +85°C can be explained as follows: Almost all components of a module are hidden underneath a shield to suppress incoming and outgoing EM wave radiation. Naturally, the temperature inside the shield is higher as a result of the components' self-heating. Therefore, the external temperature should not exceed +70°C over extended periods. COMPEX, however, uses the following wording for al I-temp modules: "The module can operate up to 90ºC. For long term reliability, a 20ºC safety margin should be maintained."
As regards Wi-Fi standards, the modules tick all the boxes. The product range covers all single and dual band solutions in several antenna configurations. In single band, the 802.11b/g/n standards are available in MIMO 2x2 or 4x4. At 5GHz, the 802.11ac/an standards are supported in the MIMO 2x2, 3x3 and 4x4 configurations. Dual band solutions offer either 802.11a/b/g/n standards or with the 11ac extension in the MIMO 2x2 and 3x3 antenna configurations. In the case of the dual band modules, however, one must take into account that only one band can be covered at a time, i.e. it is not possible to use both bands simultaneously.
A great advantage of COMPEX is that almost all modules are both CE-certified (for Europe) and FCC-certified (for the US). Some of them even offer IC (for Canada). All modules are supported either by both Linux and Windows or by one of the two. The following summary offers a small overview of the module solutions. To download a complete product matrix including datasheets, go to: http://downloads.codico.com/misc/AEH/COMPEX