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The Internet – infinite space - OR - A small module for the big network

2012-10-16  QUALCOMM ATHEROS

Mobile devices in particular can best access the "Internet of Things" by means of a WLAN. By equipping devices with a WLAN, you can make them extremely easy to connect and communicate with, as an almost universal infrastructure can be used and the collaboration with "cloud services" is effectively ready-made.

The RTX4100 module from the Danish manufacturer RTX represents one of the simplest and most energy-saving possibilities for providing continuous Internet access even to devices that are operated with disposable batteries, such as smoke alarms or temperature sensors. The very small module supports 802.11 b/g/n, 1x1, 2.4GHz and with dimensions of just 18 x 30 x 2.4mm even has a print antenna already integrated. It is based on the AR4100P WLAN SiP ‘system in package’ from QUALCOMM ATHEROS and an EFM32 low-power 32-bit application processor from ENERGY MICRO, on which customer-specific applications can also run.

The processor has an integrated Flash and RAM. It boots up via a serial flash memory that is also accommodated on the module and is supplied by a low-power LDO. In addition, the processor controls two further LDOs, in order to drive Wi-Fi and serial Flash separately. This means that the AR4100 WiFi block can be switched off completely in order to implement an ultra-low power mode. Numerous I/Os are also available that permit the use of the RTX4100 in many application scenarios, without the need for further external components. These include timers, serial interfaces, analog comparators, A/D and D/A converters, a quartz oscillator and a debug interface.

The RTX4100 module is equipped with firmware that supports “co-located application programs”. Using an API that is defined in the firmware, as well as the CoLA Framework, customer-specific software is developed that is then loaded into the module. This means that the actual module firmware remains untouched.

The board support package and an extensive application framework promise a quick and efficient software development. This enables the developer to access various libraries in order, for example, to implement “white goods” or “smart energy” applications quickly, using a free tool chain.

RTX4100 features
- 802.11 b/g/n single stream @ 2.4GHz
- Supports WEP, WPA/WPA2 and WPS (WiFi Drivers and WPA Supplicant)
- On-board application processor with flexible interfaces
- Very low energy consumption by means of Energy Micro Gecko G230 MCU and Atheros AR4100 Wi-Fi SiP 
- Integrated antenna or U.FL antenna connector
- Can be fed by unregulated voltage
- Compact solderable module with dimensions 18 mm x 30mm
- IPv4 and IPv6 stack
- FCC and IC certified
- RoHS and CE compliant
- Interfaces: ADC, DAC, analog comparator, GPIOs, SPI, I2C, UART

'Internet of Things'

When people talk today about the 'Internet of Things', they mean the integration of objects into the worldwide web – in other words, the assignment of addresses and the exchange of messages with the devices via the Internet. For what purpose? In order to switch the devices on and off, to control them and to read out and evaluate the data they are recording, or indeed to record and track them for logistics purposes.

The “things” are everyday objects such as washing machines, garage door openers, smoke detectors, surveillance cameras or independent heating for cars, all of which can now be operated or monitored by smart phone. But these object can also be found in industry, such as goods that are already cataloged in the production process and are tracked throughout their lifecycle, or the future distributed energy network that requires intelligent control via numerous networked nodes.

For further information, simply contact us!

A11

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RTX4100 ultra low power WLAN Modul
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Example of a battery-operated module that records sensor data and sends it to a Twitter account
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