Dual-processor 802.11 modules target M2M apps

April 18, 2008 -- Laird Technologies' EZURiO business unit has introduced a series of dual processor 802.11 modules designed to bring wireless connectivity into the scope of any product, however meager its processing capabilities.

April 18, 2008 -- Laird Technologies'EZURiO business unit has introduced a series of dual processor 802.11 modules designed to bring wireless connectivity into the scope of any product, however meager its processing capabilities.

About the size of a postage stamp, the modules include a complete 802.11 device server, a UART interface for data and control, 12 GPIO lines, and two 10-bit ADCs. A tightly integrated Web server can access these signals for remote display or accept external control commands. One of the processors also runs an embedded interpreter with EZURiO's UWScript language, providing full wireless connection control, as well as the capability to auto-run user application scripts.

The wireless LAN modules measure 25 mm x 35 mm in size, and incorporate industrial strength WLAN drivers and a TCP/IP stack, full UART interface, secure WEP and WPA2 implementation, along with Bluetooth co-existence and co-location support. The devices' low-power operation is ideal for battery powered applications; designs are available with either an integrated or external antenna. A development kit is also available for fast prototyping.

For existing products, EZURiO's cable replacement mode provides an automatic, ad-hoc, configurable link between products with no need for any hardware or firmware changes beyond connection to an RS-232 port. Products with an on-board processor can be modified to enable wireless connectivity by using the high-level control interface of EZURiO's 802.11 modules. According to the company, all the designer needs to understand are basic concepts such as SEARCH and ATTACH to design a fully connected product.

Laird contends that, for new product designs, the internal processing power of the EZURiO modules can replace the need for any other processor. Coupled with UWScript -- a fully featured, wireless-aware scripting language -- complete products can be designed around the EZURiO modules, maintains the company. The intelligent modules are intended to allow designers to bypass the wireless learning curve and evolve from concept to production applications such as remote metering, ePOS, fleet management, energy conservation, and more.

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