Qualcomm Atheros adds WiFi to Freescale M2M controllers

Qualcomm Atheros, in a collaboration with Freescale, has created a tiny SIP chip package which will hold a full WiFi connection for machine to machine (M2M) applications, measuring just 8.3 mm by 9.2 mm which can be mounted in printed circuit boards. Called the AR4100, it is claimed to be the industry’s smallest FCC-certified WiFi package.

The package is designed to sit alongside low resourced industrial microcontrollers (MCU) which need to send infrequent data packets over the internet and is based on Qualcomm Atheros’ 802.11b/g/n single-stream Align technology, enabling long range transmission with minimal energy use.

MCUs will interface to the AR4100 via a simple serial peripheral interface bus and provides full offload of all Wi-Fi functionality, including security protocols such as WEP, WPA, WPA2 and WPS. It requires only a few external bypass capacitors and a connection to an antenna for a board-level design.

The device is collaboration with Freescale in the sense that it slots into Freescale’s Tower development system so its Kinetis ARM based CPUs and its Coldfire flash storage can both talk through it, and is tightly integrated with Freescale’s MQX embedded real time operating system.

“Freescale and Qualcomm Atheros share a common vision for increasing connectivity in the home and enterprise to share information, streamline operations and reduce expenses. We are deploying leading-edge technologies into many of these markets, but no single connectivity solution meets the needs of our diverse customer base,” said John Weil, global product and enablement manager at Freescale.

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