If you’re looking at getting your product connected via WiFi, the landscape just looks even better. WiFi for Embedded Systems is always a difficult topic. On the one hand you need a reliable, high performance WiFi solution which takes significant firmware, but you still want low power, integration and low cost.
TI recently released their latest Embedded WiFi solutions, part of the SimpleLink family. You might be familiar with the CC3000 part. The CC3100 and CC3200 build and improve on this part.
The CC3100 is a WiFi network processor that allows any MCU to connect to the internet. The host MCU needs to run a small driver that allows it to communicate with the TCP/IP stack on the CC3100 using the Industry-Standard BSD Socket interface. The CC3200 is a complete WiFi + MCU solution that provides a Cortex-M4 microcontroller and peripherals. Compared with the CC3000, the CC3100 and CC3200 add many new features and improvements:
- Radio support for 802.11n which was previously missing, allow the devices to better operate on 802.11n capable Wireless Access Points
- Support for Access Point (AP) and Wi-Fi Direct modes
- Support for Enterprise security
- Improved provisioning with the inclusion of WPS2 support, as well as the SmartConfig™
- Support for TLS and SSL connections
- Sleep mode with RTC at 4uA as opposed to the complete shutoff required from the CC3000.
- Throughput is significantly improved. TI quotes 12Mbps TCP and 16Mbps UDP which can enable audio and even some video applications
As for the CC3200, it is a Cortex-M4 MCU capable of runing at 80MHz including a parallel camera interface, I2S, SD/MMC, UART, SPI, I2C, and four-channel ADC.
We’re looking forward to test the parts and help customers build internet enabled products.
* Pictures courtesy of Texas Instruments