IoT connectivity modules support WiFi & Bluetooth

6th November 2014
Barney Scott


Texas Instruments have announced WiLink 8 combo connectivity modules, which support WiFi in the 2.4 and 5GHz bands and aim to help manufacturers easily add WiFi and dual-mode Bluetooth to embedded applications.

The module family offers high throughput with robust WiFi and Bluetooth coexistence, suiting power-optimised designs for home and building automation, smart energy, gateways, wireless audio, enterprise, wearables and many more industrial and IoT applications.

Operating across the extended industrial temperature range of -40 to +85°C, the WiLink 8 modules and software are compatible and pre-integrated with many processors, including TI’s Sitara range. Requiring less hardware and RF design experience, WiFi and Bluetooth software stacks and sample applications are provided with the FCC/IC/ETSI-certified modules.

The WiLink 8 family provides scalability and flexibility by offering 2.4 and 5GHz versions that are pin-to-pin compatible. With integrated WiFi and Bluetooth, the WiLink 8 modules enable new use cases and better user experiences. By taking advantage of the less noisy 5GHz frequency band, the higher frequency module enables customers to build high performance solutions.

Smart energy and home gateways, which offer WiFi, Bluetooth and ZigBee coexistence, can manage multiple devices through WiFi multi-channel multi-role capabilities. The modules feature 100Mb/s throughput with TI’s WiLink 8 maximal ratio combining and MIMO technology.

The devices also allow audio streaming for home entertainment applications with both WiFi and dual-mode Bluetooth/Bluetooth low energy, as well as optimisation for low power applications with low idle connect current consumption.

“As a fully integrated solution, using the WiLink 8 modules allowed for reduced development time and quicker time to market. Additionally, the cycle time to get necessary industry certifications and regulatory certifications were greatly improved,” commented Ken Sooknanan, Senior Architect, Connected Life Gateway programme, Cisco. “For IoT products, where multiple hardware variants are needed to address specific markets, the WiLink 8 module fit our needs very well.”

Amichai Ron, General Manager, Wireless Connectivity Solutions, TI, added; “The WiLink 8 certified modules bring cutting edge connectivity technology to any customer and offers easy access to development tools, software and support for many different industrial and consumer applications. As an embedded connectivity market leader, TI is excited to work with customers like Cisco, providing an entire IoT solution including wireless connectivity, processors and analogue.”

The WiLink 8 modules complement several TI platforms to deliver system solutions for manufacturers, including WiLink 8 module-based evaluation boards (2.4GHz-WL1835MODCOM8 and 5GHz-WL1837MODCOM8) that are compatible with the AM335x EVM and AM437x EVM. Additionally, the WiLink 8 modules, which offer Bluetooth and Bluetooth low energy dual-mode technology, are compatible with TI’s Bluetooth portfolio that allows developers to create a complete end-to-end application. The WiLink 8 evaluation boards (WL1835MODCOM8 and WL1837MODCOM8) are available now for $39.79.

WiLink 8 modules are part of TI’s free sample programme, and production units will be available in early 2015 through TI authorised distributors, starting at $9.99 each in 1,000 unit volumes.

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