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embOS/IP WiFi support

WiFi enabling your device

embOS/IP WiFi support is a solution to add WiFi (IEEE 802.11) support to your product. It supports various WiFi modules from different vendors to be added to your product easily.

Features

  • Add-on modules for the emPower eval board available
  • Seamless integration with the embOS/IP stack
  • Simple, easy to integrate, unified API regardless of the WiFi module used
  • No need for re-certification by using WiFi certified modules
  • Access Point support (depends on module features)
  • Support for all Ethernet based protocols (not only TCP/UDP)
  • Support for various host MCU interfaces like UART/SPI/SDIO/RMII

 

 

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How does embOS/IP support WiFi?

embOS/IP provides WiFi drivers that allow an easy way of integrating various WiFi modules. The drivers are providing the same API to the application regardless of the module used. From an application point of view a WiFi interface is basically the same as a cable based interface. It fully supports the embOS/IP zero-copy API and BSD socket API and can be used for basically all Ethernet based protocols.

 

Various WiFi modules are available as add-ons for the emPower eval board.
The list of available WiFi add-ons and their features can be found here: emPower WiFi add-ons
 

 

 These modules can be easily tested on the emPower eval board as all necessary hardware layers have already been ported for this platform.

 


Why should I use embOS/IP WiFi and supported modules?

Virtually unlimited protocol support

embOS/IP allows using WiFi connections the same way as in a wired Ethernet system. We support modules that work in packet mode, so that all Ethernet packets are passed to the microcontroller, giving embOS/IP full control over the protocols to use. This means the same functionality can be used, with the same client, server and application support.

WiFi modules might come with their own internal TCP/IP stack. Usage of this is typically limited to be operated by a variation of modem AT commands that allow using a limited feature set for accessing TCP and UDP sockets. To overcome these limitations it is necessary that the modules support a packet mode. This allows embOS/IP to use any Ethernet based protocol over WiFi as well.

Simple to use API

Each WiFi module vendor uses his own API. embOS/IP WiFi simplifies this by providing an unified API through a module specific driver. This allows interfacing all modules using the same API and not only makes WiFi easy to control but is also an advantage across different modules as they can easily be exchanged without modifying the application itself.

Easy and low-cost evaluation

Only a selected amount of WiFi modules allow bypassing the module internal TCP/IP stack to gain full control over the data and therefore all protocols. While evaluation hardware might already exist for these modules they can not be easily compared to each other as they are interfacing different host platforms including different kinds of host MCUs or no host MCU at all, only providing another interface e.g. to a PC.

The emPower eval board WiFi add-ons allow you to easily compare different WiFi hardware to each other using the same base hardware and same embOS/IP API being used with your software regardless of the WiFi module used. This makes it the perfect platform to compare the modules for a decision making at very low evaluation costs.

Avoiding WiFi re-certification

Typically the available WiFi modules are already certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance when using their built-in antenna or when being used with an antenna suggested and tested by the module vendor. This way re-certification of your own design is not necessary.

 


Hardware requirements

WiFi add-ons for easy evaluation with the emPower eval board are available for purchase. The porting of the module specific hardware layer has already been done for these modules for the emPower eval board. Porting to other systems is also possible by adapting the hardware layers.

embOS/IP can support practically any module that is able to communicate with the host MCU providing full Ethernet frame access. For communication with the host MCU typically an SPI interface is required but other interfaces like UART, SDIO, I2C or RMII might be supported by the module as well.