While they were at the Freescale Technology Forum Americas (FTF), June 18-21, 2012, in San Antonio, Texas, the folks from GainSpan Corporation, a leader in low power Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi for the Internet of Things, showcased a variety of new and expanded capabilities for their Wi-Fi connectivity solutions.
These capabilities – all of which were demonstrated using a Freescale Tower System with a Kinetis processor module – includes Serial to Wi-Fi, Limited Access Point (AP) and sensor native apps running on an iPhone.
As numerous applications involve monitoring and control directly from smartphones, GainSpan demonstrated soft AP capabilities, called limited AP, that allow Wi-Fi enabled smartphones, tablets, or PCs to connect directly to a GainSpan Wi-Fi-enabled product, greatly improving the user experience. In these demonstrations, GainSpan’s Limited AP functionality allowed a Tower System-mounted sensor board – with temperature, light and accelerometer sensors, and LEDs – to connect directly to a smartphone for monitoring the sensors and controlling the LEDs.
The demonstration utilized a Freescale TWR-WIFI-G1011MI Tower System module with GainSpan’s GS1011MIP Wi-Fi module on-board, a TWR-SENSOR-PAK sensor module, and a Kinetis K60 processor module. The Kinetis MCU collected sensor data and transmited it via a serial connection to the Wi-Fi Tower System module. This module, acting as a Wi-Fi Access Point, appeared in the list of Wi-Fi networks found by the smartphone, and – once selected – allowed the smartphone to connect to it. By opening a GainSpan developed native sensor app, sensor values and graphics could be displayed on the smartphone and LEDs on the sensor board could be turned on and off.
GainSpan’s GS1011MIP module mounted on a TWR-WIFI-G1011MI module supports all Wi-Fi functionalities, the networking stack and services including application security (SSL/ TLS), embedded servers (HTTP, DHCP and DNS servers), service and device discovery (mDNS and DNS/SD) and XML parsing. In addition to any customer applications, only a small driver or reference code of a few Kbytes is required on the Kinetis K60.
“As microcontroller vendors develop lower power MCUs for Internet of Things applications, such as the Freescale Kinetis L series, our Wi-Fi modules, with their unique and extended networking stack and services, can serve as the ideal companion chip to enable long life battery operated devices,” said Bernard Aboussouan, vice president of marketing, GainSpan. “Our focus is to continually evolve innovative Wi-Fi connectivity solutions designed to meet the needs of our customers.”
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