There's an ongoing flood of amazing news from the Embedded World 2013 Conference and Exhibition in Nuremburg, Germany. For example, the folks at GainSpan, a leader in ultra-low power Wi-Fi connectivity for the Internet of Things (IoT), have just unveiled the GS2000, which they say is the industry’s first single chip solution bringing together two IEEE low power standard wireless technologies: Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n) and 802.15.4.
The GS2000 is a highly integrated System on a Chip (SoC) containing multi-standard RF as well as both 802.11b/g/n and 802.15.4 PHY/MAC functionality, dual ARM Cortex -M3 processors, networking stack and services, and large memory size to support various application profiles – all on a single silicon die. The new Wi-Fi and ZigBee IP chip will accelerate the development and market adoption of home networked devices.
The GS2000 features a dual mode IPv4/IPv6 TCP/UDP networking stack along with additional networking services, enabling a complete networking solution for embedded MCU based applications. It supports Wi-Fi WLAN software and networking features, ZigBee IP – which is based upon 6LoWPAN – and IP based addressing and methods over both 802.11 and 802.15.4 wireless standards.
By incorporating the only two wireless IP-based Home Area Network (HAN) standards while supporting IPv4 and/or IPv6 devices, the GS2000 extends internet connectivity wherever there is a Wi-Fi access point or hotspot, and leverages the key benefits of each technology – the high data rates and widespread availability of Wi-Fi along with the small channelization and meshing capability of ZigBee IP. In residential applications, for example, the solution will bridge the gap between smart meters using ZigBee and the new connected white appliances, all integrating Wi-Fi.
“While other wireless technologies compete in various applications, only Wi-Fi and ZigBee IP provide for and support IP addressing and methods, extending these proven Internet protocols directly to a device or sensor,”
said Greg Winner, president and CEO, GainSpan. “To truly deliver on the vision of the Internet of Things, range, power consumption, ease of deployment and network management are often more critical than other factors. The GS2000 combining both technologies is able to address line powered as well as battery operated applications cost effectively, which are both necessary to achieve that vision.”
With the GS2000, device and appliance manufacturers no longer have to design for one or the other protocols, but can use the same SOC to develop a design that supports either ZigBee IP and/or Wi-Fi, with IPv4 or IPv6, all in the same product.
Designed to provide a cost effective IP based solution all the way to the device, the GS2000 extends GainSpan’s leadership from personal healthcare and fitness and smart energy applications to new segments such as metering and high-quality video and audio applications used in consumer and home automation products. Feature highlights
The new GS2000 family offers a high level of integration with multi-mode baseband and RF integrated on a single die, best-in-class performance and extensive networking stack and services. It features a flexible dual core architecture based upon the popular, low power ARM Cortex-M3 processor and is fabricated in TSMC’s low power, low leakage 65nm process technology, required by battery operated applications. The GS2000 mixed signal peripherals and significant memory resources creates a powerful and flexible solution for low power as well as line powered IoT applications, including smart energy. Multi-mode capability
- Complete Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11 b/g/n with Space Time Block Coding) and ZigBee IP (IEEE802.15.4) on a single silicon die
- Support for dual stack IPv4 and IPv6
- Support for Station/Client Mode, Limited Access Point for easy provisioning or connecting to smartphones, Wi-Fi Direct, and Wi-Fi Direct with concurrent mode, allowing a device to act simultaneously as an access point station as well as access point for other devices
Extensive networking stack and services
- 802.11 b/g/n chips and modules with multi Mbps throughput for high-definition video and audio applications
- Unmatched idle power consumption combined with fast wake up performance from idle state offers the longest battery life for a Wi-Fi device.
- High receiver sensitivity capability for extended range operation
“We continue to build on our leadership in low power Wi-Fi, the only wireless technology that combines the IP networking capability required for the Internet of Things, with direct connectivity to smartphones”
- Includes personal and enterprise security, embedded DHCP, DNS and HTTP(S) clients and servers, XML parser, service and device discovery, easy provisioning, over-the-air firmware updates, and more.
- Supports SEP2.0, OpenADR as well as ECHONET Lite for Smart Energy Applications
said Bernard Aboussouan, vice president of marketing, GainSpan. “The integration of ZigBee IP, allows us to further extend battery life and range to serve longer battery life applications.”
According to IHS analyst Phillip Maddocks, “the connected home is a growing market, with annual shipments of ‘smart home’ nodes projected to grow from under 20 million units in 2012, to over 90 million in 2017. Both ZigBee and Wi-Fi are projected to demonstrate significant uptake in this market, and the two technologies can be used together within a range of key ‘smart home’ devices, ranging from gateways to node-level devices such as smart appliances or thermostats.”Availability
GainSpan’s GS2000 Wi-Fi/ ZigBee IP combo SOC and associated modules
will be sampling in March with full production slated later this year.
If you found this article to be interest, visit Microcontroller / MCU Designline
where – in addition to my Max's Cool Beans
blogs on all sorts of "stuff" – you will find the latest and greatest design, technology, product, and news articles with regard to all aspects of designing and using microcontrollers.
Also, you can obtain a highlights update delivered directly to your inbox by signing up for my weekly newsletter – just Click Here
to request this newsletter using the Manage Newsletters tab (if you aren't already a member you'll be asked to register, but it's free and painless so don't let that stop you [grin]).
Last but certainly not least, make sure you check out all of the discussions and other information resources at All Programmable Planet
. For example, in addition to blogs by yours truly, microcontroller expert Duane Benson is learning how to use FPGAs to augment (sometimes replace) the MCUs in his robot (and other) projects.