Creating Internet-of-Things nodes and related hardware can be a challenge, however with new hardware such as Atmel’s latest SmartConnect SAMW25 Wi-Fi module – you get a low-power, pre-certified system-on-chip solution that is aimed at the needs of embedded computing, connected appliances and Internet-of-Things applications.
This highly integrated module offers an ideal solution for designers looking to easily integrate wireless connectivity into their products using a Wi-Fi platform with FCC precertification for the module.
The SAMW25 module is based on Atmel’s industry-leading WINC1500 Wi-Fi chipset combined with a 32-bit Atmel SMART SAM D21 microcontroller on the application processor side. This provides an all-in-one- solution that opens the door to wireless LAN connectivity for a wide range of battery-powered Internet-of-Things devices and applications that require an application processor with integrated Wi-Fi connectivity, without compromising on cost or power consumption.
With a compact 34 x 15mm footprint, the module is competitive with other Wi-Fi modules on the market in terms of size, RF performance and cost – but according to Atmel this platform is particularly strong in terms of its power consumption and power-saving modes compared to similar Wi-Fi modules on the market.
The WINC1500 Wi-Fi device includes everything you need at the physical layer for 2.4GHz IEEE 802.11 b/g/n support at up to 72 Mbps throughput, such as an integrated power amplifier, transmit-receive switch, and advanced signal processing that provides superior sensitivity and range.
The rest of the Wi-Fi stack includes TCP/IP on board, WEP and WPA/WPA2 encryption support, and support for Wi-Fi Direct, Soft-AP and station modes. The WINC1500 MAC layer is designed to minimise power consumption while also providing high data throughput.
The WINC1500 includes its own, independent 32-bit processor dedicated to the Wi-Fi networking functions. This processor provides many of the MAC functions, for example association, authentication, radio power management, security key management and frame aggregation or de-aggregation. This processor also provides flexibility for various modes of Wi-Fi operation, such as access point and station modes.
On the host microcontroller side, The SAM D21 microcontroller core runs at up to 48MHz, with 256kb embedded Flash and 32kB SRAM. This system-on-chip features convenient over-the-air Wi-Fi firmware upgrade capability, and SPI, UART and I2C interfaces.
The microcontroller is based on the ARM Cortex-M0+, building on ARM’s decades of innovation and experience in powerful yet energy-efficient microcontroller architecture.
This general-purpose microcontroller is ideal for many low-power, cost-sensitive industrial and consumer applications, running the application in one place integrated into the module alongside the Wi-Fi radio. In most cases, this system can run an Internet-connected application completely self-contained with no other microcontroller needed in the system.
A TCP/IP stack is provided onboard to handle the networking, along with DHCP and DNS network protocols and TLS (Transport-Layer Security), SSL and HTTPS support, enabling strong security in IoT networking applications. Atmel’s Wireless Simple Configuration (WSC) is also supported, making it easy to provision new devices on the network with their passwords and the like.
The microcontroller also provides a DMA and event-handling system and a full-speed USB peripheral device plus USB host. Six flexible serial communications modules are provided, along with a 12-bit ADC, 10-bit DAC and a hardware touch-sensing engine.
This rich and flexible set of peripherals, combined with the energy-efficient application processor and integrated Wi-Fi radio, make this platform an ideal all-in-one solution for a range of home automation, consumer, utility metering, industrial sensing and Internet-of-Things applications.
All these features are accessible via the Atmel Studio 6 development environment, making it easy to use the SAMW25 module and easy to get started developing software for your Wi-Fi connected products and IoT applications. You don’t need to have any previous experience working with the TCP/IP stack, 802.11 networks or RF hardware design.
Atmel also offers the Atmel SAMW25 Xplained Pro evaluation kit, their wireless hardware platform to help you evaluate and develop for the ATSAMW25 Wi-Fi system-on-chip module. This kit is supported by the Atmel Studio IDE, and it provides easy access to all the features of this device, explaining how to integrate this module into your custom design.
Additional peripherals are offered in the kit, extending the features of the module and making it easier to develop your custom designs – for example a USB serial port and Serial Wire Debug support for programming and run-time debugging of your software in the onboard SAM D21 microcontroller. No other programmers or external tools are required to program or debug the device, making it easy to get up and running quickly.
And this is where the LX Group us ready to work with you. We have end-to-end experience and demonstrated results in the entire process of IoT product development, and we’re ready to help bring your existing or new product ideas to life. Getting started is easy – click here to contact us, telephone 1800 810 124, or just keep in the loop by connecting here.
LX is an award-winning electronics design company based in Sydney, Australia. LX services include full turnkey design, electronics, hardware, software and firmware design. LX specialises in IoT embedded systems and wireless technologies design.
Published by LX Pty Ltd for itself and the LX Group of companies, including LX Design House, LX Solutions and LX Consulting, LX Innovations.