SoC puts WiFi into battery-powered devices -

SoC puts WiFi into battery-powered devices

G2 Microsystems has developed a low-power WiFi SoC, the G2C543, as well as a module (the G2M5437), and a development kit. The goal is to make it easy for designers to connect consumer electronic devices directly to the Internet or to future WiFi Personal Area Network (PAN) systems. This includes such applications as home energy management and health monitoring, and laptop PAN peripherals like mice, wireless speakers, and headphones.

The G2C543 SoC includes a 32-bit CPU, an operating system, a network stack, crypto accelerators, a power-management subsystem, a real-time clock, and a versatile sensor interface, which allows it to serve as a networking slave or a standalone host subsystem. It draws just 4 μA in standby mode and can wake up and transmit a packet in less than 11 ms. It's housed in a 72-pin QFN package and is priced at $4.80 in volumes of one million units.

The G2M5437 module comes with a power amplifier and antenna, the G2C543 SoC, and 4 Mbits of flash memory. It comes pre-certified for FCC and CE regulations and is tested for WiFi Alliance WMM and WMM power-save modes. The module is sampling now, and is priced at $13 in 10,000-unit volumes.

The Icon development kit lets developers easily add WiFi to an applications processor-based design. The kit, dubbed the G2-IDK, includes a small board with standard interfaces (UART, SPI, SDIO) and an Epsilon module pre-loaded with the Icon application. Hence, a G2 module can become a WiFi networking interface for mains- and battery-powered devices. The platform is suited for use with 8- or 16-bit host applications processors that can't connect to other WiFi ICs, or for use with 32-bit host processors that don't have the bandwidth needed to run a network stack. The kit sells for $129.

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