Fully Featured 802.11b/g Module from EZURiO is Set to Revolutionise the Wireless M2M Market

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Wireless hotspots aren't just for business users catching up on email. EZURiO's new range of intelligent, embedded 802.11g modules is poised to open up municipal wireless LAN access to a host of machines and street furniture. Although hot-spots are being promoted for laptop and social internet access today, in the future EZURiO believes that in many cities officials will find themselves retrospectively justifying their investment by citing the way they've enabled street furniture and services once products like this change the ways machines connect.

EZURiO today chose the Embedded Design Show in San Jose to announce the first in a range of 802.11b/g modules designed specifically for the embedded market. The modules provide a full 802.11b/g implementation with onboard antenna, TCP/IP stack, network drivers, application processor and serial interface. They complement EZURiO’s existing range of Bluetooth modules by providing everything from UART interface to antenna on a single board only 34mm x 25mm.

“Wireless hot-spots are spreading rapidly, with many cities now deploying municipal 802.11 networks”, said Nick Hunn, CTO of EZURiO. “By providing a fully self-contained wireless LAN module it’s now possible to utilise this existing infrastructure to connect any machine with a serial port, so that it can be remotely accessed, controlled or monitored via the web.”

Traditionally it has been difficult and expensive for embedded designers to add Wireless LAN to their products. The chipsets and solutions designed for the PC market rely on the Pentium processor and Windows O/S to provide many of the components of the client 802.11 solution. However many machine applications only employ a low cost 8 bit microprocessor that has no hope of providing this functionality. EZURiO’S 802.11 modules require almost zero overhead from the host processor, because all of the wireless LAN solution is embedded within the module. That allows any machine with a serial interface to take advantage of the proliferation of hotspots.

As well as the full 802.11b/g radio and stack, the EZURiO wireless LAN modules provide GPIO lines, two 10 bit ADCs and two 10 bit DACs. The ARM based solution also includes an HTTP web server, which can deliver dynamic pages to control these I/O features.

An integral high performance ceramic antenna gives excellent range. An additional connector is provided so that designers can add an external antenna, or implement antenna diversity.

EZURiO has included a powerful interpreted, scripting engine which simplifies the radio control and operation. This can run either in interactive mode, allowing the module to act as its own development system, or else run saved scripts from internal program memory. A comprehensive set of wireless oriented tokens make association and searching as simple as a single command.

“Until now, hot-spot providers have only looked at laptop users as their customers”, said Chris Shannon – CEO of EZURiO. “From today, they can include almost any machine in their customer base. We’re seeing interest from manufacturers of street furniture, ePOS systems and vending machines who want to be able to utilise the growing amount of 802.11b coverage.”

To provide even greater flexibility, the 802.11g module has been designed to be physically and electrically compatible with EZURiO’S existing range of Bluetooth modules. This allows developers to use the same development tools, and even allows manufacturers to swap wireless technology at final production, giving increased flexibility.

EZURiO is the module supplier of choice for embedded wireless designs in a wide range of products, including medical, automotive and ePOS applications.


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