When designing the electronics of complex embedded systems, engineers often have to use third-party OEM modules. This is especially true for wireless technologies to be integrated into the final hardware and software platform.
When choosing a ready-made OEM module, its connection interface plays a crucial role. Here are the most common options:
- PCI Express
UART is one of the simplest and most popular interfaces for connecting these modules. USB modules are popular because of the prevalence of USB on PCs, as well as in a variety of systems-on-chip.
The use of modules with CFIO or SDIO interfaces requires greater attention to software and hardware developers. SDIO modules meet the SecureDigital specification, while CFIO modules meet the CompactFlash + specification. The most common problems with the integration of such OEM modules into a final platform based on a microcontroller or system-on-chip are:
- Errata or anomalies in the SDIO controller integrated in the SoC
- Partial compliance with the waveform specifications
Modules can also be classified by industrial and mobile uses. In modules for industrial uses, key parameters include temperature range and industrial connection interface (usually UART or SPI). Due to the limitations of the connection interface, the module cannot fully utilize the bandwidth of the wireless connection. In modules for mobile uses, key parameters include power consumption, structural design and dimensions.
The USB and PCI Express interfaces are used for high-speed wireless technologies.
Promwad engineers possess considerable relevant experience in wireless module selection and integration into target device, based on the customer’s marketing and technical requirements. We have worked with the following vendors of semiconductor Wi-Fi solutions:
- Marvell: Libertas 88w8686, 88w8385; TOPDOG 88w8687
- Realtek: RTL8187, RTL8180
- Ralink: RT61, RT73, RT2571, RT2870, RT3090
- Atheros: AR5007UG (бывший zd1211b), ath5k, ath9k
- Texas Instruments: WL1271, WL1273
Let us discuss in greater detail several Wi-Fi-based OEM modules, as well as RF (radio frequency) modules:
OEM IEEE802.11b/g (WiFi) based on Marvell 88W8385 for mobile applications
- SIze: 20x20 mm
And it's usage in extension board WiFi-ZigBee-USB for processors Blackfin:
OEM IEEE802.11b/g (WiFi) based on Realtek RTL8187 for mobile applications
- Interface: USB
- SIze: 48x30 mm
OEM IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n 2T2R MIMO (Wi-Fi) based on Atheros AR9382 for mobile applications
- Interface: PCI Express
- SIze: 26.8 x 29.85 mm (1/2 miniPCIe)
- Supported specifications: IEEE 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11d, 802.11e, 802.11i, and 802.11n
OEM IEEE 802.11aс and IEEE 802.11ad (WiGig) based on the Atheros AR9462 / Wilocity Wil6120 for mobile applications
- Interface: PCI Express
- Size: 1/2 miniPCIe
- Frequency ranges: 60 GHz, 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz.