GainSpan Enables Access Point Mode on Wi-Fi ModulesNovember 15, 2011
Turns GainSpan-enabled products into instant wireless access points; simplifies provisioning and improves ease-of-use.
SAN JOSE, CA -- (Marketwire) -- GainSpan Corp., a leading developer of ultra-low power embedded Wi-Fi solutions, announced it has added Limited Access Point (Limited-AP) capability to its family of embedded Wi-Fi modules. With this capability, any GainSpan enabled embedded Wi-Fi product can serve as an instant access point so that common consumer wireless devices, such as notebooks, tablets or smart phones, are very easily able to establish a connection using Wi-Fi.
By providing embedded Limited-AP capability, GainSpan obviates the need for complex configurations of typical access points. For the end user, this translates into the Wi-Fi provisioning being fast, simple and a very familiar process.
Take an example of a low-cost Wi-Fi Smart Plug, which in most cases will have a load connected to it—a lamp, fan or an appliance for instance. Next, consider the challenge of configuring the Wi-Fi Smart Plug to join a Wi-Fi network, as it may not support a display screen, nor any visual LEDs/control buttons. With a GainSpan Wi-Fi module embedded in the Smart Plug, the Limited-AP capability enables a very familiar provisioning user experience, one akin to setting up your laptop on your home Wi-Fi network. The Wi-Fi Smart Plug simply powers up as an access point, allowing a handheld consumer Wi-Fi product—such as a Smartphone—to connect to it using built-in highly secure WPA/WPA2-Personal wireless security modes. So by enabling the Wi-Fi on your Smartphone, you are then able to scan and discover the Smart Plug device. Next, by using the hosted web server within the GainSpan module, the Smart Plug can be configured to join one of the Wi-Fi networks that the Smart Plug discovers. The Smart Plug changes from being an Access Point into a client of a Wi-Fi network.
In another example, the same Smart Plug, using Limited-AP, can be configured to remain in access point mode instead of being turned into a client of another access point. The benefit of this mode is providing a universal solution that does not depend on the capabilities of the smartphone or the local AP, and enabling connectivity and data exchange amongst up to eight client Wi-Fi devices.
With GainSpan's Limited-AP capability, a wide variety of deeply embedded Wi-Fi enabled products such as thermostats, in-home displays, sensors, appliances and even security locks can act as an access point and be easily provisioned to join a home Wi-Fi network.
"Many device manufacturers in the Smart Energy, Healthcare and Residential Control & Monitoring markets are developing products for everyday consumers. Consumers want to be able to easily connect these products to their smart phones, tablets and home Wi-Fi networks," said Bernard Aboussouan, vice president of marketing, GainSpan. "Our Limited-AP feature helps OEMs improve the provisioning process and the out-of-the-box user experience."
GainSpan Wi-Fi Modules
The Limited-AP capability is supported by the complete line of GainSpan low power embedded Wi-Fi modules. All modules are pin to pin and footprint compatible: The GS1500M provides leading-edge 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi connectivity with speeds up to 72 Mbps, while the GS1011M offers 802.11b/g/n connectivity with speeds up to 11 Mbps. The modules have a number of options of antenna and power amplifiers for range and power consumption optimization. Both modules provide serial interface (UART, SPI) to an 8/16/32-bit host microcontroller and use simple AT commands. The modules not only dramatically reduce RF design time but also remove the burden of testing and certification.
The Limited-AP capability is now available as part of GainSpan's latest software release. GainSpan modules and software can be purchased from GainSpan's online store.
GainSpan Corp. is a leading ultra-low-power embedded Wi-Fi semiconductor solutions company focused on connecting Things to the Internet, and People to Things. With easy to use system-on-chip (SoC), modules and software, GainSpan lets customers leverage the large installed base of Wi-Fi access points and smartphones to create new connected embedded products for healthcare, smart energy and control/monitoring in industrial, commercial, residential markets. GainSpan solutions feature an ultra low power SoC that consumes just a few µA of standby current and goes from standby to active mode in just a few ms, ideal for battery operated devices requiring long life. The Wi-Fi chip also handles all Wi-Fi functionalities, networking and security stacks, offloading when required host microcontroller and accelerating wireless development. GainSpan is based in San Jose, CA, with R&D in India.
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