Silex Unwired

Why thermal profiles are important for the integration of embedded Wi-Fi radios?

Posted by Babar Hashim on 2016-12-28 16:00:00

What is thermal profiling?

A thermal profile is a complex set of time-temperature data typically associated with the measurement of thermal temperatures. At Silex for thermal profile analysis of our radios we generate heat within the DUT (radio), but running high frequency of data through the radio until the desired steady thermal state is reached. Once the desired steady state is reached the thermal profiles are captured by a FLIR camera.

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Tags: Emedded Wi-Fi Radios

Silex Releases SX Virtual Link USB over IP for macOS Sierra

Posted by Safi Khan on 2016-12-23 01:38:34

Silex is pleased to inform you that our efforts in collaborating with Apple have resolved the USB compatibility issues that were introduced with MAC OS X 10.11 (El Capitan). We have successfully tested and released our production version of the SX Virtual Link driver for the latest macOS Sierra release (Version 10.12.1). 

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Power Save Options for Wi-Fi Radios

Posted by Babar Hashim on 2016-12-20 03:49:36

Power Save has always been a part of the 802.11 standard since 1999. The devices it had targeted were a lot different from the wireless devices used today. Back then these devices were primarily laptops with big batteries moving between conference rooms. No thought was made that Wi-Fi could and would be added to small hand held devices being used in all aspects of our life. With the addition of Wi-Fi to mobile devices like cell phones, the power save requirements have changed.

               There is now a greater focus on power saving in Wi-Fi than any previous stage of its existence. The advancements in hardware and application have shaped the power save options available today in 802.11. Let’s look at the some of the techniques used to save power consumption.

               There are four basic operations that a radio can perform that leads to power consumption. Power consumed by each activity increases in the given order (1-4). By controlling how long the radio operates between the below states, a user has some control on how much power his radio consumes.

  • Asleep
  • Idle & awake
  • Receiving
  • Transmitting 
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Tags: Ultra Low Power Wi-FI, radio module, 802.11ac

Test, Fix, and Enhance: Developing Reliable Enterprise Wi-Fi Solutions

Posted by Keith Sugawara on 2016-12-16 10:37:45

As we all know, all software will have some bugs. Some problems are fairly easy to discover, but others only occur in specific situations, making it difficult to reproduce them or even discover that they exist. At Silex Technology, we test our software in as many scenarios as possible so we can identify and resolve problems before our product gets into the hands of our customers.

 
Sometimes, bug fixes and feature enhancements require modification to the radio source code. As one of 15 Qualcomm Atheros Authorized Design Centers (ADCs), Silex Technology is one of the few companies in the world enabled with radio source code access. This allows us to make tweaks and modifications for reliability and performance that is not available to most of our competitors.

 

Silex Technology brings stability to the Qualcomm Atheros technology used in consumer mobiletechnology today to ensure it can be used in critical, always-on enterprise devices.

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Tags: Wireless

Catching the Perfect Wave of 802.11ac

Posted by Safi Khan on 2016-12-12 20:37:06

Time to Move to Reliable, Next-Generation, Enterprise Wi-Fi Networks

802.11ac has quickly become the current Wi-Fi standard as 802.11n gradually moves closer to being a legacy standard. It is therefore important to understand the key features and benefits of 802.11ac. This paper explains the top reasons to move to 11ac and helps you understand how Silex is bringing an extremely reliable, next-generation, enterprise-grade SDIO Wi-Fi module "SX-SDMAC" based on industry-leading Wave2 MU-MIMO 802.11ac technology.

11ac is the first Wi-Fi standard to cross the gigabit-per-second throughput barrier. It increases the throughput and capacity of a Wi-Fi Access Point (AP).

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Video Tutorial: How to Evaluate 802.11ac plus Bluetooth SDIO Module with NXP's i.MX 6 Reference Platform

Posted by Babar Hashim on 2016-12-09 23:42:53

Not all wireless modules are created equal. So it becomes very important that one chooses a good evaluation kit to evaluate and test the radio characteristics of the module. As one of 15 Qualcomm Atheros Authorized Design Centers (ADC), Silex Technology is one of the few companies in the world that is enabled with radio source code access. This allows us to make tweaks and modifications for reliability and performance that is not available to most of our competitors. We have made included our optimized and robust QCA9377 reference driver as part of the evaluation image to allow customers experience how a "When it Absolutely Must Connect" Wi-Fi performs.

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Tags: SDIO, Embedded WiFi Radio, i.MX6, 802.11ac, NXP

Basics of Asynchronous Connection-Less (ACL) Bluetooth Communication Protocol

Posted by Tom Nakase on 2016-12-07 04:44:32


Today, I will write about basics of Bluetooth Classic specification. We will find an answer to simple question from the specification that who or what decides Bluetooth (ACL) frame type. In this article, I will refer to original bluetooth specification document  like “Vol.2 Part.B …” from the Core Spec 4.2 unless noted otherwise.

 

ACL Frame Type

Bluetooth Classic defines ACL (Asynchronous Connection Less) for general data frame and SCO (Synchronous Connection Oriented) for synchronous audio frame. ACL has two frame types, DM (which provides Forward Error Correction:FEC) and DH (which doesn’t provide FEC). In addition to these, the number is appended to these frame types like “DM1” or “DH3” to indicate
how many 625 usec. “slot” will be occupied. In EDR (Enhanced Data Rate) introduced with Bluetooth 2.0, DH frame got double and triple the data rate mode denoted like “2-DH1” or “3-DH5”. All these ACL frame types defined in Vol.2 Part.B 6.5.4 are summarized in Table 1. 

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Tags: Bluetooth

802.11ac SDIO Wi-Fi plus Bluetooth Module for Applications that Absolutely Must Connect

Posted by Babar Hashim on 2016-11-18 18:15:41

On Tuesday we released our latest embedded Wi-Fi module, the SX-SDMAC. The SX-SDMAC is a dual-band, single stream, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac plus Bluetooth “Smart Ready” module based on the latest Qualcomm Atheros QCA9377 System-on-Chip (SoC). It is the industry's first Wave 2 MU-MIMO IEEE 802.11ac SDIO Wi-Fi module fully certified for North America, Europe, and Japan in full production. It delivers enterprise-grade, dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi connectivity with link rates as high as 433Mbps.  Click here to view the full press release.

The SX-SDMAC is designed for mission-critical applications including industrial automation, healthcare, environmental monitoring, factory automation and telematics. Highly regulated industries like medical sometimes require long product life cycles. Silex can address such customer needs by offering the option to continue manufacturing our products like the SX-SDMAC for extended periods of time in our own factory.

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Tags: Wi-Fi, SDIO, Embedded Wireless, Embedded WiFi Module, 802.11ac, Bluetooth

Silex Releases Version 1.5.4 of the SX-ULPGN UART AT Command Set

Posted by Safi Khan on 2016-10-31 23:19:15

The SX-ULPGN is an ultra-low-power hostless Wi-Fi IoT module with 802.11 b/g/n support. This low power Wi-Fi IoT module is based on QCA4010 System-on-Chip (SoC) from Qualcomm. Our close relationship with Qualcomm and other partners enables us to provide support for our modules that is not available elsewhere.

The SX-ULPGN also supports a hosted mode for external MCUs with the Silex UART AT Command Set for a cost-effective serial-to-Wi-Fi connectivity addition to already designed IoT solutions with host MCUs.

Based on positive feedback and requests for additional features from our customers, we have now released an update to the UART AT Command Set (Version 1.5.4). This new version adds commonly used networking features like HTTP client and access to peripherals like ADC, PWM, and GPIOs of the SX-ULPGN and make them available to the external Host.

Some of the key features of the Silex AT Command Set are highlighted below:

  • No Host Driver Required for Rapid Customer Enablement
  • Expands SX-ULPGN's Market Reach into Cost-Effective Hosted MCU Based IoT Solutions
  • Comprehensive & Flexible (Runs over Debug UART or over any of the two High Speed UARTs up to 3Mbps)
  • Based on Hayes AT Serial Modem Command Syntax
  • IPv4, IPv6, & Configuration Save/Load
  • HTTP Client & BASIC Authentication
  • SSL Certificate Management
  • DNS Client
  • Commands to Operate GPIOs, ADCs, & PWMs
  • Firmware Update Over-the-Air & UART (XMODEM)
  • AP Mode
  • DHCP Server
  • Suspend/Resume
  • 67 Commands
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How Qualcomm Acquiring NXP Will Benefit You!

Posted by Keith Sugawara on 2016-10-31 18:37:51

On October 27, 2016, Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) and NXP Semiconductors N.V. (NASDAQ: NXPI) announced a definitive agreement, unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies, under which Qualcomm will acquire NXP. 

The combining of NXP into Qualcomm is based on compelling strategic logic that brings together two highly successful and complementary businesses to create a premier semiconductor industry leader. With unique leadership positions in Wireless technologies, Security and Processing, the union is ideally positioned to address the emerging trends of ADAS and Autonomous Vehicles, the Internet of Things (IoT) and the 5G revolution.

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Tags: Qualcomm, NXP