Silex Unwired

Babar Hashim

Recent Posts

Select the Right IoT Module for Your Application

Posted by Babar Hashim on 2017-06-06 20:04:29

Need a low-latency, high reliability solution in a small form factor for your wireless medical device? Or a low-cost low power wireless option for connected consumer electronics? Silex Technology has you covered. Check out our IoT module selection guide to find the right IoT Wi-Fi module to provide the connectivity you need. 

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Operating the WPA Security Supplicant provided with the Silex Wi-Fi drivers

Posted by Babar Hashim on 2017-03-31 23:33:19

In general terms a supplicant is a software package installed on an end-user's client device. The device invokes the supplicant and submits credentials to connect the device to a secure network. If the authentication succeeds, the authenticator typically allows the device to connect to the network.

What is a WPA-Supplicant?

WPA supplicant is an implementation of the IEEE 802.11i supplicant for different operating systems like Linux, FreeBSD, Windows etc. The supplicant implements the security protocols and features addressed in the 802.11i standard. They include:

  • WPA and full IEEE 802.11i/RSN/WPA2
  • WPA-PSK and WPA2-PSK ("WPA-Personal", pre-shared key)
  • WPA with EAP ("WPA-Enterprise", for example with RADIUS authentication server)
  • Key management for CCMP, TKIP, WEP (both 104/128- and 40/64-bit)
  • RSN: PMKSA caching, pre-authentication
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Debugging techniques for the QCA9377 Wi-Fi driver

Posted by Babar Hashim on 2017-03-31 22:48:00

Two of our latest 802.11ac wireless modules, the SX-SDMAC and the SX-SDPAC are based on Qualcomm's QCA9377 chipset. The drivers for these QCA9377 based modules are made available via Qualcomm through their code aurora site, and may soon be available on their Qualcomm Developers Network site. 

For our "Absolutely Must Connect" customers such as medical, industrial, and manufacturing – unstable wireless connectivity can lead to a stop in operations, loss of productivity and economic efficiency, or even significant threats of safety and health. Those mission-critical scenarios where it absolutely must connect are where engineers and designers rely on our propriety Silex reference driver where we have made enhancements to the Qualcomm reference driver. 

One could choose either driver depending on their application, but when compiling Wi-Fi drivers for their devices, one of the most compelling problems they face is how to approach debugging. It is important to know how to debug code errors because it:

  • Can be exceedingly hard to reproduce
  • Can bring down the entire system
  • Can destroy evidence that could be used to track the issue
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Tags: QCA9377

Why OEM's need to put Wi-Fi radios in continuous TX modes for testing, analysis and certification?

Posted by Babar Hashim on 2017-03-31 01:30:00

Original Equipment Manufacturer's (OEM's) designing products using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth may need to obtain product certifications for the regions they plan to sell the product into. During the certification process, some test requires the device to either transmit a continuous stream of packets of a specified type and modulation, or continuously listen on a specified channel. These special factory test modes for the wireless radio are very useful for OEM's for:

  • Development
  • Evaluation
  • Manufacturing tests
  • Certification
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Tags: QDART

Can the SD card slot on the NXP i.MX7 Sabre Smart Devices Board be used for an SDIO Wi-Fi Module?

Posted by Babar Hashim on 2017-03-30 23:30:00

Our recommended platform to evaluate our latest embedded Wi-Fi module, the SX-SDMAC is the NXP i.MX 6 SoloX Sabre SD Board. 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). NXP's i.MX 6 SoloX is a faster and a stronger processor supporting SDIO3.0 that makes it an ideal platform for our 802.11ac Wi-Fi SDIO module to get the best performance . 

 SX-SDMAC Features

  • Based on the QCA9377-3 SoC
  • 11 a/b/g/n/ac Wave 2 MU-MIMO Client
  • SDIO 3.0 WLAN Host Interface
  • Bluetooth 4.1 BR/EDR/LE “Smart Ready”
  • Industrial Temperature
  • Enterprise Security
  • FCC/IC/CE/MIC Modular Certification
  • Seamless Roaming
  • CCX Ready
  • Link Rate up to 433 Mbps
  • Fine Tuned Calibration Per Module
  • Connector Mount and Surface Mount Versions Available
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Silex's Latest Serial Device Server Featuring Qualcomm's QCA6234 Radio

Posted by Babar Hashim on 2017-03-24 22:29:07

SD-320AN is a dual band serial device server for RS-232 serial devices that need to connect to a secure network. It adds dual band wireless connection to an enterprise class wireless network. It supports wireless security with 802.11x authentication protocols for added security. It is targeted to be the successor product for the  SD-310AN. It is based on the newer Qualcomm Atheros radio, QCA6234, which is ideal for customers who are looking for long product lifecycle.

SD-320AN Features:
  • Dual band IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n support
  • Easily connect and share RS-232 serial devices on wireless networks
  • Enterprise security support
  • Access, monitor and control equipment over Ethernet or Wi-Fi
  • Multiple serial port modes and wireless modes for maximum flexibility in any environment
  • Optimized for roaming
  • Support for Windows, MAC and Linux

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Tags: Serial Server, Serial to Wi-Fi

SX-582 - The Next Generation Embedded Intelligent Wireless Module

Posted by Babar Hashim on 2017-02-02 01:25:47


SX-582
is a high-performance Serial/Ethernet to Wi-Fi embedded module, based on the Qualcomm Atheros AR6234 system in package (SiP) solution, that provides dual band 802.11n wireless connectivity for device manufacturers who want to add robust and secure Wi-Fi.

It features a 32-bit 454 MHz Freescale i.MX28 processor with an 802.11a/b/g/n radio, a complete TCP/IP network protocol stack, and an optimized QCA6004 wireless radio driver and security supplicant in a self-contained hardware package. A major advantage of the SX-582 is enterprise security, including WPA2 with 802.1x authentication, which enables it to be used on almost any customer’s network without compromising security. We have also added multi-client bridge support to the product as a standard feature.

 

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Tags: Intelligent Wireless Module

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

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

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