Atmel expands SmartConnect portfolio with 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi SoCs and modules

Atmel has expanded its leading SmartConnect wireless portfolio with four new turnkey system-on-chips (SoCs): the WILC1000 and WINC1500. Each SoC extends the company’s already broad portfolio of wireless connectivity options with the latest 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi capability, seamlessly integrating Newport Media’s (NMI) solutions in just two months.

Atmel_WINC1500_FB_TC_1200x1200_091714

If you recall, NMI was acquired back in July 2014, thereby enabling Atmel to offer designers and Makers the industry’s most comprehensive wireless portfolio of smart, connected devices for the growing Internet of Things (IoT). The acquisition immediately added 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to its existing offerings and has accelerated the company’s introduction of low-energy Bluetooth products, Atmel CEO Steve Laub recently explained. “Combined with our existing Wi-Fi and ZigBee solutions and industry leading microcontroller portfolio, Atmel is positioned for substantial growth in the Internet of Things marketplace.”

Both wireless solutions are compatible with existing Atmel microcontroller solutions and can connect to all Atmel AVR or Atmel | SMART MCUs. The new WINC1500 is an IEEE 802.11b/g/n IoT network controller, while the WILC1000 is an IEEE 802.11b/g/n IoT link controller.

Expanding on Atmel’s Wi-Fi offering, the WILC1000 and WINC1500 are SoC solutions optimized for battery-powered IoT applications. These wireless SoCs feature fully-integrated power amplifiers for the industry’s best communication range, without compromising cost or performance. Both the WILC1000 and WINC1500 are add-on solutions which can connect to any Atmel MCU or eMPU targeting a wide range of Internet of Things (IoT), consumer and industrial applications. Both products are available either as fully-certified modules ready for production to accelerate a designer’s time-to-market or as discrete SoCs for customers requiring the highest design flexibility.

“Atmel is excited to offer one of the broadest portfolios of differentiated wireless MCU solutions in the industry to further enable more smart, connected devices in the era of the Internet of Things,” said Kaivan Karimi, Atmel Vice President of Wireless Solutions. “Connected devices that were once a concept are becoming a reality because of innovations that are allowing devices to be smaller, easier to use, faster and more powerful—but are lower in power and optimized for battery operations. When these products are paired with Atmel’s broad portfolio of products, along with comprehensive technologies, OEMs and small developers are allowed to streamline the production of the next wave of IoT devices.”

Atmel’s SmartConnect family can be connected to any ultra-low power MCUs or eMPUs and wireless connectivity solutions into an easy, turnkey IoT solution. SmartConnect enables Wi-Fi Internet connectivity using ultra-low power for IoT edge/sensing nodes markets, therefore reducing overall bill of materials. In addition, the latest solutions accelerate development time for cost-effective, battery-operated applications in the residential, healthcare, industrial, smart energy and wearable markets.

As Reza Kazerounian, Senior Vice President and General Manager, MCU Business Unit at Atmel, previously noted, ultra-low power wireless connectivity is critical for embedded applications in the era of IoT.  “[That is why] Atmel’s SmartConnect technology is about simplifying the use of embedded wireless connectivity technologies and enabling users to accelerate their time-to-market. This simplicity allows all players to participate in the IoT market, fueling the innovation needed to accelerate adoption.”

The WILC1000 and WINC1500 provide multiple peripheral interfaces such as UART, SPI, SDIO and I2C. The only external clock source needed is a high-speed crystal or oscillator with a wide variety of reference clock frequencies supported (between 12 – 50 MHz) and are IEEE 802.11 b/g/n, RF, Baseband, MAC certified.

Key features of the Atmel WILC1000, which can be found on its preliminary datasheet ready for download, include:

  • IEEE 802.11 b/g/n RF/PH/MAC SoC
  • IEEE 802.11 b/g/n (1×1) for up to 72Mbps
  • Single spatial stream in 2.5Ghz RF band
  • Integrated PA and T/R Switch
  • Superior Sensitivity and Range via advanced PHY signal processing
  • Advanced Equalization and Channel Estimation
  • Advanced Carrier and Timing Synchronization
  • Wi-Fi Direct and Soft-AP support
  • Supports IEEE 802.11 WEP, WPA, WPA2 Security
  • Supports China WAPI security
  • Superior MAC throughput via hardware accelerated two-level A-MSDU/A-MPDU frame aggregation and block acknowledgement
  • On-chip memory management engine to reduce host load
  • SPI and SDIO host interfaces
  • 2/3/4-wire Bluetooth coexistence interface

WILC

Key features of the Atmel WINC1500, whose preliminary datasheet can also be found here, include:

  • IEEE 802.11 b/g/n RF/PH/MAC SOC
  • IEEE 802.11 b/g/n (1×1) for up to 72Mbps
  • Single spatial stream in 2.5Ghz RF band
  • Integrated PA and T/R Switch
  • Superior Sensitivity and Range via advanced PHY signal processing  Wi-Fi Direct and Soft-AP support
  • Supports IEEE 802.11 WEP, WPA, WPA2 Security
  • On-chip memory management engine to reduce host load
  • 4Mbit internal Flash memory for system software
  • SPI, UART and I2C as host interfaces
  • Power save modes
    • 3μA deep sleep mode
    • 600μA standby mode (state is preserved)
    • On-chip low power sleep oscillator
    • Fast host wake-up by chip pin or clock-less transaction
  • Fast boot options
    • On-Chip Boot ROM (Firmware instant boot)
    • SPI flash boot (firmware patches and state variables)
    • Low-leakage on-chip memory for state variables (next chip revision)
    • No SPI flash is needed if firmware patches and state variables can be loaded from MCU at boot time
    • Fast AP Re-Association (150ms)
  • On-Chip Network Stack to offload MCU
    • Integrated Network IP stack to minimize host CPU requirements
    • Network features TCP, UDP, DHCP, ARP, HTTP, SSL, and DNS
  • TCP/IP protocol stack (client/server) sockets applications
  • Wi-Fi security WEP, WPA, WPA2 and WPS
  • Advanced Equalization and Channel Estimation
  • Advanced Carrier and Timing Synchronization
  • Wi-Fi Direct and Soft-AP support
  • Network protocols (DHCP/DNS)
  • WSC (wireless simple configuration WPS)
  • No OS small footprint host driver (4KB flash – less than 1KB RAM)

WINC

Interested in the newest members of the SmartConnect family? The WILC1000 and WINC1500 are both now available — WILC1000 as a chip and three different modules; the WINC1500 as a chip and a module, with an evaluation kit featuring Atmel’s SAM D21 MCU.

 

 

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