Renesas Electronics America and Redpine Signals Collaborate to Provide Fully Productized Ultra-Low-power, High-throughput 802.11n Wi-Fi I/O Connectivity for Embedded Systems

Apr 27, 2010
SANTA CLARA and SAN JOSE, Calif., April 27, 2010—Renesas Electronics America Inc. and Redpine Signals announced today 802.11a/b/g/n wireless connectivity solutions that make it easy for system engineers to add single-stream 802.11n Wi-Fi capability to embedded systems that use Renesas Electronics’ R8C, RX and SuperH™ microcontrollers (MCUs). These solutions are based on the Connect-io-n and n-Link series of modules from Redpine Signals®, which make it easy to design new systems and upgrade existing products to provide reliable wireless data communications while meeting various power and throughput requirements. A demonstration of the solution can be seen in Redpine's booth (#1334) and in Renesas Electronics America's booth (#2002) at Embedded Systems Conference Silicon Valley, April 27 to 29, in the McEnery Convention Center, San Jose, California. Renesas Electronics America and Redpine Signals also will be presenting a complimentary seminar titled “Full-featured 802.11n Wi-Fi for Embedded Systems―Available Now!” on April 28 from 3:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. in Room D at the McEnery Convention Center.

The Connect-io-n and n-Link modules work seamlessly with the Renesas Electronics MCUs that are among the top sellers in global markets and are used extensively in a broad range of embedded system applications. The modules implement single-stream 802.11n connectivity in a smaller space, at less cost and using less power than legacy 802.11b and 802.11g modules. Importantly, system developers do not have to have a detailed knowledge of Wi-Fi technology to apply them. Thus, these modules remove major barriers to the widespread adoption of the 802.11n wireless communication standard in embedded system applications.

The Connect-io-n 802.11n modules are “self-contained,” and Renesas Electronics customers can readily integrate them into any existing Renesas Electronics MCU-based system, including designs built with devices in the R8C, RX and SuperH (SH) families. The Redpine module products offer SPI and UART interfaces and provide wireless connectivity up to 10Mbps on the SPI interface, or up to 4Mbps on the UART interface. Available with an option for TCP/IP and Web applications embedded within the Wi-Fi module, the Connect-io-n modules enable extremely small MCU driver footprints: less than 9KB for the SPI interface and less than 2KB for the UART interface. As a result, existing R8C-, RX- and SH-based designs can be enhanced with future-proof Wi-Fi 802.11n functionality by adding as little as 2KB of new software and minimal hardware changes in the MCU hardware.

The higher-performance n-Link 802.11n modules have SDIO/SPI host interfaces and are ideal for applications that must deliver greater throughput (up to 35Mbps) or require stringent QoS (WMM-PS for voice/video, etc.). Redpine Signals provides the required SDIO driver, HAL, Wi-Fi Management and OS abstraction functions for the n-Link modules.

“These solutions are important to our customers because we are seeing growing interest from them to add Wi-Fi connectivity to existing and new designs,” said Ritesh Tyagi, Director of Microcontroller Products and Solutions Marketing, Consumer and Industrial Business Unit, Renesas Electronics America Inc. “Now, system engineers can easily provide Wi-Fi capability by combining the Renesas Electronics MCU of their choice with the fully FCC-certified Wi-Fi modules from Redpine. We have worked closely with Redpine Signals to deliver Wi-Fi solutions that achieve high throughput with very low power consumption.”

“Redpine has spent over nine years in developing technology and products in the 802.11n space going up to 4x4 configurations (600Mbps). Our single-stream 802.11n products offer all the benefits of ease-of-integration, low cost, ultra low power and high performance for embedded systems and, at the same time, preserve the 802.11n network capacity. It is important to note that the higher data rates offered by 802.11n enable shorter packet durations resulting in a much higher battery life than competing 802.11b or 802.11b/g solutions,” said Venkat Mattela, CEO of Redpine Signals, Inc. “Our collaboration with Renesas Electronics America protects our customer investment in product development and enables them to create full-featured and future-proof wireless solutions for multiple vertical markets.”

Key applications for the Redpine wireless connectivity solutions for Renesas Electronics MCU-based embedded system designs include home appliances; medical equipment such as remote patient monitors; home gateways; and security systems, thermostats, HVAC equipment, home automation systems, and lighting control systems for residential buildings; among many others.

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Written By: Lawrence Beimel
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