Yesterday, Texas Instruments unveiled the SimpleLink product family, a portfolio of wireless connectivity technologies for low-power, low-cost embedded applications, which includes self-contained wireless processors supporting Wi-Fi, ZigBee, 6LoWPAN, and ANT.
The most noticeable product is the SimpleLink Wi-Fi CC3000, a self-contained 802.11 (WiFi) network processor, that can be added to any embedded application and provide WiFi connectivity to the Internet of Things. With this solution, you can add WiFi to any device, even those powered by MCUs without operating systems such as dishwashers, toasters, refrigerators, thermostats, and factory automation equipment. I wish they’ll make new version of the MSP430 Chronos Wireless Watch with WiFi connectivity, this would remove the need for the RF Dongle.
This solution features TCP, UDP and IP software stacks in the chip, it consumes 0.5% of the resources as compared to traditional Wi-Fi and only requires 6KB Flash and 3KB RAM. The company claims it can be ported to a new MCU within hoursthanks to its standard API. You’ll just need an MCU with an SPI interface. It also supports TI’s FirstTimeConfig technology which facilitates pairing to 802.11 access point without the need of a display or user interface.
The SimpleLink CC3000 Wi-Fi is provided as a module to reduce development time, lower manufacturing costs, save board space, ease certification, and minimize RF expertise required. Software drivers, sample applications, API guide, user documentation and a community site are also provided.
TI offers the SimpleLink Wi-Fi CC3000 FRAM evaluation module kit (EMK) comprised of the CC3000 WiFI Evaluation module and MSP-EXP430FR5739 FRAM Experimenter board for those wanting to evaluate this solution.
Texas Instruments has made the software (driver and sample apps) and documentation available publicly including:
- CC3000 Platform Independent Wi-Fi Driver
- Basic Wi-Fi Application
- Web Server Application
- Data Logger Application
- SimpleLink API Reference Manual(HTML/RTF generated by Doxygen)
SimpleLink Wi-Fi CC3000 modules are sampling now and released to production. The SimpleLink Wi-Fi CC3000 FRAM evaluation module kit (EMK) is available for 199 USD.