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Low-power Wi-Fi module supports five-year battery life in sensor networks

24 September 2009

ACAL Technology is sampling a new low-cost, low-power 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi sensor networking module from RF Monolithics (RFM) which enables commercial and industrial applications to extend the battery-life of sensor nodes, powered by single AA Lithium batteries, from a few weeks to over 5 years.

Sensing applications which require exceptionally long battery life have previously been prevented from using existing Wi-Fi infrastructure due to the high data rates and power consumption of typical 802.11 b/g radios. The RFM WSN802G module combines data rates of 1 Mb/s and 2 Mb/s, with advanced power management and the GainSpan® GS1010 System on Chip (SoC). This allows OEMs to achieve the rapid introduction of wireless sensing to a wide range of new applications, using existing WLAN infrastructure.

In addition to an active power consumption of less than 200 mA, the WSN802G draws less than 8 μA in sleep mode, and features advanced power management which puts the module into sleep mode when it is not active.

To simplify integration, the WSN802G offers configurable automatic I/O reporting as well as the ability to collect data directly from network sensors via analogue, digital and serial I/O. User programmable functions eliminate the need for developers to write application code to implement I/O functions, as well as eliminating the co-processor for control commands.

Operating in the 2.4 GHz ISM band at 10 mW RF power, the WSN802G provides outstanding receiver sensitivity of -92 dBm at 1 Mb/s, and -90 dBM at 2 Mb/s, with a typical transmission range of 50 meters indoors, and 250 meters outdoors. The module has a very compact footprint of 1.0 x 1.05 square inches.

ACAL Technology’s Martin Kemp, European RF Product Marketing Manager, explains, “As a fully functional, certified radio module, the WSN802G can easily be interfaced to existing Wi-Fi, 802.11b/g infrastructure, allowing OEMs to develop low-power wireless local area networks (WLAN) and sensor monitoring systems for the global market. The combination of proven technology, extensive support and benchmark performance, will enable OEMs to move quickly to gain a competitive edge with new wireless sensing applications.”

Applications which will benefit most from the WSN802G include energy, security and asset management, food safety, environmental safety, cold chain management and manufacturing.
ACAL has immediate availability of samples and development kits of the WSN802G module, for qualifying applications, and will support customers at every stage of the design cycle, from analysis of emerging market trends, to technology introduction and integration, and in-house manufacturing services

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