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u-blox module combines dual-band Wi-Fi, dual-mode Bluetooth

24 Feb 2015  | Graham Prophet

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u-blox has announced the ODIN-W262 module that is intended for both point-to-multipoint cable replacement that need advanced multiradio capabilities. Geared for Internet of Things (IoT) applications, the module simplifies adding wireless connectivity to any product, stated the company.

A robust, built-in antenna provides flexibility with respect to the module's installed position and orientation. Applications include cable replacement running in Wireless Multidrop and Extended Data Mode for advanced multipoint operation with several radios operating simultaneously.

ODIN-W262, measuring 14.8mm x 22.3mm x 4.5mm, needs no external host and supports -40°C to 85°C temperature-range. It is ready-to-use and comes complete with embedded driver, stack and application for wireless data transfer, stated u-blox. The module supports multiple concurrent Wi-Fi (2.4GHz and 5GHz), Classic Bluetooth and Bluetooth low energy (v4.0) links to provide flexibility, and it is easily configured using AT-commands.

Future firmware upgrades will add micro access point, high-speed interfaces (such as RMII) and support for custom embedded applications. For example, the module will be able to act as a Wi-Fi access point or as a gateway between Wi-Fi and Bluetooth low energy sensors.

These numerous configuration options minimise inventory requirements and reduce design effort and costs because one module can be software-configured for use in a variety of products. For example, a manufacturer may want to offer products in either Wi-Fi or Bluetooth versions.

u-blox stated that concurrent Wi-Fi and Bluetooth has many uses. In retail applications, Bluetooth low energy may be used to detect the closest printer while data is sent to that printer over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth classic. In medical applications, a patient monitoring device may be supervised via Wi-Fi at a central location in the hospital, while local communication with nurses is carried out over Bluetooth. For such medical applications, the module complies with the IEC 60601-1-2 standard.

The EVK-W262U is an evaluation kit for the module. It uses a single USB connection for data and power and comes complete with the u-blox configuration tool for Windows. For applications where an external antenna may be optimal, u-blox offers the ODIN-W260 module, which is a version with U.FL antenna connectors.

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