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CDMA, UMTS modems gain LInux SDK

Dec 8, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 2 views

[Updated: Dec. 9, 2008] — Sierra Wireless is shipping a Linux software development kit (SDK) for its 3G wireless modules. The Linux SDK supports its HSPA- and EV-DO Rev-compatible modems, says the company, which also announced it was acquiring embedded wireless vendor Wavecom.

(Click for larger view of the Sierra Wireless AirCard 881)

The Sierra Wireless Linux SDK is available to both OEMs and independent software vendors that are developing connection managers for network operators, says the company. The SDK is said to support application development on a wide range of Sierra Wireless adapter products that work with CDMA and UMTS wireless networks, including most recent “AirCard” PC card modems (pictured above), ExpressCard modems (pictured below), “Compass” USB modems, and MCx-class embedded PCI-Express Mini Card modems, such as the MC8792V model shown below. Target applications are said to include portable devices, machine-to-machine (M2M) systems, fixed wireless terminals, vending machines, and fleet management systems, says Sierra Wireless.

Sierra Wireless AC881e ExpressCard (left) and embedded MC8792V PCI-Express Mini Card (right)
(Click on either to enlarge)

The Linux SDK includes a general Application Programming Interface (API), as well as “access to” the Sierra Wireless Command and Status (CnS) API, says Sierra Wireless. The latter includes commands for voice, SMS, and data connections, enabling lower power consumption by comparison with using AT commands, claims the company.

According to a company spokesperson, the Linux SDK has been built, tested, and verified based on Ubuntu- and Debian Sarge-based reference designs. X86 platforms are supported with Ubuntu 8.04, and require 256MB RAM and 3GB of available storage. ARM9 “and other embedded processors” are supported with the Technologic Systems TS-7800 platform, running a Debian Sarge Linux 2.6 distribution, said the Sierra Wireless representative.

The SDK is offered under a “fairly standard” Sierra Wireless license that restricts use to Sierra Wireless products only, and allows for “redistribution with another product that includes the Sierra Wireless product,” said the spokesperson. A Linux driver, meanwhile, has already been available as an open source download on Previous Sierra Wireless SDKs have been developed for Windows platforms, including Windows CE and Windows Mobile.

Last week, Vancouver, Canada-based Sierra Wireless announced it had signed an agreement to acquire Paris, France-based Wavecom for 218 million Euros (about $277 million US). Wavecom manufactures embedded wireless technology for M2M applications, strengthening Sierra Wireless's hand in embedded devices while also improving its customer reach in Europe and Asia, says the company.

Stated Trent Punnett, SVP, Marketing and Corporate Development, for Sierra Wireless, “The Linux SDK allows developers integrating Sierra Wireless products into Linux-based systems in a cost-effective way that supports their tight development schedules.”


The Sierra Wireless Linux SDK is available now, free of charge to qualified customers, says the company.

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