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Serial-to-WiFi server is software agnostic

Apr 5, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Connect One has introduced a serial-to-WiFi communications module aimed at connecting RS232C serial devices to 802.11b/g wireless LANs and protecting them from network attacks. Dubbed the “Socket iWiFi” server, it overcomes time and complexity barriers by unbundling the wireless and security drivers from the… application, according to the company.

(Click for larger image of Socket iWiFi)

Socket iWiFi resides on a small PCB in Connect One's standard SocketModem form-factor using a standard SocketModem pin-out for insertion into headers on a host board. It weds the company's own iChipSec CO711AG IP Communication Controller chip with a Marvell 88W8385 WiFi chip, the former acting as a WiFi controller and firewall for the Marvell chip.

Because WiFi drivers, WPA supplicant, security and networking protocols, and communication tasks are offloaded from the host application to the iChipSec chip and its high-level AT+i API, the module offers “a true plug-and-play mode that eliminates any changes to the host application,” explained newly hired company president Udi Yuhjtman, formerly of recently acquired Israeli embedded development and stack house Jungo. Software and configuration parameters are stored in remotely updateable flash memory.

Socket iWiFi supports numerous security protocols, according to the company, including SSL3/TLS1, 64/128-bit WEP encryption, AES-CCM and TKIP encryption, and WPA1 (including AES); WPA2 support will be added Q3 2007. The module accommodates up to ten simultaneous TCP/UDP sockets; two listening sockets; SMTP, MIME, POP3, FTP, Telnet, and HTTP clients; a Web server; and serial-to-IP bridging. It also includes a WAP server for device management via a WAP browser.

By offloading connectivity, cryptography, and security from the application processor, Socket iWiFi “frees up host processing time and simplifies the wireless design process,” Yuhjtman added. “As a coprocessor with remotely updateable firmware, new security or connectivity protocols do not require application redesign, increased memory or faster processor speed to meet future wireless demands.”

The serial-to-WiFi server measures 2.54 x 1.08 x 0.43 inches, operates from 3.3 volts, has an extended temperature range of -20 degrees to 70 degrees Celsius, and is RoHS-compliant, the company said. Power Save and Sleep modes are provided. An extended temperature range model is available.

Socket iWiFi is immediately available, priced at $95 each in quantities of 100-999 units.

Connect One, based in Israel, opened a U.S. office earlier this month.

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