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Tiny Linux SBC gains add-on WiFi radio

Sep 28, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 20 views

Germany-based industrial computing specialist SSV has started shipping an add-on WiFi module for its miniature ARM-based SBC (single-board computer) targeting WSNs (wireless sensor networks). The E2W/ESL1 module works with SSV's DIL/NetPC ADNP/9200, a tiny SBC that plugs into a dual-in-line IC socket.

(Click for larger view of the E2W ES1 module)

SSV first shipped the ADNP/9200 in November of 2006, positioning it as a flexible WSN platform capable of bridging various wireless networks with wired Ethernet networks. Several months later, the board's real-time Ethernet capabilities were touted. Now, SSV suggests its new WiFi add-on module could be used to add a wireless interface to automation systems, for example to facilitate the monitoring of factory equipment by WiFi-enabled laptops, phones, and other devices.

ADNP/9200 and ESL adapter card

The ADNP/9200 integrates an 32-bit, ARM9-based Atmel AT91RM9200 microcontroller clocked at 180MHz, and is equipped with 64MB of SDRAM and 32MB of flash memory. It also provides dual 10/100 Ethernet ports, dual UARTs, SPI, SSI/I2C, dual USB Host ports, and a USB Device port. For additional expansion, there are 20 lines of GPIO (general purpose I/O).

The ADNP/9200 is designed to accommodate add-on radio modules of various kinds, via the 16-bit top-side “expansion sandwich layer” (ESL) interface illustrated in the above photo. Available or planned ESL radio cards include IEEE 802.15.4 (low-rate wireless personal area networks), ZigBee, Bluetooth, and now, IEEE 802.11b/g WLAN.

The E2W/ESL1 expansion card is said to work in a “transparent bridge mode,” and to support either the “infrastructure” or “ad-hoc” modes of 802.11. It also supports 64/128-bit WEP or WPA-PSK. Setup is handled via a serial interface to the ADNP/9200's second serial port. The card has an external antenna connector (SMA male type) with 100 mm cable.

The ADNP/9200 comes preinstalled with Linux, drivers, a TCP/IP stack, and various servers, according to the company. Additionally, users can add their own software components.

The ADNP/9200 and E2W/ESL1 expansion card appear to be available now. Pricing was not disclosed.

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