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Tri-band SDIO WiFi card runs Linux

Jun 25, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 5 views

Silex Technology announced a Linux-friendly 802.11a/b/g WiFi module offered in an SDIO card form factor. The SX-SDWAG is aimed at embedded OEM applications that require low power consumption, such as battery-operated devices in the medical, weights and measures, and transportation industries, says Silex.

(Click for larger view of the SX-SDWAG card)

Based in Kyoto, Japan, with offices in Tustin, Calif., Salt Lake City, Beijing, and Germany, Silex is a thirty-year old company specializing in connectivity devices. Its SX-SDWAG card works with open source Linux drivers, it says, as well as with Windows CE drivers available from Codeplex. Ports to additional operating systems are available, says the company.

The new SX-SDWAG SDIO card is based on a low-power Atheros AR6001XL WiFi chip. (In October, Atheros introduced an updated version of the chip called the AR6002.) The SX-SDWAG can be ordered with diverse antenna connectors. It supports an extended temperature range of -40 to 158 degrees F (-40 to +70 degrees C).

Measuring 0.94 x 1.68 x 0.08 inches (24 x 42.7 x 2.1mm), the SX-SDWAG is said to accommodate off-the-shelf SDIO mounting hardware and test equipment. It runs off a 3.3V power supply, offering a claimed typical power consumption of 15dB. Power draw is said to be higher when using the 80211a mode, which operates on the 5GHz band and is often used in hospitals to avoid interference with other 2.4GHz devices.

Stated Keith Sugawara, GM of Silex Technology America, “The SX-SDWAG complements our recently-announced SX-560 intelligent module by providing a lower-cost solution for OEMs that have already implemented TCP/IP networking and security protocol stacks into their devices.”


Silex previously offered an SX-560 module (pictured at right), which offers 802.11a/b/g capabilities in a compact, serially-connected “WiFi device server” that runs Linux on a 200MHz processor. Offering web- and telnet-based management interfaces, and two serial ports, the SX-560 can also be controlled with AT commands. It can be customized with standard Linux tools, and targets high-security applications such as enterprise surveillance.


No pricing or availability information was provided for the SX-SDWAG. The serially-connected SX-560 is shipping now for a suggested resale price of $70 for small quantities, says Silex.

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