Wi-Fi is a popular technology that allows an electronic device to exchange data wirelessly (using radio waves) over a computer network, including high-speed Internet connections. A device that can use Wi-Fi (such as a personal computer, video-game console, smartphone, tablet, or digital audio player) can connect to a network resource such as the Internet via a wireless network access point.

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Texas Instruments Incorporated recently announced the release of its latest SimpleLink Wi-Fi CC3000 module. The self-contained module features the unique SmartConfig technology, a Wi-Fi configuration process developed by TI that allows multiple in-home devices without displays to connect to a Wi-Fi network via a smartphone or tablet. With the Internet of Things (IoT) revolution, new devices are wirelessly connected to the home network and to the cloud. Now, with the CC3000, headless devices with no keypads or touchscreens including garage door openers, home appliances, lights, thermostats and treadmills can be configured to connect to a Wi-Fi network.

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What is it?
TI’s SimpleLink Wi-Fi solution minimises software requirements of the host microcontroller unit (MCU) and is thus the ideal solution for embedded applications using any low-cost and low-power MCU. It reduces development time, lowers manufacturing costs, saves board space, eases certification, and minimises the RF expertise required. This complete platform solution includes software drivers, sample applications, API guide, user documentation, and a world-class support community.

Features
The TI CC3000 module is equipped with a wireless network processor, which uses the IEEE 802.11b and IEEE 802.11g standards for implementing WLAN computer communication. An IPv4 TCP/IP stack is also embedded in it for communication protocols. It provides the best-in-class radio performance with a transmitter power of +18.0 dBm and a receiver sensitivity of -88.0 dBm and 8 per cent PER at 11 Mbps. The module works with low MIPS (Microprocessor without Interlocked Pipeline Stages) and low-cost MCUs and possesses a compact memory footprint. It possesses an integrated crystal and power management and a small form factor of 16.3mm x 13.5 mm x 2mm.

Benefits
The SmartConfig technology in the module allows one-step Wi-Fi configuration using smartphones or tablets along with easy network setup for display-less devices and simultaneous multiple device provisioning. Owing to flexible memory size, it is compatible with ultra low-cost MCUs. The service discovery feature, which is integrated with the SmartConfig technology, enables quick and easy discovery of network-provisioned devices via smartphones and tablets. The module can also connect to a cloud server over http via built-in TCP/IP stack.

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Device Uses
The module finds use in various fields like Home automation, home security, managing connected appliances, smart energy and M2M communication. Using SimpleLink Wi-Fi CC3000 modules, design engineers can take advantage of a complete support platform including a comprehensive Wiki, sample applications, support community, user guide and porting guide for faster time-to-market.

Pricing and availability
SimpleLink Wi-Fi CC3000 pre-production modules are sampling now. Production modules will be available in 1Q 2013 through TI authorised distributors for $9.99 in 1,000-unit quantities. The SmartConfig technology iOS app is available now on the AppStore. The SmartConfig technology app will be available for Android in 1Q 2013.


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