TI makes Wi-Fi technology more robust and affordable for IoT applications

2 mins read

Texas Instruments (TI) has introduced a new SimpleLink family of Wi-Fi 6 companion integrated circuits (ICs) to help designers implement more reliable, secure and efficient Wi-Fi connections.

Intended for high-density or high-temperature environments up to 105ºC the first products in TI’s new CC33xx family include devices for Wi-Fi 6 only or for Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth Low Energy 5.3 connectivity in a single IC.

When attached to a microcontroller (MCU) or processor, these devices enable a secure Internet of Things (IoT) connection with reliable radio-frequency (RF) performance in broad industrial markets such as grid infrastructure, medical and building automation.

“The adoption of Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E is accelerating, with 2.5 billion Wi-Fi 6 devices expected to ship worldwide in 2023,” said Kevin Robinson, CEO of Wi-Fi Alliance. “Today’s Wi-Fi is well suited to address a variety of industrial IoT applications, and innovation from companies like Texas Instruments is helping expand the number of applications, such as electric vehicle charging systems, smart meters and smart appliances, that can rely on Wi-Fi to deliver reliable, consistent, and efficient connectivity in the IoT market.”

The SimpleLink CC3300 Wi-Fi 6 companion IC and CC3301 Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth Low Energy 5.3 companion IC provide greater Wi-Fi network efficiency and a stable connection across more than 230 access points, while operating at temperatures from –40ºC to 105ºC. The devices will also allow designers to affordably connect their IoT edge nodes directly to home or enterprise access points without additional equipment.

The Wi-Fi 6 companion devices feature orthogonal frequency division multiple access (OFDMA) technology and basic service set (BSS) colouring to deliver fast and consistent network performance and connect more devices simultaneously, without interference from congestion.

These devices also support Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) security features, including the latest WPA3 cryptographic technologies for personal and enterprise networks and a secure boot feature with firmware authentication.

These companion ICs can easily be attached to TI and many other companies’ MCUs and processors that support Linux or real-time operating systems (RTOS). For example, CC33xx products can be attached to artificial intelligence (AI)-capable processors like TI’s new AM62A Arm Cortex-based vision processors, used in edge AI applications like smart appliances and security cameras to reliably connect smart Wi-Fi-enabled devices to the cloud.

Industrial design engineers can also incorporate TI’s CC3300 with host MCUs such as TI’s 2.4-GHz CC2652R7 SimpleLink multiprotocol wireless MCU or an AM243x MCU-hosted system to enable greater IoT flexibility with Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth LE 5.3, Thread, Zigbee 3.0 and Matter protocols.

“Adding a secure and robust wireless connection to an industrial design such an EV charging system that operates in an outdoor and potentially hard-to-reach environment is challenging and especially costly for designers,” said Marian Kost, vice president and general manager of Connectivity at Texas Instruments. “Our new SimpleLink family of Wi-Fi devices make it significantly more affordable and simpler to implement the latest Wi-Fi technologies in more places than ever before.”