Connect One, the Device Networking Authority, available from Caelera, has released Socket iWiFi, a secure serial-to-WiFi embedded device server that quickly and easily connects devices running machine-to-machine (M2M) applications to 802.11b/g wireless LANs and protects them from network attacks.
Socket iWiFi uses Connect One's iChipSec CO711AG Internet Protocol (IP) communication controller chip—which includes the new encryption, security and IP protocols—to act as a firewall and WiFi controller for the onboard Marvell 88W8385 WiFi chipset.
Socket iWiFi enables devices that use communication modules in the industry-standard SocketModem form factor to be integrated into a wireless LAN network with a minimum amount of programming.
Although there are many off-the-shelf, third-party software libraries on the market for adding WiFi connectivity to Windows or Linux PC-based applications, no easy solutions exist to quickly WiFi-enable non-PC devices that use other embedded real time operating systems.
Socket iWiFi overcomes time and complexity barriers by unbundling the wireless and security drivers from the application.
Designers do not need major reprogramming of the application in order to use Connect One's serial-to-WiFi device server, since Connect One's iChipSec and high-level AT+i API offload the WiFi drivers, WPA supplicant, security and networking protocols, and communication tasks from the host application.
iChipSec also acts as a firewall-in-a-chip, protecting the application from networks attacks.
"Socket iWiFi enabled us to quickly design WiFi transmission of video surveillance images into our new building controller," stated Ravi Rao, Chief Technology Officer at Asian Electronics, (AEL) a manufacturer of energy-efficient lighting solutions based in Mumbai, India.
"Connect One has made the implementation of WiFi and security protocols fast and easy by using the same API that we have in our other iChip-enabled products and by giving us a simple RS-232-to-WiFi connection. All we have to do is to program calls from the main processor to the iChipSec coprocessor, which controls the WiFi chipset, and set the network configuration parameters in iChipSec."
"AEL has an impressive track record of designing M2M applications that use the latest technology, enabling them to be first in their markets," says Alan Singer, Connect One vice president of sales and marketing.
"By using Socket iWiFi, AEL was able to quickly develop a new building controller that includes secure wireless video monitoring."
By offloading connectivity, cryptography and security from the application processor, Socket iWiFi frees up host processing time and simplifies the wireless design process. 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.
With Socket iWiFi, developers can take advantage of 10 simultaneous TCP/UDP sockets, two listening sockets, SMTP, MIME, POP3, FTP, Telnet, and HTTP clients, a Web server with a Web site for the application and one for configuring iChipSec, and serial-to-IP bridging.
Socket iWiFi supports, 64-/128-bit WEP encryption, the SSL3/TLS1 protocol for a secure client socket session and a secure FTP session, WPA1, and it will support WPA2 during Q3.
The module operates at 3.3 volts, operates over an extended temperature range of -20° to +70° C and is RoHS-compliant.