Inc. accelerated its commitment to wireless recently, rolling out new
transceiver modules, development boards and application interfaces (APIs) that
could make it easier for machines to talk to one another.
products are a response to the growing need among engineers to add wireless
communications to their designs.
"Wireless in the embedded space is
becoming more cost effective and a more viable means of communications," said Tyler
Smith, marketing manager for the RF Products Div. at Microchip. "We're seeing a
lot of engineers who view wireless as being critical to their designs."
Microchip announced at the recent
Embedded Systems Conference-Chicago that it is rolling out a pair of Wi-Fi
transceiver modules, known as the MRF24WB0MA
The modules' firmware includes an API driver interface to Microchip's TCP/IP
protocol stack, as well as to its 8-, 16-, and 32-bit PIC microcontrollers.
"The API allows the user to add
features to the TCP/IP stack," Smith said.
Along with the Wi-Fi module,
Microchip also said it will offer development hardware, known as the MRF24WB0MA
Plus Daughter Board.
Microchip said it is targeting the
products at applications ranging from remote monitoring and control to energy
monitors and machine-to-machine applications.
Keeping with its growing emphasis
on wireless, Microchip also said it is rolling out a low-power-consumption
transceiver for sub-GHz applications. Known as the MRF89XA,
the new transceiver is targeted at 868, 915 and 950 MHz wireless networks.
Smith said the new sub-GHz unit would be targeted at meter readers, industrial
automation systems, remote keyless entry, tire pressure monitoring and
Truchard will be presented the award at the 2014 Golden Mousetrap Awards ceremony during the co-located events Pacific Design & Manufacturing, MD&M West, WestPack, PLASTEC West, Electronics West, ATX West, and AeroCon.
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For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.