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
A few weeks ago, Ford Motor Co. quietly announced that it was rolling out a new wrinkle to the powerful safety feature called stability control, adding even more lifesaving potential to a technology that has already been very successful.
It won't be too much longer and hardware design, as we used to know it, will be remembered alongside the slide rule and the Karnaugh map. You will need to move beyond those familiar bits and bytes into the new world of software centric design.
People who want to take advantage of solar energy in their homes no longer need to install a bolt-on solar-panel system atop their houses -- they can integrate solar-energy-harvesting shingles directing into an existing or new roof instead.
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