Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Wi-Fi MCU Module Suitable For Various Cloud Platforms

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Enables highly integrated and secure IIoT connectivity for cloud platforms and serves as a powerful MCU core for the entire IIoT system

As the Internet of Things (IoT) expands beyond home automation and enters deep into home control – including Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC), garage doors and fans, and various other building and industrial automation applications, the need for highly integrated, reliable and secured Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) connectivity is required.

To compensate this, Microchip Technology has launched a Wi-Fi MCU module, the WFI32E01PC, which is a Trust&GO secured platform-enabled Wi-Fi MCU module that is pre-provisioned for cloud platforms. It helps streamline the process of network authentication using secure element technology, which is preconfigured and pre-provisioned for cloud authentication.

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The new technology includes a premium PIC32 MCU core, rich peripherals and a proven hardware security platform – enabling it not only to provide Wi-Fi but also to serve as a powerful MCU core for the entire IIoT system.

Supporting Variety Of Embedded Expertise

Unlike module-based designs, discrete designs can be difficult due to the need to develop drivers and circuits for multiple chips, especially when the chips are from different vendors. Often it is difficult to receive system-level support from vendors as their expertise is only in the products they produce. Embedded designers need a highly integrated module solution providing industrial-grade MCU functionality, robust Wi-Fi connection and hardware security and authentication. The WFI32E01PC provides these capabilities and more in an all-in-one module, improving Radio Frequency (RF) power and providing a higher level of security.

In addition to industrial applications, the WFI32E01PC is designed for home automation devices, computing and consumer devices.

Block Diagram

Further Enhancements

For further simplifying IoT and IIoT systems, the WFI32E01PC module can be paired with other components, such as the KSZ8081 family of Ethernet PHYs, MCP2542WFD family of CAN transceivers, sensors and radio technologies including Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), Long Range (LoRa) and IEEE 802.15.4. Microchip’s system solution approach also provides ready-to-use software drivers and hardware reference designs, significantly reducing project risk and time-to-market.

“With increasing attacks, traditional software data encryption is no longer sufficient to protect transmitted data. Devices need a hardcoded, verifiable, trustable identity to securely connect to the cloud,” said Steve Caldwell, vice president of Microchip’s wireless solutions business unit. “This is the first secure, pre-provisioned MCU with Wi-Fi that is shipped factory direct or through distribution.”

The module is compliant with Wi-Fi Alliance (WFA) specification and fully certified with the world regulatory agencies such as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Industry Canada (IC) and European Radio Equipment Directive (RED).

Development Tools

Microchip’s WFI32E01PC is supported by the PIC32MZW1 Curiosity Board. Microchip offers several options for software and hardware support. Software support includes Microchip’s MPLAB X Integrated Development Environment (IDE) and MPLAB Harmony v3 embedded software development framework. Supporting tools include the on-board debugger and in-circuit serial programming header for MPLAB Snap, MPLAB PICkit 4 or MPLAB ICD 4 external programmer/debuggers.

The curiosity board is qualified with AWS IoT Core. It contains an out-of-box demo featuring registration and communication with AWS IoT Core and interaction with the onboard sensors using Alexa Voice Service (AVS). Included with the AWS IoT Core qualification are code samples, WLAN software and network stack, which can be found in MPLAB Harmony v3.

The WFI32E01PC-I (54-pin SMD 24.5 x 20.5 x 2.5 mm) device is now available in volume production from a Microchip sales representative or authorized worldwide distributor. Also available are module options with an external antenna and without the Trust&GO security feature.


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