u-blox has announced the u-blox MAYA-W2 tri-radio module. Supporting Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth low energy (LE) 5.2, and IEEE 802.15.4 (Thread and Zigbee) on a compact form factor, the module brings Wi-Fi 6 technology to industrial and consumer mass-market applications in industrial automation, smart building & energy management, healthcare, smart home, and many other applications.
MAYA-W2 futureproofs applications with an advanced set of connectivity features. Wi-Fi 6, also referred to as 802.11ax, offers better network efficiency – especially in congested areas, lower latency, and improved range over previous generation Wi-Fi standards. Thread paves the way for low power, IP-based mesh networks commonly used in home automation.
Additionally, the dual-mode Bluetooth module supports both Bluetooth classic and Bluetooth LE, including Bluetooth LE audio. New audio functionalities allow devices to concurrently transmit several distinct audio streams, simultaneously receive multiple audio streams, and broadcast audio streams to multiple users.
A fast track to the market
MAYA-W2 is designed to give developers a fast track to the market. All required Linux, Android, and FreeRTOS software drivers are available as open source. The FreeRTOS software drivers are pre-integrated into the MCUXpresso software development kit (SDK), while the Android and Linux software drivers are pre-integrated into the board support packages (BSPs) for NXP’s i.MX application processors. This reduces design efforts, simplifying software integration and testing.
Footprint compatibility with the MAYA-W1 Wi-Fi 4 module facilitates the development of multiple product lines catering to use-case-specific performance requirement. At the same time, it offers a seamless migration path to upgrade Wi-Fi 4 devices to Wi-Fi 6 technology.
MAYA-W2 is available as a professional-grade module that is qualified for operation from -40 °C to 85 °C. Available in four variants with three antenna options, including antenna pins, U.FL connectors, or a PCB antenna, the tri-radio module can easily be designed into any type of IoT device.
Product developers can easily evaluate the hardware using dedicated evaluation kits (EVKs) as well as M.2 cards that connect seamlessly to host platforms including the latest range of NXP’s i.MX development boards.
“NXP’s recently announced IW612 is the industry’s first tri-radio device for enabling seamless, secure connectivity for smart home and industrial use cases, and is ideally suited for addressing different ecosystems including the new Matter protocol. As an NXP Gold Partner, u-Blox is one of the first companies to leverage this innovative solution for their new MAYA-W2 module – which will help expedite the development of high-performance, commercial end-products that require robust, secure, and reliable connectivity,” says Tom Eichenberg, Sr. Director of Marketing – Connectivity, at NXP® Semiconductors.
Targeting a vast application space
MAYA-W2 is among the first industrial-grade Wi-Fi modules to offer advanced Wi-Fi 6 technology for a broad range IoT applications. Common use cases include solar inverters and EV charging infrastructure, as well as wireless hubs and gateways used in healthcare, smart buildings, smart home (including Matter) and smart factories. Other potential use cases include professional appliances, asset and fleet management, and retail solutions.
Additionally, the introduction of Bluetooth LE audio paves the way for further use cases such as hearing aids that leverage its new audio streaming capabilities.
“Working with customers, we’ve observed a clear need for secure and reliable Wi-Fi connectivity that goes beyond what Wi-Fi 4 can deliver. MAYA-W2 offers vastly improved Wi-Fi performance, particularly when it comes to handling crowded networks, while also supporting Bluetooth LE 5.2 and Thread. This tri-radio functionality makes it ideal for gateways and bridges in low-power IoT and mesh networks,” says Sebastian Schreiber, Product Manager at u-blox.
Samples of the MAYA-W2 module and its evaluation kits will be available upon request starting June 2022.