Bluetooth modules deliver in demanding IoT environments

30th January 2018
Posted By : Mick Elliott
Bluetooth modules deliver in demanding IoT environments

Availability of the Laird 60 Series of certified 802.11ac 2x2 MU-MIMO Wi-Fi and Bluetooth v4.2 modules is announced by Alpha Micro Components. The 60 Series modules are based on manufacturing techniques which help developers and designers get the most out of today’s most powerful wireless connectivity technologies.

They also support the next phase of market-changing innovations in wireless, including the upcoming 802.11mc Wi-Fi standards and Bluetooth 5.

“More than 23 billion IoT [Internet of Things] devices are expected to be connected to the Internet by 2020, with about 40 percent of them in EIoT [Enterprise IoT] applications,” said Simon Bliss, Customer Applications Support Engineer, Alpha Micro Components. “The Laird 60 Series modules are an excellent choice for developers targeting the ongoing exponential growth in EIoT applications for factories, distribution centres, commercial buildings and so on. They are also particularly suited for demanding radio frequency environments such as large industrial facilities, hospitals and the like.”

These new modules cope with tough RF environments and rapidly changing radio conditions, thanks to features which provide a seamless connection as well as better performance and ultra-fast data rates.

On the hardware side, those features include 802.11ac compatibility and MU-MIMO (multi-user, multiple-input, multiple-output).

Meanwhile, smart, fast scanning and roaming software means the module only needs a fraction of a second to search for access points and connect.

In practice, this allows 60 Series modules to maintain uninterrupted connectivity as their host device moves through a facility, minimizing the risk of losing critical data when the module searches for the best access point.

Support for the latest wireless technologies also offers huge savings in time, and unprecedented productivity improvements.

For example, 802.11ac Wi-Fi with 2x2 MU-MIMO allows a network of IoT devices featuring 60 Series modules to maximise bandwidth usage and save time by running multiple simultaneous downstream connections in parallel. In a typical hospital scenario where wirelessly connected infusion pumps are in use, multiple units are able to download large drug library files at the same time.

This prevents bottlenecks, by avoiding the need for client devices to wait in a queue to connect to an access point.

For wide compatibility, and lower-power, shorter-range connectivity, 60 Series modules support the latest Bluetooth version 4.2 protocol, offering not only Classic Bluetooth, but also secure Bluetooth Smart connectivity.

Operating systems supported by modules in the Laird 60 Series include Linux and Android.

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