Alpha Micro introduces GainSpan dual-band Wi-Fi modules for interference-free connectivity in challenging environments

Alpha Micro, the machine to machine communications specialist, has introduced the GainSpan® dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi solution that utilizes both the 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz spectrum, enabling customers to access cleaner spectrum for applications requiring relatively interference-free bandwidth. The new GS1550M/MD family provides reliable wireless connections, particularly in challenging environments such as healthcare facilities and industrial applications.

According to ABI Research, with an increasingly large number of Wi-Fi devices crowding the 2.4GHz band, Wi-Fi users are looking for dual-band products that leverage the 5GHz band given its superior performance in an environment with lots of potential interference. The GS1550M/MD provides a quick, easy and cost-effective way for manufacturers to add dual-band wireless capabilities.

The new GS1550M/MD family consists of two modules: the GS1550M which supports a dual-band stamped antenna and the GS1550MD which supports two dual-band external antennas for antenna diversity. The antenna diversity enhances signal coverage.

A complete solution for 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi applications, the GS1550M/MD family features two UART and SPI interfaces for ease of integration with any 8/16/32-bit microcontroller and comes preloaded with serial to Wi-Fi firmware for communication with the MCU and complete Wi-Fi functionality. The modules offer advanced networking features and capabilities not readily available with other Wi-Fi modules including easy provisioning from a smart phone or web browser, over-the-air firmware updates, personal and enterprise wireless security, embedded DHCP, DNS and HTTP(S) servers/client software, XML parser, advanced mDNS/DNS-SD based device and service discovery and more.

The modules support data rates up to 150 Mbps, can operate in infrastructure or Limited AP mode and are fully compliant with 802.11a/b/g/n specifications. The modules provide support for peer-to-peer networking, allowing devices to connect to one another without an access point. The modules will be fully certified for major worldwide regulatory regions.

The highly integrated architecture of the family provides effective and dynamic power management. With both a Sleep and Deep Sleep option the modules can be rapidly put to sleep to reduce power consumption without loss of data and can then recover from the Deep Sleep state back to full operation in a few milliseconds. The modules also support a very low-power Standby mode, which reduces power consumption to a few microseconds.

For maximum design reuse, the GS1550M/MD family is pin-and-footprint compatible with the GainSpan’s GS1011M and GS1500M modules, giving device manufacturers the capability to use current designs to add “11a” capabilities. The GS1550M/MD modules are single-sided and designed so they can be easily soldered down on the customer application baseboard.

“Hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities as well as factory floors and industrial warehouses create some of the worst environments for Wi-Fi, given all the various devices, obstructions, delay sensitive applications and RF interference found there,” said Christos Papakyriacou, Managing Director, Alpha Micro.  “The 5GHz spectrum is unique and effective for overcoming these limits and as a result, it is becoming a ‘must have’ capability for these types of applications.”

The dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n GS1550M and GS1550MD are the newest additions to GainSpan’s portfolio of Wi-Fi modules which include the soldered down GS1500M (802.11b/g/n), ultra-low power GS1011M (802.11b), the size-optimized GS1011MIxS and GS1011MExS as well as the connectorized GS1011MIC and GS1011MExSC modules.

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