Selecting a WiFi Module for Embedded Design
The quickest way to add WiFi to a design may be to use a module, but that doesn’t mean it’s a foolproof way. Here are some tips to selecting the right module for your needs.
To add wireless connectivity to designs, product manufacturers need to get up to speed on wireless technologies as efficiently and inexpensively as possible. The most common way to add wireless capability is to use a prepackaged WLAN or WiFi module. While this approach greatly simplifies the process, it still has many challenges, from initial module selection all the way through to compliance testing and certification.
The workflow involved with adding wireless capability to an embedded design, as shown in Figure 1, is essentially the same whether you’re adding wireless to an existing product or working to bring a Kickstarter project to life. Here we look closely at step 2. When you start your search for a WiFi module, you’ll find many different kinds of modules intended for a broad range of applications. In order to better match your specific RF application needs to a module, it’s helpful to have an understanding of key selection parameters and tradeoffs.