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Focus on Wireless

Featured articles from Digi-Key Electronics

Wireless technology is now a very important part of the overall electronics scene. There is an enormous variety of wireless technologies from the familiar Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to the more specific standards like LoRa, SigFox, Zigbee and many more. Each wireless standard has its place within the wireless ecosystem and there are modules and different platforms for them. Find out more about these technologies and how you can use them in the Digi-Key Focus on Wireless.

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Honeywell HG1120

The HG1120 from Honeywell Microelectronics is a micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) based inertial measurement unit (IMU). The HG1120 is designed to meet the needs of a range of applications across various markets including agriculture, AUVs, industrial equipment, robotics, survey/mapping, stabilized platforms, transportation, UAVs, and UGVs. With industry standard communication interfaces and a wide input voltage range, the HG1120 is easily integrated into the variety of architectures that these applications present. The extremely small size, light weight, and low power make the HG1120 ideal for most applications.

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Applying Chip and Patch Antennas to Solve Diversity and Multiband RF Issues

For any radio system the antenna is a key element in the overall line. Its performance can determine that of the whole system. Designers of handheld and portable wireless products such as smartphones and wearables rely on tiny chip, patch and trace antennas that can be placed within the device. While these miniature devices solve the problem of bringing multiband antenna arrays to small form factor systems, they also introduce issues related to reduced radiation efficiency, impedance matching, and interaction with nearby objects and bodies.

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Compare 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wireless LAN in Industrial Applications

There are two major bands used for wireless LANs / Wi-Fi 802.11: 2.4 and 5 GHz. For consumer devices the choice between the two bands is normally automatically made by the device using the WLAN dependent upon its capabilities and the operating conditions. However for industrial and more mission critical applications more consideration needs to be given to the choice of band.

Find out more about the differences between 2.45 and 5 GHz WLAN operation, and see the advantages of designing industrial wireless devices using 5 GHz WLANs compared with 2.45 GHz systems together with some of the design tools available. A must read for anyone in this sector

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Understanding Antenna Specifications and Operation

The antenna design is probably the most overlooked elements of any product involving RF. Often antenna design is seen as a black art, but this is not so. Find out some of the basics of antenna design so you can make the most of any product involving wireless communications.

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Take the Zero-Touch Approach to Securely Lock Down an IoT Device

We have recently seen how major companies have been hacked and held to ransom by hackers. This is a growing trend which is set to only get worse. It demonstrates the absolute need for security. The demonstrated ability of hackers to penetrate IoT devices says more about the level of security of these devices than the skill of the hackers: in most cases, the affected products lack the most basic security provisions. When designing devices fort he IoT security needs to be built in from the beginning and many development kits now enable excellent security to be built in tot he final product.

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Can Bluetooth 4.2 turn IoT Dreams into Reality?

Power is critical in IoT devices. In many wireless Internet of Things devices such as wearable electronics and battery-powered or self-powered sensors, keeping power consumption to a minimum is key. Some of the most important applications for the IoT include the smart home, remote healthcare, consumer retail, environmental monitoring and commercial asset tracking. To simplify deployment, these devices need to be easy for the intended end user to access and control without special equipment such as dedicated gateways. Find out how this can be done.

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Jumpstart IoT Product Development with the Electric Imp Platform

Many different skills are needed when designing Internet connected products - embedded software, hardware design and construction, packaging, security, and remote control. This can all be challenging and time consuming. To ensure the best chance of getting high quality and properly functional products to market in a timely fashion, development teams require a way to jumpstart their development and minimize what they need to do in a typical design cycle in order to meet cost and time-to-market requirements. Find out how this can be done . . .

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Dev Platform Speeds Development of Low-Power Bluetooth-Enabled IoT Designs

Bluetooth is one of the main wireless standards and it is being widely used in IoT applications. Bluetooth-enabled IoT devices provide ready access to data through smartphones and other gateway devices. Still, the design of low-power, battery-operated IoT solutions remains challenging in terms of both wireless sensing as well as optimisation of power-draining communications subsystems. For designers with ever tightening time-to-market windows, the design task needs to be simplified. Find out some routes to improve your time to market . . .

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V2X Communication for Autonomous Vehicles

One of the current key technology motivators is that of autonomous vehicles and development is moving forwards at a rapid rate. This is reflecting into current vehicle technology as well. The development of driverless cars is highlighting the need for robust, low latency wireless communications to provide a vast range of functions. There are two different approaches being proposed to address this need, 802.11p and C-V2X:PC5. Wireless communication can be used from vehicle to infrastructure (V2I), vehicle to vehicle (V2V) and vehicle to pedestrian (V2P), all combined as V2X. Find out all about these standards . . .

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Understanding Antenna Specifications and Operation

In any radio or wireless related item it is the antenna that is probably the most overlooked part of an RF design. However its performance is key to the operation of the whole system. Range, performance, and legality of an RF link are critically dependent upon it. Regardless, antenna selection is often left until the end of the design, at which point optimal antenna performance may not be achievable within the space provided. Find out some of te key points about antennas to help you . . .

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Bluetooth 4.1, 4.2 and 5 Compatible Bluetooth Low Energy SoCs and Tools Meet IoT Challenges (Part 1)

Bluetooth is one of the most widely deployed wireless standards. Recently there have been significant upgrades to the Bluetooth low energy RF protocol software (“stack”) adopted in versions 4.1, 4.2 and 5 of the standard. These changes have dramatically improved its practicality for a wide range of applications beyond its consumer roots, particularly those related to the Internet of Things (IoT). Find out how to use it . .

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Wireless Fitness and Medical Monitoring System Connectivity Options

Wireless fitness devices are now commonplace and their use is increasing rapidly. To meet the demands for the wireless connections, there are many different options that can be used. Fitness bands aimed at the consumer are using the latest versions of Bluetooth Low Energy connecting to a smartphone, but there are many other ways to provide connectivity to a fitness band that also acts as a wireless patient monitor. Read about some practical key insights . . . .

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Fast Tracking BLE Design for IoT and Beacon Applications

Development speed is key in today's electronics industry. faster time to market means development costs are reduced and products hit the market as soon as possible, and they can be ahead of the competition. The market for IoT devices is increasing - there is hardly an embedded device used in our homes, offices and factories that doesn’t have some form of wireless communication. There is no doubt that the Internet of Things (IoT) and the industrial form of it, the IIoT, are responsible for the surge in connectivity; but the foundations of this ubiquitous wireless environment are solidly based around the advent of smartphones and their apps. To meet these needs fast tracking design is essential - find out how you can achieve this.

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Achieve Optimal Wireless Communication Performance in IoT Circuit Board Designs

One aspect of design that is paramount for devices for the Internet of Things is to be able to properly optimise the design. Many new technologies are accelerating development and uptake of the Internet of Things (IoT), not least the ‘system-on-chip’ (SoC) designs that combine microcontrollers, MCUs with wireless connectivity. Modern SoCs are empowering designers to deliver high-performance networks and get new system designs to market faster and more cheaply than ever. These new developing technologies and new approaches can help product designers to maximise wireless communication performance by ensuring their radio frequency, RF circuits and board layouts are fully optimised. Find out how this can be done.

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Bluetooth 5 Technology for the Internet of Things

The latest version of the Bluetooth standard is Bluetooth 5. This new Bluetooth standard offers a wide range of improvements over the existing Bluetooth 4.2 standard. These include longer range, higher speed and extended support for connectionless services. In view of these enhancements, Bluetooth 5 will open up new IoT applications for the smart environment. With market research estimating that Bluetooth will be in more than one-third of all installed IoT devices by 2020 t will be one of the most widely used standards. Find out more about the new and forthcoming chip designs for Bluetooth 5.

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How to Configure the Raspberry Pi 3 and BeagleBoards for Wireless Connections

The Raspberry Pi computer board has been an enormous success being used from everything from education, home computing right up to commercial applications. To provide them with the capability for wireless links, the Raspberry Pi A and B, and the Pi2 all needed an external Wi-Fi or Bluetooth dongle, but the Raspberry Pi 3 includes the capability for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. However it is still necessary to know how to configure this capability on all versions of the Raspberry Pi. Find out how . . . .

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Using a Thread-Based Kit to Speed Development of Smart Home IoT Devices

Thread is a mesh networking protocol that is gaining significant traction with developers of smart products of all types. To ensure that low power, high performance and high reliability are provided still requires a lot of development expertise. Using a development platform enables developers to focus on their product, whilst being assured of the high performance radio connection they need. Find out more about the Thread platforms . . .

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Wireless Network Options for Smart LED Lighting Systems

LED lighting systems are now part of the domestic scene and their use is growing in a big way. Not only are they more reliable, and offer a much higher level of efficiency, but they also lend themselves to digital control, opening up possibilities for smart home applications where they can be connected to a wireless network and a central controller. Find out how this can be done . . . .

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How to Speed NFC Integration in OS-Based Applications

One of the issues that developers of near field communications, NFC applications have faced is that of optimising the RF performance of the hardware and software. This issue can now be overcome because there are many monolithic NFC solutions that can be obtained. These come compete with software support. Find out more . . .

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How to Implement Wireless Diagnostics in the Industrial Internet of Things

There are very many different standards and wireless bands that can be used for wireless connectivity. Range, data throughput, capabilities and many other parameters come into play. Find out more about selecting the required options for your application.

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Fast-Track Your Next Wireless Sensor Design

Development time and time to market are both critical factors in any development project. When wireless connectivity is needed, development timescales can sometimes be difficult to meet as wireless systems are not always understood by all. In these circumstances, Single-board computers (SBCs) designed specifically for sensor applications offer a compelling solution for meeting complex requirements for wireless sensors without compromising tight project schedules. Find out more.

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