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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Laird RM024 RAMP (Range Amplified Multipoint) Modules

Laird Technologies RAMP ISM modules are designed to provide robust wireless communications for applications requiring a wireless transport for serial data. The RM024 RAMP ISM module is based on Laird Technologies' LT2510 core technology, enhanced with a new RF front-end for improved sleep, improved link budget, and a switchable antenna output. The RM024 is available in two versions: one with 125 mW maximum conducted output power which is approved for North American and similar markets, and one with 50 mW maximum conducted output power which is approved for European and similar markets. Read more . . .

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Use a Cellular Module to Connect a Maker Project to the IoT

The sue of wireless connectivity is becoming more widespread. Makers and professional engineers alike are increasingly turning to wireless connectivity to enhance the functionality of their projects and connect them to the Internet of Things (IoT). The single board computers (SBCs) that such projects use often integrate Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, but for longer range, cellular interfaces are a good alternative. Read more . . .

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Build the Devastator Robot and Learn About Sensors, MCUs, Software, and Motor Control While Having Fun

Robots are great fun to build and use. Building a multifunction robot from a kit is a great way to get started as a Maker, as it provides an opportunity to learn about many related fields: micro-controllers, sensors, motors, software development, and more. Plus, there’s a large selection of robot kits, add-ons, and online help for beginners and experienced Makers alike. Read more . . .

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Comparing Low-Power Wireless Technologies

When developing a product that will include wireless connectivity, it is necessary to consider which technology is best to use. There is a wide variety of different standards that can be chosen, so it is necessary to consider which one will be best for any given application. This article gives key insights into the different technologies, comparing the different attributes to help make the right decision.

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Providing Peace of Mind in the Wireless IIoT World

Wireless communications offer significant advantages in the world of industrial control and automation. The number of wireless devices in any automated industrial operation has significantly increased, all connected to form an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) consisting of equipment, routers and sensors. Moreover, all have specific communications needs and requirements. Read about the wireless devices available.

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Use a Drop-In Solution for Low-Power, Long-Range IoT Designs

In many IoT applications, the RF areas can present a challenge as RF design can be a specialised area. To overcome this issue there are many RF transceivers but increasingly designers need devices capable of operating over a longer range but with lower power consumption. Normally, this would require matching low-power MCUs to transceivers and then developing the appropriate protocol stack. Fortunately, new solutions greatly reduce or even eliminate this extra work, speeding time to market and lowering costs. Read all about how to achieve this . .

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The STM32 Nucleo Pack for IoT Brings Makers to the IoT Cloud

Microcomputer boards like Arduino and many others have been a tremendous success providing many people with access to open microcomputers at a very reasonable price. What's more they can be very easy to programme and there are many different peripherals for them. They are also ideal for many IoT applications. However one area that can be difficult to master is that of interfacing them to the cloud and getting data from them onto the Cloud. Find out how this can be done . . .

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Wearables Platform Eases IoT Device Prototyping

Historically, wearable designs have been difficult to prototype. The core problem is one of size. Most off-the-shelf development boards and systems are designed for a bench top environment where size and weight are not crucial. To facilitate the development of wearables using prototypes there are a few that can overcome the problems of size and yet be able to provide the access required for prototyping.

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A Modular Approach to IoT Application Development - Part 2: Software Design

IoT applications bring a particularly tight convergence between hardware and software components, requiring developers to account for myriad details in each domain. This two-part series looks at a single platform that uses a modular approach designed to facilitate that convergence. Part 1: Hardware Choices looked at how the platform’s hardware options simplify implementation of IoT devices. Part 2, here, examines the platform’s software architecture and its role in speeding end-to-end development of IoT applications. Find out more . . .

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A Modular Approach to IoT Application Development - Part 1: Hardware Choices

Both hardware and software are widely used in wireless products and projects today. The Internet of Things, IoT is no exception, requiring a very tight bond between the hardware and the software. Large-scale IoT applications typically require multiple connectivity options and software services for implementing their underlying functional capabilities. To meet increasingly demanding requirements, developers have needed to combine more diverse solutions from multiple sources and operating environments. Find out more . . . .

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Adding Connectivity to IoT Applications through Personal and Wide Area Networks

RF technology is at the very core of the Internet of Things. It provides the link between the different nodes. It is the key link in the chain. Legislation around the use of RF technology has also seen significant changes, but today there are many license-free solutions that are impacting every aspect of modern life. Adhering to certain restrictions, anyone can put into service a radio ‘network’ using off-the-shelf devices, something that is changing the face of industry and commerce. Find out more . . .

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Hardware Encryption Hardens Wireless MCUs Against Hacks

IoT security is one of the big issues that is about to hit the industry. Embedded devices have always been vulnerable to attack. What has changed in recent years is the ability of hackers to access those devices. The air gaps in networks that used to protect industrial controllers and similar devices have been filled in, thanks to the growth in the use of wireless networking to interconnect them. Wireless networks were introduced for increased convenience and flexibility, but they also provide an easy way for hackers to launch attacks. What is required are devices that are hardened against attacks, using a combination of techniques to support high security. Find out more . . .

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Building Bluetooth-Connected IoT Wireless Sensor Prototypes with Minimal Effort

There is huge growth in the arena of IoT connectivity. As a result time to market is a key issue and n top of this many IoT developers do not have the required wireless development experience. No problem! Just use a developer kit. This enables developers to respond very quickly to emerging opportunities with fully functional prototypes able to prove out new concepts or competitive products. Yet, most IoT development solutions require significant effort to get them working correctly, particularly on the software side. Find out how to get to market quickly, effectively and with minimum development cost. Read more . . .

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Use A Multisensor Dev Kit to Explore New IoT Design Options

To satisfy this demand for broader sensor and connectivity options, IoT device designers need flexible development systems able to respond to diverse, fast changing requirements. An IoT development kit from STMicroelectronics meets this need in a single platform that can speed development of the workflow from the IoT device to the cloud. Find out more about this exciting approach and how you can use it.

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How to Extend the Range of 2.45 GHz Wireless Systems

Many of the applications for the wireless control of systems like lighting, heating, ventilation etc use the 2.4 GHz ISM band. This has many advantages, but one big issue is that of range - at 2.4 GHz significant amounts of the signal are absorbed by walls and other fittings etc. This is a feature of using these frequencies. Using standards like Zigbee and Bluetooth, etc, there are ways of overcoming this fundamental issue and providing good reliable wireless connectivity. Read more . . .

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Develop with LoRa for Low-Rate, Long-Range IoT Applications

Designers have a wide variety of wireless technologies to connect a product to the Internet of Things (IoT). Each technology suits different applications, requiring designers to carefully consider factors such as range and data rate, cost, power consumption, volume, and form factor.

LoRa (Long Range) is one protocol that has some distinct advantages (as the name indicates) for long range low data rate connectivity and it is gaining a significant amount of interest and traction. Read more . . .

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Compare 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wireless LAN in Industrial Applications

Licence free wireless standards make great use of both the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands. However, for industrial and more mission critical applications, there are performance and interference requirements and characteristics that need to be given serious consideration before choosing which band to use. Find out how to make the best choice.

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Improving the Environment and the Balance Sheet of Smart Cities with Connected Sensing

Air quality is a key concern to organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO), which links pollutants like particulate matter, ozone, and nitrogen oxides (NOx) with diseases and increased rates of early mortality. Air pollution is one of 10 environmental factors included by the WHO in its assessment of global disease burden. Even cities like London and many others are struggling to keep levels of pollutants don to acceptable levels. One key tool in the fight against rising levels is to use remote sensors in monitoring the levels. Find out more about the available ICs and sensors that can be used.

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Using Bluetooth Low Energy to Connect Wearable Wireless Sensors to the Internet of Things

Bluetooth Low Energy, BLE, is an excellent wireless standard for many IoT and IIoT applications. As the Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT relies heavily on sensors to collect data from a portable, wearable system to monitor movement, pressure, humidity and many other characteristics that are then fed back to the cloud for processing, BLE will be widely used as it has been designed for this type of application.

To enable sensors to be designed quickly and to have reliable operation, BLE modules provide an ideal basis for any design. BLE transceivers have reduced in size with chip scale packaging, making them small enough to easily fit alongside the various sensors in an IIoT design. Find out more . . .

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Application Specific Antenna

Antennas are a particularly important element of any radio system. Their performance can govern that of the whole system. However, choosing an antenna can be a difficult task, there are several parameters that need to be taken into consideration. It is imperative to examine several physical, electrical, and economical options to find the perfect antenna for a given application. While this is not a “one size fits all” topic, and much of this may be rudimentary for the RF engineer, hopefully this will shed light on many factors that need to be considered when choosing an antenna.

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Low-Power Long-Range Wireless Technologies for Wireless Sensor Networks in the Internet of Things

For many applications, cost is a top priority driver. In some applications like the Internet of Things where low cost sensors and remote nodes are needed, cost can sometimes be more important than low power consumption. Improvements in silicon technology have lowered power consumption to where it has become viable for battery-powered wireless sensor nodes. These take advantage of sub-GHz unregulated radio bands for long-range connections that can be more cost effective than the regulated cellular bands.

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GaN’s Ground-Floor Opportunity Rudy Ramos | Mouser Electronics
GaN’s Ground-Floor Opportunity
The electronics industry has a major role to play in helping to save energy, by enabling better equipment and new ways of working and living that that are more efficient and environmentally friendly. Maintaining the pace of technological progress is key, but improvements become both smaller and harder to achieve as each technology matures. We can see this trend in the development of power semiconductors, as device designers seek more complex and expensive ways to reduce switching energy and RDS(ON) against silicon’s natural limitations.

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