As the Internet of Things (aka IoT) is becoming more popular day by day, and as there are many kinds of IoT devices in any environment, in some cases, power consumption is a significant concern, since some of the devices work with low-capacity batteries or ones that you cannot charge very often. In those cases, lowering power consumption is the key to keep the devices running until their battery can be charged again, and maybe the key to success for the project.
One of the parts that most consumes power is the Wi-Fi chipset; this can be caused by many factors, such as:
Because this is a problem that many IoT developers face, hardware companies are developing new low-power Wi-Fi chipsets with similar quality to the high-consumption ones, so the batteries last longer.
Here are some of the chipsets we have found interesting for IoT:
This device includes an ultra low power Wi-Fi processor and supports IEEE 802.11-n networks. It also offers backward compatibility with 802.11a/b/g standards. This is an excellent choice as it can be operated in multiple temperature environments from -40ºC to 85ºC. It supports several interfaces: SDIO v1.2/2.0, I2C, SPI, GPIO, and UART; and an essential feature: it supports WMM and WMM Power Save, so you are going able to transmit from single data, to VoIP, even video.
For more information about Redpine Lite-Fi, visit Redpine Lite-Fi RS9110
This is a great device that includes not only low power Wi-Fi but also Bluetooth and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). It is a very versatile device and has a sleep and a standby mode, both for lowering power consumption. This module comes with dual-core CPUs that run at a maximum rate of 160MHz.
It also includes a sleep clock to manage power and reduce consumption. Compliant with 802.11n, supports security standards (TKIP/AES/WAPI), and QoS 802.11e standard for video transmission. The only interfaces it provides are SDIO 3.0 and High-speed UART. It is a very good option when you need both Wi-Fi and BLE in the same device.
You can find more information about this device at Avastar 88W8977 System-on-Chip
A new device brought to us by Silicon Labs, targeted for applications that need good RF performance. The WGM110 implements the IEEE 802.11b/g/n standards and security protocols and is build on an ARM Cortex-3 processor. The most outstanding feature of this product is that it comes with an SDK, allowing faster development and deployment of the software applications. It is a very interesting feature that outstands as well because it comes with a USB interface, making communication with it faster. This device can be accessed by multiple interfaces, as they are UART, SPI, and USB. It is suitable for a wide range of temperatures (-40ºC to 85ºC).
It features maximum power consumption of 261 mA for TX current at +16 dBM. Definitely, it is worth a try.
More information on this module can be found here: Wizard Gecko WGM110 Wi-Fi® Module
The Zentry AMW007 is an extremely tiny component that is very suitable for small IoT devices, with dimensions as small as 12 x 11 x 1.8mm (0.47″ x 0.43″ x 0.08″). This minimal module is especially handy for your smallest device projects. It features several operation modes (Active receive: 65mA, Standby: 0.9mA, Wi-Fi Powersave: 0.86mA, Sleep: 0.31mA, Deep Sleep: 60μA) to help reducing power consumption. This will help you not only to develop a small IoT solution but a solution with great autonomy. Like the other modules, it implements the IEEE 802.11b/g/n standards and common security protocols (including WEP, WPA, WPA2-PSK). The microprocessor is a 32-bit that runs at 80MHz, and the temperature range is between -40ºC and 85ºC. It comes with ZentriOS preloaded, and Zentri Mobile App SDK is available to help developing applications faster.
This is a very tiny module you should give a try.
More information about it can be found at Zentry AMW007′ Spectre’
Here is another module that, apart from Wi-Fi, also allows Bluetooth and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) communications. What is interesting about it is that it comes with a small U. The FL socket provides a faster and easier way to connect the antenna (which is shared by Wi-Fi and Bluetooth).
Following the line of the other modules, it also implements the 802.11b/g/n standards and security protocols. It comes with an SPIO interface to interact with it, and it also provides a low power consumption mode.
Interested in LSR TiWi-BLE? Take a more in-depth look at TiWi-BLE Bluetooth Classic & Bluetooth Low Energy + Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n Module
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