Chip companies working to make Wi-Fi more maker-friendly

The goal is to make adding Wi-Fi connectivity much easier

Texas Instruments and MediaTek have launched new offerings aimed at making it easier to build IoT (Internet of Things) devices with Wi-Fi connectivity.

The chip makers have realized that their future isn't just in selling products to big companies, but also to a growing maker community whose products also need Wi-Fi connectivity.

This week TI expanded its SimpleLink portfolio with two new modules, which promise to help add Wi-Fi connectivity without requiring any network experience. A similar promise came from MediaTek earlier this month when it launched a new Wi-Fi development platform.

To jump start Wi-Fi development, TI now offers the CC3100 module BoosterPack and the CC3200 module LaunchPad, which include an SDK and sample boards that can be connected directly to a PC.

The MediaTek LinkIt Connect 7681 development platform includes an SDK for Windows and Ubuntu and a hardware development kit co-designed with Seeed Studio, which helps with all aspects of small-scale product development.

Wi-Fi isn't the only network technology that's evolving to become more IoT-friendly. Cellular networks and so-called low-power, wide-area network technologies and even satellites are all part of the connectivity puzzle.

More and more chip makers have begun developing customized IoT components over the last six months. For example, in November Toshiba announced its TZ1021MBG processor, which can be used to power smartwatches, bracelets, glasses and even rings, according to the company. Mass production of the processor is slated to start next month.

It and other products are very much needed since the success of the sector depends on outstanding battery life and low device costs.

The new chips will compete for inclusion in the billions of wearables, smart meters, vehicles and other devices that are expected to connect to networks over the next decade.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags texas instrumentsMediaTekNetworkingInternet of ThingswirelessWLANs / Wi-Fiinternet

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?