A new series of advanced Wi-Fi and Bluetooth modules that are designed to help developers and inventors connect billions of objects to the Enterprise Internet of Things (EIoT), especially in challenging RF environments like hospitals and large industrial facilities, was announced today by global wireless technology leader Laird. These break-through wireless solutions — advanced 802.11ac 2×2 MU-MIMO (Multi-User, Multiple Input Multiple Output) and BT 4.2 modules — leverage the latest, leading-edge silicon technologies and Laird’s own industry-leading software enhancements to provide secure Internet connectivity with the greatest possible range in one certified module.
Laird is enabling the global evolution where people, places and things will be wirelessly connected, making life and work safer, and more efficient and productive than ever before.And by 2020, more than 23 billion “things” will be connected to the Internet, with about 40 percent of them deployed for EIoT use, according to industry research analysts.
Importantly, these new Laird solutions will help developers and inventors use today’s technology and support the next round of significant innovations in wireless, such as the much-anticipated Bluetooth 5 release and upcoming 802.11mc Wi-Fi standards. They will also be fully supported on both Linux and Android operating systems, a hallmark of the 60 Series software.
“Our customers look to Laird to provide them with robust connectivity, no matter how challenging the RF environment, and we continue to innovate through software to ensure their products can connect reliably and securely,” said Scott Lordo, senior vice president for Laird’s Connectivity Solutions. “The new 60 Series also addresses another customer challenge by creating a future-ready wireless module that is adaptable for future wireless innovations.”
Building on a long-standing history of enterprise-level wireless modules such as the 40, 45, and 50 Series, the new 60 Series modules will be the first Laird solutions to feature dual-band 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi with 2×2 MU-MIMO capabilities, coupled with the latest Bluetooth version 4.2 technology for both Classic Bluetooth and secure Bluetooth Smart connectivity.
One of the key advantages of the 60 Series offering of 802.11ac with MU-MIMO is the ability to support simultaneous downstream connections. That means 60 Series-enabled client devices do not need to wait in line to receive large data files from an access point. For example, these capabilities in a hospital’s wirelessly enabled infusion pumps would allow multiple units to download the often times large drug library files all at once. Furthermore, cutting-edge silicon process technology will allow the 60 Series to offer leading-edge performance while also providing significantly improved power efficiency.
“Laird’s innovative module solutions enable the wireless world to work in hospitals, factory floors, distribution centers, commercial buildings, and more,” Lordo said, adding that “802.11ac and MU-MIMO result in ultra-high data rates, improved performance, and reliable connectivity even in the most challenging RF environments.”)
Beyond the capable hardware, the 60 Series modules will feature best-in-industry software with intelligent, fast scanning and roaming to allow the module to scan and connect in a fraction of a second to maintain connectivity as the device moves throughout a facility, minimizing the risk of critical data that would be lost due to latency in finding the best access point.
Product samples and development kits for the 60 Series family are anticipated in the first quarter of 2017. Laird will begin working with customers immediately to successfully design this new module into their product applications.