How does emNet support WiFi?
emNet provides WiFi drivers that allow an easy way of integrating various WiFi modules. The drivers are providing the same API to the application regardless of the module used. From an application point of view a WiFi interface is basically the same as a cable based interface. It fully supports the emNet zero-copy API and BSD socket API and can be used for basically all Ethernet based protocols.
Various WiFi modules are available as add-ons for the emPower eval board.
These modules can be easily tested on the emPower eval board as all necessary hardware layers have already been ported for this platform.
Why should I use emNet WiFi and supported modules?
Virtually unlimited protocol support
The majority of WiFi modules on the market interface to the host MCU using a variation of modem AT commands. Unfortunately this is neither standardized nor does every vendor support the same features. These modules are often limited to their internal TCP/IP stack, providing only minimal functionalities like a limited set of TCP and UDP sockets. These sockets need to be operated using the extended AT commands instead of the well known BSD socket API.
The WiFi modules supported by emNet allow bypassing the internal TCP/IP stack using a so called pass-through-mode or bypass-mode that allows an external TCP/IP stack on the host MCU to process the complete Ethernet frame. This allows emNet to practically use every Ethernet based protocol via WiFi.
Simple to use API
Each WiFi module vendor uses his own API. emNet WiFi simplifies this by providing an unified API through a module specific driver. This allows interfacing all modules using the same API and not only makes WiFi easy to control but is also an advantage across different modules as they can easily be exchanged without modifying the application itself.
Easy and low-cost evaluation
Only a selected amount of WiFi modules allow bypassing the module internal TCP/IP stack to gain full control over the data and therefore all protocols. While evaluation hardware might already exist for these modules they can not be easily compared to each other as they are interfacing different host platforms including different kinds of host MCUs or no host MCU at all, only providing another interface e.g. to a PC.
The emPower eval board WiFi add-ons allow you to easily compare different WiFi hardware to each other using the same base hardware and same emNet API being used with your software regardless of the WiFi module used. This makes it the perfect platform to compare the modules for a decision making at very low evaluation costs.
Avoiding WiFi re-certification
Typically the available WiFi modules are already certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance when using their built-in antenna or when being used with an antenna suggested and tested by the module vendor. This prevents re-certification of your own design.
WiFi add-ons for easy evaluation with the emPower eval board are available for purchase. The porting of the module specific hardware layer has already been done for these modules for the emPower eval board. Porting to other systems is also possible by adapting the hardware layers.
emNet can support practically any module that is able to communicate with the host MCU providing full Ethernet frame access. For communication with the host MCU typically an SPI interface is required but other interfaces like UART, SDIO, I2C or RMII might be supported by the module as well.
WiFi add-ons for easy evaluation with the emPower eval board are available for purchase. The porting of the module specific hardware layer has already been done for these modules for the emPower eval board.