GainSpan reference design code for TI MSP430 offers easy Wi-Fi connectivity

April 30, 2012 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
GainSpan® Corporation has introduced reference design code for Texas Instruments' MSP430 that significantly reduces the development time to add Wi-Fi connectivity to embedded systems based upon this microcontroller (MCU). This code makes it possible for designers to rapidly develop their application on the MSP430 and easily communicate with a GainSpan Wi-Fi module of choice through a serial interface, using straightforward AT commands, with the GainSpan Wi-Fi module providing all Wi-Fi and networking functionalities.

Now, customers developing MSP430-based products can quickly and easily add GainSpan low power Wi-Fi connectivity and take advantage of advanced networking features and capabilities not readily available with other Wi-Fi modules including enterprise security, embedded DHCP, DNS and HTTP (S) servers, wireless provisioning, and over the air firmware upgrades.

As with similar reference design code provided by GainSpan for other MCUs, the latest reference design code running on the MSP430 includes both SPI and UART drivers, a hardware adaptation layer (HAL), and an MCU-independent application layer that includes the AT library. The Application code includes UDP, TCP and HTTP traffic, supports multiple concurrent sockets and AP functionality. This code is easily portable to other host microcontrollers.

With its small RAM and ROM (Flash) footprint, the MSP430 reference code can run on the most memory constrained MCUs. Even when including the drivers, UDP, TCP and multiple sockets, it uses less than 8 Kbytes of flash and 2 Kbytes of RAM and can be used with the IAR Embedded Workbench Kickstart Edition.

GainSpan offers a wide range of low-power Wi-Fi connectorized or pin compatible soldered down modules, with output power ranging from 9 to 18 dBm with options for built-in trace or external antenna through a U.FL connector. Most operate over an industrial operating temperature range of -40 to 85 °C and are certified or pre-certified for all major regulatory requirements including FCC, IC and ETSI.

Customers can easily select host interfaces, security, provisioning methods, Wi-Fi and networking features running on the modules, and build a customized binary for their embedded devices, without the need of an expensive compiler. The SDK-Builder, a low cost, web-based tool, provides a baseline default configuration (essential wireless stack features, WPA/WPA-2 personal security and networking services) and lets developers choose software features and functionalities via a menu.

The MSP430 reference design code is available now and can be downloaded from GainSpan's website.