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CC3100 & CC3200 Provisioning
What is Provisioning
Wi-Fi provisioning is the process of connecting a new Wi-Fi device (station) to a Wi-Fi network (access point). The provisioning process involves loading the station with the network name (often referred to as SSID) and its security credentials. The Wi-Fi security standard distinguishes between personal security, mostly used in homes and businesses, and enterprise security, used in large offices and campuses. Provisioning a station for enterprise security usually involves installing certificates, which are used to verify the integrity of the station and the network by interaction with a security server managed by the IT department. Personal Wi-Fi security, on the other hand, needs to be handled by users at home, and it simply involves typing a pre-defined password. To provide robust security, the password can be as long as 64 characters.
TI Recommendation on Provisioning
|Jun 21st, 2016 Update: The new AP Provisioning Release is TI's recommended provisioning method for new designs. Check out the Provisioning Features link below for details.|
Further details describing these supported provisioning approaches and their respective tradeoffs can be found on
- White Paper: Wi-Fi provisioning on IoT applications
This document presents the main Wi-Fi provisioning methods that are available in the market and provide guidelines for choosing the right provisioning method for your product.
This page presents more details about the provisioning features supported by the SimpleLinkTM Wi-Fi(R) CC31xx and CC32xx devices. It provides links to the samples code, the mobile app, and provides how-to steps to provision a device.
Tradeoffs between Provisioning options
Let's review the main Wi-Fi provisioning methods that are available in the market and provide guidelines for choosing the right provisioning method for your product.
- Each provisioning method has its merits and limitations.
- Since no provisioning method is perfect, a good practical approach would be to support more than one option in any given product. This would ensure maximum provisioning robustness of the final product.
Note: Products with SmartConfig, should also have AP mode or WPS as provisioning fall backs
Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS)
Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) is the only industry standard available today for provisioning of headless devices. It was introduced by the Wi-Fi Alliance in 2006 as an easy and secure method to provision devices without knowing the network name and without typing long passwords. The standard defines two mandatory methods for WPS-enabled Access Points (APs): Personal Identification Number (PIN) method and PushButton-Connect (PBC) method
Access Point (AP) Mode
Access Point (AP) mode is the most common provisioning method today for headless devices. In AP mode the un-provisioned device wakes-up initially as an AP with an SSID defined by the equipment manufacturer. Before trying to connect to the home network for the first time, the un-provisioned device creates a network of its own, allowing a PC or a smart phone to connect to it directly to facilitate its initial configuration.
SmartConfig technology is a TI proprietary provisioning method designed for headless devices introduced in 2012. It uses a mobile app to broadcast the network credentials from a smartphone, or a tablet, to an unprovisioned TI Wi-Fi device. When SmartConfig is triggered in the un-provisioned device, it enters a special scan mode, waiting to pick up the network information that is being broadcasted by the phone app. The phone needs to be connected to a Wi-Fi network to be able to transmit the SmartConfig signal over the air. Typically this is the same home network onto which the new device is going to be provisioned.
Wireless Accessory Configuration (WAC)
The Wireless Accessory Configuration (WAC) feature is an Apple MFi licensed technology designed for MFi accessories that connect to iPod, iPhone and iPad. MFi accessories that support WAC can be easily configured by an iPod, iPhone and iPad, without requiring the user to type in the network name and password. Detailed information about the WAC feature is available to Apple MFi Development and Manufacturing licensees.