WL18xx Overview

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Overview

WiLink8 General Description

Easily add Wi-Fi and Bluetooth (WL183x modules only) to embedded applications based on TI's Sitara microprocessors. TI’s WiLink 8 modules are pre-certified and offer high throughput and extended range along with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth coexistence (WL183x modules only) in a power-optimized design. Drivers for the Linux and Android high-level operating systems (HLOSs) are available free of charge from TI for the Sitara AM335x microprocessor (Linux and Android version restrictions apply). This wiki particularly supports the WLAN, Bluetooth and BLE features of the WiLink 8.0. There is also more information on the TI overview for WiLink Combo Solutions



Module Variants

Device WLAN 2.4-GHZ SISO(1) WLAN 2.4-GHZ MIMO(1) WLAN 2.4-GHZ MRC(2) Bluetooth WLAN 5-GHZ SISO(1)(3) Module Temperature Grade
WL1837MOD
V
V
V
V
V
Industrial
WL1807MOD
V
V
V
V
Industrial
WL1835MOD
V
V
V
V
Commercial
WL1831MOD
V
V
Commercial
WL1805MOD
V
V
V
Commercial
WL1801MOD
V
Commercial


(1) SISO: single input, single output; MIMO: multiple input, multiple output.
(2) MRC: maximum ratio combining; supported at 2.4-GHz 802.11g/n only.
(3) Antenna Diversity supported for 5-GHz.

WiLink8 General Features

  • WLAN With Integrated RF Front-End Module(FEM), Power Amplifier (PA), Crystal, Switches, Filters, Passives, and Power Management on a Single Module
  • Efficient Direct Connection to Battery by Employing Several Integrated Switched Mode Power Supplies (DC-DC)
  • Dual-Mode Bluetooth and Bluetooth Low Energy (WL183xMOD Only)
  • FCC, IC, and CE Certified With Chip Antenna
  • Seamless Integration With TI Sitara™
  • Hardware Design Files and Design Guide available from TI (WL18xxCOM8 reference design)
  • HCI Transport for Bluetooth over UART and SDIO for WLAN
  • Temperature Compensation Mechanism to Ensure Minimal Variation in RF Performance Over the Entire Temperature Range
  • Commercial Modules Operating Temperature: –20°C to 70°C
  • Industrial Modules Operating Temperature: –40°C to 85°C
  • Small Form Factor: 13.4 × 13.3 × 2 mm
  • Land Grid Array (LGA) Package

Product Features & Benefits

  • As a module, the WiLink 8 module family makes development easier and faster — less hardware and RF design, software included, sample applications, already FCC/IC/ETSI/TELEC compliant
  • Enable 1.4x the range and up to 100 Mbps throughput with TI’s WiLink 8 MRC and MIMO technology
  • Linux and Android drivers for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are pre-integrated with software development kits for TI’s AM335x and other Sitara microprocessors
  • By integrating Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless connectivity, the WiLink 8 modules enable new use cases and better user experiences including:
  • Mobile wireless hard disk drives to stream video to personal devices through high-throughput up to 100 Mbps with 2X2 MIMO, an increase in range of up to 1.4x and peer-to-peer (Wi-Fi direct) connectivity
  • Smart Energy and home gateways that can manage multiple devices, appliances and systems through multi-channel multi-role (MCMR) capabilities
  • Audio streaming for home entertainment applications through dual-mode Bluetooth/Bluetooth low energy.
  • The WiLink 8 modules complement several TI platforms to deliver system solutions for manufacturers, including:
  • Sitara processors: Speed development of WiLink 8 module-based devices through the WL18XX-based evaluation board that is compatible with the AM335xEVM as well as several other TI EVMs and reference designs.
  • A WiLink 8 module-based Cape offered by CircuitCo for fast development with Sitara AM335x BeagleBone Black and BeagleBone


For other features and benefits, specifically for WLAN and  Bluetooth, refer to the tables below.


WL18xxMOD
Features Benefits
  • Multiple solution offerings
  • Scalability, flexibility through multiple modules options with pin-for-pin compatibility
  • FCC/IC/ETSI certified module
  • Reuse of development across multiple applications
  • Flexible design options
  • Fast time-to-market with RF expertise
  • High performance Wi-Fi
  • 802.11abgn Radio, Baseband & MAC(1)
  • 20 and 40 MHz channels on 2.4/5 GHz band (1)
  • 2X2 on 2.4 GHz MIMO/MRC Support(1)
  • 5 GHz MRC Support(1)
  • Fully integrated CMOS WLAN RF front end
  • Wi-Fi Direct multi-role multi-channel
  • Up to 10 clients supported in AP role
  • Up to 100 Mbps throughput
  • Extend range up to 1.4x
  • No production line calibration needed
  • BOM and complexity reduction
  • Enable multiple connections while maximizing throughput and network utilization

  • Dual-mode Bluetooth(1)
  • Bluetooth v4.0 including Bluetooth low energy
  • Pre-integrated, royalty free Bluetooth software stack and manager from Stonestreet One
  • Superior Bluetooth/Wi-Fi coexistence
  • Extensive list of Bluetooth and Bluetooth Low energy profiles to enable a variety of Bluetooth applications
  • Bluetooth SIG qualified stack with extensive Interoperability testing and support
  • Concurrent usage of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth with a single antenna

(1) Please refer to the Module Variants table above for specific module supported capabilities
NoteNote: For more detailed information on features, please refer to the Release Notes of the Latest Release

WiFi Provisioning Options

The WiLink 8 offers a multitude of different WiFi provisioning options, with more coming in the future.

Access Point Mode WAC

What’s needed

Web browser

Android phone app

Networks supported

Any network

Open networks

How many steps

Multiple

One

Number of devices configured

One

One

Home network connection

Phone must disconnect from home network

Phone stays connected to the home network

Security

Secure

Unsecure

Low Power Consumption

The WiLink 8 is built for extending battery life

  • Optimized for "always connected" profiles, with <750 uA of average current

Use Cases specific optimizations for ultra-low power WiFi implementation

  • Wake on WLAN mode - wake host upon getting a "Magic Packet" over WiFi
  • AP Enhanced Low Power Mode (AP ELP)
    • Designed for managed applications (ex: wireless speaker running on AP mode)
    • Up to 75% reduction in current consumption when in AP mode
    • Customer tunable implementation

Example of low power usage Example of power consumption in AP mode

AM335x-WL18xx Platform Features & Benefits

Texas Instruments provides the AM335x-WL18xx platform for the WiLink 8.0 with a high performance Cortex-A8 at the ARM9/11 price level. Refer to the table below for the AM335x-WL18xx platform features and benefits.

Features Benefits

Hardware

WL183x – AM335x interfaces defined and validated

Reduces risk and eliminates need for design trade-off analysis

Software

WPA Supplicant, Networking (TCP/IP) Stack, mac80211 WLAN Driver, Bluetooth Stack & Profiles

All components required to enable end to end WLAN and Bluetooth functionality delivered with Platform

Integration

Complete system integration of all components including Firmware, Low Level Drivers and Applications

Reduces engineering costs and enables faster time to market

Optimization

System level power consumption and throughput optimization

Enables lower power and higher throughput in complex system use cases

Validation

Validation of all features and functionality

Lowers risk and enables faster time to market

Collateral

Getting started guides, Build instruction guides, datasheets, schematics, and layout

Enables quicker time to market for developers

Trademarks

WiLink, E2E are trademarks of Texas Instruments.
Bluetooth is a registered trademark of Bluetooth SIG, Inc.
Wi-Fi is a registered trademark of Wi-Fi Alliance.
All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.