Texas Instruments have added the CC3100 and CC3200 to its range of SimpleLink microcontrollers with built-in Wi-Fi connectivity. Both chips contain completely integrated Wi-Fi functionality with all the necessary protocols implemented in ROM. The 3100 has an interface to connect an external MCU of your choice while the 3200 has an integrated ARM Cortex-M4 microcontroller, completely available for the user application.

Both devices provide what amounts to a standard application program interface to the wireless IP connection. They also use an on-chip cryptography engine to establish secure connections to access points. All of this is in hardware, with quick (150 ms) power-up time to enable short wake-up-to-sleep cycles for low average power consumption. The CC3100 contains an interface to family allows designers to add embedded Wi-Fi and Internet to a whole range of electronics products.

Features include the lowest power consumption for battery operated devices with a low power radio and advanced low power modes and the flexibility to use any MCU with the CC3100 or to take advantage of an integral Cortex-M4 MCU in the CC3200. Roger Monk, EMEA system application engineer at TI said: "Wi-Fi is a key technology and pervasive for connectivity. People have been asking us for products that can enable embedded devices to access technology more easily. Wi-Fi can be difficult to program and users have to know about things like security; they need experience."

The devices come packaged in a 9 x 9mm QFN package. The company also supplies kits and software tools, a certified TI module (coming soon), reference designs, sample applications, development documentation, and TI E2E community support.