Frequently Asked Questions on Embedded Wi-Fi


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What is the highest data rate supported on 802.11 Wi-Fi?

GS1011M supports up to 11Mbps and can connect to any 802.11b/g/n access point.

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What are the maximum UART and SPI data rates?

The maximum UART data rate is 921kbps and SPI slave mode is 3MHz and SPI master mode is 10MHz.

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What is your power consumption?

Please refer to the datasheet for detailed information on our support. GainSpan offers a variety of power management modes and power consumption can vary based on application and SKU type (i.e internal PA vs external PA).

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I only get a limited 30' range from your module with an external antenna.

The antenna type on the module can be either the internal PCB antenna or one can use an external Antenna. If an internal PCB antenna version is chosen, (i.e GS1011MIP or MEP) then connecting an external antenna will not have any affect. If an external antenna version is chosen, and no antenna is connected, then the range will be diminished. Please check which version you have to ensure you are using the correct antenna.

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Can you plug an external antenna into a GS1011MIP or GS1011MEP?

No, the GS1011MIP and GS1011MEP are programmed to work with the PCB antenna. If you want to use an external antenna, then the modules you should use are GS1011MIE and GS1011MEE.

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Can I use eCOS or other freeware development tools?

Currently we only support the GreenHills RTOS/Network stack and development tools that we sell with our SDK.

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Do I have to buy an SDK to work with your part?

Not necessarily. We support serial to Wi-Fi mode, where you can connect your external host to our module using serial interface and send us AT commands. With Serial to Wi-Fi no development is required on the GainSpan GS1011M, all customer has to do is to develop code on the host to send AT commands to our device.

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If I use your serial to Wi-Fi code, do I have to pay a license if it ships in my product?

No, our serial to Wi-Fi code is free to use in your product, regardless of volume

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Do you only offer the modules, or can I buy chips?

Yes, we sell the GS1011 SoC. Development time is typically faster with a module, but we understand that not all customers may choose to design with a module.

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I want to buy 350 modules

We only sell modules in sample packs (5), or boxes of 250, or boxes of 1000. We do not break down these quantities.

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What is your pricing?

Module samples and evaluation kits are available for sale on our online store. Volume pricing starts at 250 units, and we provide price quotes on a project by project basis, and only under NDA.

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What is the radio output when internal power amp is used? What is the radio output when an external power amp is used?

Please refer to our datasheet.

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What is the radio sensitivity?

Please refer to our datasheet.

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What is the range of GS1011 device?

Indoor: 50-70 M typical, Outdoor: 700 - 1000m (line of sight).

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Does GS1011 support IEEE 802.11b/g?

Yes, GS1011 is compatible with IEEE 802.11b/g access points.

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What wireless security does GS1011M module support?

The module supports both the personal and Enterprise wireless security. GS1011M supports WEP, WPA/WPA2-PSK Personal, and WPA/WPA2-Enterprise (EAP-FAST, EAP-TLS, EAP-TTLS, PEAP v0/v1)

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Does GS1011M support Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS)?

Yes, we support both methods of WPS (push button and PIN method). We have received WPS certification also from Wi-Fi Alliance for our WPS feature.

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Does GS1011 module support external power amplifier?

Yes, the GS1011 module has provisions to support external power amplifier with typical output of 18dBm transmission power.

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Has GS1011 passed FCC certification?

GS1011M has passed intentional radiation for FCC/IC certification. However FCC requires the end product to pass unintentional certification from the FCC when a GainSpan module is integrated with other components.

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What communication protocol does GS1011 conform to?

GS1011 conforms to IEEE802.11Wi-Fi protocol.

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Is GS1011M is certified by Wi-Fi alliance?

Yes, the GS1011M has passed certification for Wi-Fi.

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What is the communication speed of the GS1011?

The GS1011 supports 1, 2, 5.5, 11Mbps using BPSK and QPSK modulation schemes, respectively.

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Can the GS1011 sensor node be connected to a standard access point and still be in the low power state?

Yes, this is how it works, connecting to standard access points and running in the low power state.

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How many sensor nodes can be supported by a single Access Point?

Due to TCP/IP Class C addressing model, 254 nodes including sensor nodes can be simultaneously supported by a single Access Point. However, since GS1011 sensor nodes work with a very low duty-cycle, more nodes can be supported concurrently by a single AP, or access point.

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Are there changes required in the existing access points to support GS1011?

GainSpan's GS1011 sensors do not require changes with any Wi-Fi compatible APs that support 1, 2, 5.5 and 11Mbps data rate.

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Does the addition of node slow down the network?

For sensor application, the addition of GS1011 nodes does not slow down the network.

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What certifications has the GS1011M module passed?

Wi-Fi, FCC, IC, ETSI, RoHS, passed all Japan ARIB Standard compliance tests.

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What does it mean for the GS1011M to be certified?

The extensive certification effort taken by GainSpan greatly reduces development time and costs for our customers. By doing this, GainSpan ensures that customers can achieve RF certification in their final design. There will be less iteration to achieve certification in the process and less room for trial and error when the end product goes through RF certification.

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If the module is certified, does it mean that the customer does not have to through certification at all?

Even though the GainSpan module is certified by itself, when integrated into a new product, the end product will still have to go through a small portion of RF certification.

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Which external antennas has GainSpan certified?

Please see the latest application note AN042 Basic Antenna Guidelines for the list. This application note is available to customers who have signed an NDA with GainSpan.

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Where can I find all documents about GainSpan Wi-Fi?

Please visit GainSpan Resource Library on embedded WiFi for the list. Some documents are available only to customers with an NDA.

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Where can I find GainSpan's datasheet?

To gain access to GainSpan's datasheet, you must register on the Technical Support site sign an NDA with GainSpan.

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Where can you download the NDA?

Please register here: Register. You can also simply click on 'LOGIN' at the top of GainSpan's website and click on the link to register. After you fill out the form, you'll be directed to a link to download the NDA. Once you sign the NDA, email it back to us and we can give you access to the datasheet.

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What type of development kit should I buy to gain understanding of GainSpan's Wi-Fi?

You can purchase an evaluation kit from our online store GainSpan Online Store.

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What is the difference between an EVK and an SDK?

An EVK stands for "Evaluation Kit" and an SDK stands for "Software Development Kit". The SDK supports development with SPI and UART. The EVK only supports development with only UART.

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How many SPI ports are available in GS1011?

There are two SPI ports available which can transmit data up to a word size of 32 bits.

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How many UART ports are available in GS1011?

Two UART ports are compatible with 16450/16550.

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What I/O interfaces are supported by GS1011?

UART (2), SPI, I2C, ADC (2), WAKE (2), ALARM (2), GPIO(6), PWM, JTAG

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How many GPIO ports are available in GS1011?

32 GPIO ports can be used in GS1011 for customer application.

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What is the drive current of GPIO ports in GS1011?

Two of the GPIO ports are capable of driving 20mA, while the other 30 ports can drive 4mA.

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Can extra security be implemented by the user in addition to the security modes provided by GS1011?

Customers can develop their extra security depending on the space available in built in flash or store it in an external flash through SPI port.

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What input voltage is required for GS1011?

3.3V

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What is the resolution of the onboard A/D converter?

The ADC is 10 bit low-power A to D converter capable of running at up to 32Kbps. The ADC can be programmed to use the 1.8 V supply at full scale reference.

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What types of memory are on the GS1011?

ROM, Flash, SRAM and RTC (battery backed memory)

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What kind of Flash does GS1011 have?

GS1011 is equipped with TSMC Flash on chip. On-chip flash makes it possible for the GS1011 to transition between active and sleep states, which is around 5µs

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How is the Flash divided for the WLAN and APP CPUs to access?

The WLAN CPU accesses 128 KB of Flash, while the APP CPU accesses the 2 Flash memories each with 128 KB.

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How is the Flash organized?

The Flash is organized into pages of 2 KB. GS1011 supports page erase capability.

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How much on-board memory is available to the customer for their application?

It depends on your application. See the Memory Size spreadsheet available on the website login area for the latest numbers on memory availability.

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What is the lifetime of the Flash memory on the GS1011?

The Flash endurance is 20K cycles, with 20ms erase and 20us program time at 1.8 VCC.

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What is the access time of the Flash memory?

There is zero wait state when the CPU runs at 22 or 11MHz. However, there are one wait state for a 32bit word when the CPU runs at 44MHz.

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Which RTOS & network stack does GainSpan provide?

GainSpan includes Green Hills RTOS called "micro velocity" or µVelocity. It has a small footprint and robust design. For the network stack, GainSpan includes Green Hill's GHNET.

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Does GS1011 RTOS support IPV4 or IPV6 network stack?

The current firmware supports IPv4 network stack and we do have plans to support IPv6 in the future.

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What does GainSpan Embedded Software consist of?

GainSpan Embedded Software consists of a real-time operating system (RTOS), TCP/IP Networking stack, simple network management protocol (SNMP), and GainSpan node software - WLAN firmware.

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Can the GainSpan demo software run on any computer?

The GainSpan demo software can run on any PCs that run windows XP or Vista.

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Can GainSpan firmware be updated over the air?

Yes, all the GainSpan device firmware can be updated over the air.

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Does GS1011 chip and module come with a preloaded firmware?

The GS1011 does not come with preloaded firmware. The module must be first programmed with the released firmware that customer plans to use. See the programming and design guidelines on HW and SW steps required to do this. The firmware can be either built using SDK builder or a pre-built version from the EVK package can be used. If you do not have access to the SDK BUILDER when you log into GainSpan support, please submit a question to request access upon logging in.

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What is the memory capacity of the real-time clock?

The (RTC) real time clock contains 512B of persistent memory storage powered by the system battery. 256 bytes are used by WLAN and 256 are for the 2nd CPU where the networking services run

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How is software debugging supported in the GS1011?

We provide 2 methods for software debugging, one being message based using UART serial port, and the other is through JTAG. Our SDK includes the Green Hills MULT IDE, which supports the Macraigor usbWiggler JTAG HW.

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