After dwelling in the realm of connecting embedded devices to the network via the Ethernet for many years, it is pretty apparent that wireless 802.11b/g/n is going to replace the Ethernet as a medium of communicating with embedded devices.
Before the availability of the Zero-g module, in order for your design to communicate on the wifi band, designer has to use one of the following 3 methods 1) expensive wireless module to hook up existing design to the network through wifi 2) commonly known as a cheaper alternative of wireless wifi communication, we use existing off the shelves Compact flash 802.11b based on the famous prism chipset wifi expansion card which is designed for PDA in mind. 3) Using embedded Linux, this opens up a wide range of usb wifi dongle for the designer to choose from at the expense of more complex system with an Operating system overhead.
Before the availability of the Zero-G module into the designer’s arsenal, I would have recommended option 2. But bare in mind that we are dependent on the availability of the CF cards. With the modern breed of PDA(s) Wifi comes as a standard package, so who knows how long will this devices stay in the market.
Microchip recognizes the need for embedded low power device to communicate on the wifi band, and talked up a partnership with ZeroG corp to have a long term supply of the module in June 2009. This relationship is further enhanced when ZeroG was acquired by Microchip Corp earlier this year Jan 2010.
After sniffing around the scene for a means to enable my device to communicate on the wifi arena, I have finally decided to place an order for this module for experimentation.
Will keep you guys posted on the outcome …