Laird: 802.11ac Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 5 module for challenging wireless environments

Laird introduced a new series of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth modules that provide unmatched connectivity, and improves network efficiency and spectrum use. The new modules also enable optimal mobile device performance in the most challenging wireless environments. The Sterling 60 family of certified 802.11ac 2x2 MU-MIMO Wi-Fi + Bluetooth v4.2 modules (Bluetooth 5 SIG certified Q4 modules) is the first of two classes of modules that will give developers unmatched flexibility in wireless design, especially for mission critical connectivity requirements in industrial, medical, and enterprise applications. The Sterling 60 offers robust, secure, professional grade network and Internet connectivity with leading-edge wireless technology with the greatest possible range in one certified module.

Based on the latest, leading-edge silicon, Marvell’s 88W8997 chipset, the Sterling 60 introduces 802.11ac 2x2 MU-MIMO (Multi-User, Multiple Input Multiple Output) and Bluetooth v4.2 connectivity (Bluetooth 5 SIG certified Q4) on one low-power module, delivering future-ready cutting-edge technology for next-gen devices and applications.

A key advantage of MU-MIMO is that it improves network efficiency and the overall Wi-Fi experience. For example, in hospitals there is an increasing number of wirelessly networked medical devices. This tremendous number of devices in a highly dense and challenging RF environment are dependent on Wi-Fi and are pushing networks to the limit. Enabling MU-MIMO in these areas means that APs can send data to multiple devices simultaneously. Instead of sharing bandwidth, devices can have their own data stream, which dramatically improves network efficiency and spectrum usage and enhances the performance for all devices on the network.

Importantly, the 60 Series will help developers and integrators use today’s technology and support the next round of significant innovations in Wi-Fi, according to Scott Lordo, senior vice president for Laird’s Connectivity Solutions. The Bluetooth 5 capabilities and Wave 2 802.11ac Wi-Fi standards, he added, will be a hallmark of the 60 Series, which also will support both Linux and Android operating systems.

The 60 Series builds on the security and robustness inherited from Laird’s expertise in its 40, 45, and 50 Series modules, meaning ultra-high data rates, improved performance, and the most reliable wireless in crucial applications such as medical and industrial.

The Sterling 60 series of modules is also the first Laird solution to feature dual-band 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi with 2x2 MU-MIMO and Bluetooth 5 capabilities. Furthermore, Marvell’s cutting-edge silicon process technology will allow the 60 Series to offer leading-edge performance while also providing significantly improved power efficiency. The Sterling 60 is available in a SiP and M.2 module version and is compatible with the FlexPIFA and mFlexPIFA antennas. Modules and development kits are now available.


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