“One of the myths about the Internet of Things is that companies have all the data they need, but their real challenge is making sense of it.” – Chris Murphy
GainSpan is helping power the next wave of the IoT with wireless connectivity solutions that turn everyday products into intelligent communicating devices. Since 2006, they’ve designed Wi-Fi chips, modules and software solutions to connect traditionally non-connected devices to smartphones or the Internet. More recently, they added a combo Wi-Fi/Thread/6LoWPAN chip and module and will soon expand to Bluetooth Smart /BLE. They’ve been singularly focused on Internet Protocol (IP) technologies (vs. proprietary or non-IP technologies), because they believe the IoT market will deliver on its promise by leveraging IP. Some of the market’s most successful connected products are based on IP/Wi-Fi, products such as the Fitbit scale, NEST Thermostat, and DropCam or GoPro camera.
Founded in 2006, GainSpan has created a suite of chips and modules and combined it with embedded software, networking stack, reference codes for MCU’s, reference hardware and software designs for video, music, smart plugs, thermostats, and sensors, as well as Android and iOS Apps. Together, they make IoT devices easier to develop, faster to get to market, and simpler to set-up and install. Augmented by partnerships with leading high-tech companies, GainSpan solutions let customers develop a whole new class of Internet-connected products.
Wi-Fi modules: GainSpan offers a wide range of certified connectivity modules powered by their own ultra-low power Wi-Fi GS2000 chip to accelerate the time to market. One will save certification and development costs and one doesn’t need to be an RF expert. There is something for every designer within the GS2000 family of Wi-Fi modules, which features varying sizes and antenna types. Modules can be used in a hostless mode, or connect to an MCU using UART, SPI or SDIO interfaces. The modules are IEEE 802.11b/g/n compliant, and meet Wi-Fi Alliance certification requirements. All modules are also certified for US/Canada (FCC /IC), Europe (ETSI) and Japan (TELEC).
Software development Kit: GainSpan’s toolbox contains everything one needs to add wireless connectivity to the product whether the application code runs directly on their modules (hostless) or on a separate 8/16/32 bit microcontroller (hosted). Clients will find the software development kits (SDK) perfect for hostless solutions. For microcontroller-hosted solutions, the SDK-Builder, a free online tool, was created specifically to customize the code loaded on the modules and the corresponding microcontroller reference code to communicate with their modules.
Application development kits
Video ADK: They continue to expand their application development kits and reference designs to support common applications and dramatically reduce the development cycle. Whether one is inventing a wireless video doorbell or a security camera, a wireless speaker or a home-based digital assistant a la Amazon Echo, a smart plug, thermostat or simply a cloud-connected wireless sensor board, their ADKs contain everything one needs to get to market. This includes hardware reference design, embedded code, smartphone apps for iOS and Android, and cloud solutions through partners.
Music ADK: It is a development platform to enable customers to build 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi high quality wireless music applications such as Wi-Fi speakers and headsets using GS2000-based modules. By integrating the major hardware and software components for a Wi-Fi streaming music solution, this platform significantly accelerates the development of music streaming products. The music ADK includes application source code. (An SDK is also required.) Only binary code is provided in the AEK, as its primary function is evaluation and capabilities demonstration.
Audio ADK: It is a development platform to enables customers to build 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi audio applications or to add audio to an application using GS2000-based Wi-Fi modules. By integrating the major hardware and software components, this platform significantly accelerates the development of audio products such as walkie-talkies, baby monitors or Amazon Echo-like devices. The audio ADK includes application source code (an SDK is also required), while the AEK provides binary code to help fully evaluate and demonstrate the capabilities.
Smartplug ADK: It is a development platform for creating a Wi-Fi connected single socket, 100-265V, smartplug. Voltage, current, frequency, energy and power factor can be monitored remotely from the cloud or locally using a web browser or a smartphone. Similarly, the electrical load can be controlled locally or remotely. The smartplug ADK includes hardware and application source code. (An SDK is also required.) Only binary code is provided in the AEK, as its primary function is to help developers evaluate and demonstrate capabilities.
Meet the Master
Greg Winner, President and CEO: Greg has more than 30 years of semiconductor experience, with emphasis on product development and operations. Most recently, Greg held the position of CEO for ZeroG, a privately held semiconductor company focused on Wi-Fi for the embedded space. Previously, he was the General Manager of the GPS Business Unit at Atheros Communications, Inc. and was formerly CEO at uNav Microelectronics, a privately held semiconductor startup focused on GPS solutions, which was acquired by Atheros. He also served as Sr. Vice President, Engineering and Quality for Applied Micro Circuits, Corp where he managed product development, central engineering, quality and operations related functions for the optical communication IC market. During his previous 17-year tenure at Silicon Systems Inc., Greg held several management positions that included the development of high performance analog, mixed-signal and digital integrated circuits for Storage applications. Greg holds an MSEE from Stanford University and a BSEE from University of California, Los Angeles.
“By making it easy and low cost to integrate, we are making possible a world of new applications in a broad spectrum of markets.”