IPv6 and The Internet of Things

[fa icon='calendar'] Oct 10, 2016 2:28:20 PM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in authentication, end-to-end encryption, General, internet, Internet of Things, IoT, IP address, IPv4, IPv6, M2M, machine to machine, NAT, NDP, Neighbor Discovery Protocol, Network Adress Translation, tech, technology

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By Nathan Rockershousen, Technical Writer

A majority of the tech industry has come to accept that the Internet of Things (IoT) will increase in size by the year 2020, enabling around 30 billion internet-connected devices. Internet Protocol Version 4 (IPv4) was the first internet protocol to be released for public use. When it was released, it only allocated enough address spaces to accommodate for just over 4 billion devices, which is clearly not even close to enough space at this point in time. Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6), which is the most recent internet protocol, is the perfect solution for the IoT as it extends the number of address spaces to roughly 340 undecillion.

The IPv6 can essentially provide every person on Earth with around 4,000 usable IP addresses, which is more than enough space to sustain the expected IoT growth. Due to the limited size of the IPv4, implementing IPv6 as the new standard for internet connectivity is inevitable. When IPv4 began to run out of address space, Network Address Translation (NAT) was developed to enable different devices to share the same public IP address. At the time, this was a very innovative solution that compensated for the unexpected expansion of the internet. However, many devices that are being developed today utilize an IPv6 address space. Even though converting any IPv4 addresses to IPv6 may be cumbersome, it is only a matter of time before IPv6 is universally accepted, rendering IPv4 infrastructures completely useless.

What does this have to do with the IoT? The most important thing to consider is that upgrading from IPv4 to IPv6 will require end-to-end encryption and a stronger authentication process. This is because using NAT creates a middleman in the device communication, removing the ability to have more secure machine to machine (M2M) communication. IoT devices are heavily reliant upon robust and secure communication as the data collected by device sensors can include sensitive information. IPv6 will enable safe M2M communication and allow for the IoT to continue to expand at its expected, exponential rate. There can still be some security risks with IPv6, but it is a significant advancement in comparison to IPv4.

Security aside, IPv6 could be the solution for multi-protocol interoperability between different devices. This is due to the fact that it includes a very large address space, allowing for the internet to be extended to any device. IPv6 utilizes auto-configuration, which is used to establish a link-local address. It can then use its Neighbor Discovery Protocol (NDP) to check if the address is unused and unique before it saves it. This is a major upgrade for the IoT because IPv6 completes its address conflict detection before actually using the address itself, which IPv4 did not do.

When it comes to things such as mobility and scalability, IPv6 is well equipped to handle the plethora of IoT devices that will soon be creating networks within homes and cities. This upgraded internet protocol brings more functionality and more security than IPv4 could offer, while ensure every device will have a unique IP address. As the IoT world continues to expand at such a rapid pace, its dependency on IPv6 is an unavoidable step in creating seamless device interoperability and communication.

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Wi-Fi - High Performance (A11) Modules

[fa icon='calendar'] Jul 6, 2015 8:33:55 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in 3.3V operation, 802.11b/g/n, A11, access point, antennas, baseband processor, CE Certified, circuit board, configuration utility, Dial Switch, DIP, Ethernet, Ethernet MAC, ethernet to wi-fi, external antennas, FCC, Flash memory, General, high performance modules, Internal chip, IPEX/U.FL antenna connector, IPEX/U.FL connector, IPv4, IPv6, Linux Operating System, local chip antenna, Low Cost High Performance MCU, networking stack, power amplifier, Products, RAM memory, Remote Firmware, RF transceiver, RoHS compliant, router, Serial to Ethernet, serial to wi-fi, Serial UART, SMA antenna connector, SMA connectors, Smart Link, SMT, STA / AP / AP+STA Modes, surface mount, Wi-Fi, wireless firmware, WEP / WPA / WPA2 security modes, Wi-Fi modules, Wi-Fi protocol, Wireless, Wireless MAC, wireless modules

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The High-Flying A11 modules are design for high performance applications normally, using 802.11b/g/n, Ethernet, and local serial ports. The A11 is available in two formats – SMT (surface mount) and DIP (2x7pins). A11 integrates an Ethernet and Wireless MAC, a baseband processor, a RF transceiver along with a power amplifier. The on-board software includes a complete Wi-Fi protocol, configuration utility and networking stack. Applications include access points, routers, serial to Ethernet, serial to Wi-Fi, Ethernet to Wi-Fi bridging and many others.gc-hf-a11_1_1The A11 integrates all Wi-Fi functionality into a low-profile SMT or DIP module package that can be easily mounted on a printed circuit board. The different A11 modules connect to antennas using the local chip antenna (INT), external antennas through the standard IPEX/U.FL connector, or directly through the on-board SMA connectors.

Features:

  • Serial UART, Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n applications
  • WEP / WPA / WPA2 security modes
  • Low Cost High Performance MCU
  • AP, Router, Bridge, converter applications
  • Includes all the protocol and configuration functions
  • Supports STA / AP / AP+STA Modes
  • Supports Smart Link Function
  • Supports Wireless and Remote Firmware Upgradeable
  • External IPEX/U.FL antenna connector option
  • Internal chip or SMA antenna connector options
  • Supports Dial Switch to Control Power
  • Additional Flash/RAM memory for applications
  • Compact SMT or DIP modules
  • Full IPv4 and IPv6 stack
  • Embedded and Flexible Linux Operating System
  • FCC, CE Certified
  • RoHS compliant
  • Single supply – 3.3V operation

Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 4.30.35 PM

 

Ordering Information
Part Numbers / Description / Call for OEM volume pricing

GC-HF-A11-EXT A11 External IPEX/U.FL connector
GC-HF-A11-SMA A11 SMA antenna
GC-HF-A11-INT A11 Internal chip antenna
GC-HF-A11-EVAL A11 Evaluation Kit

GC-HF-A11-SMT-EXT A11 Surface Mount External IPEX/U.FL connector
GC-HF-A11-SMT-INT A11 Surface Mount Internal chip antenna
GC-HF-A11-SMT-EVAL A11 Surface Mount Evaluation Kit

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