WiFi enables electronic devices to connect to wireless local area networks (WLANs), to provide either communications between local devices or a connection to the internet via a wireless access point. It is not as reliable or secure as a wired link such as Ethernet but much more convenient for the user, and is prevalent in consumer devices such as smartphones and tablet computers.
An increasing trend in industrial applications is to embed WiFi hardware in products so that the user can control the machine’s operation or monitor its performance wirelessly via an ‘app’ on a standard Tablet computer. WiFi speeds are typically in the order of 10’s or 100’s of Mbit/s.
WiFi capabilities are usually designed into embedded systems by incorporating off-the-shelf modules which come pre-approved and meet the required FCC radio / Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) regulations.
Wi-FiTM and the Wi-Fi logo are registered trademarks of Wi-Fi Alliance.