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Wireless technologies are often the conduit for today’s advanced engineering architectures.  

The Internet of Things (IoT) for example is a broad term that encompasses the multitude of wirelessly connected devices that surround us. It applies not only to smartphones and tablets, but to millions of machines, devices, and new twists on traditional products which were previously not connected to the internet.

While all IoT devices transmit and receive information wirelessly, they don’t do it in exactly the same way. There are different options for connectivity, and some are better suited to certain applications than others.

Factors like battery life, range of coverage, power requirements and bitrate must all be taken into account when deciding which option to use for a given application.

One of the key wireless technologies involved in the IoT architecture is Wi-Fi, which has been assigned the standard 802.11 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and operates at either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz.

Wi-Fi works off of the same principal as other wireless devices — it uses radio frequencies to send signals between devices. The radio frequencies are completely different say from walkie talkies, car radios, cell phones and weather radios. Wi-Fi transmits and receives data in the Gigahertz range.

Wi-Fi commonly makes use of a router, which offers a maximum range of 100 meters (or a little longer than a football field).

Many IoT devices currently make use of Wi-Fi, and more are expected to do so as offloading accompanies 5G network rollouts.

Bluetooth is another wireless technology often involved in making the IoT happen. Bluetooth (IEEE Standard 802.15.1) is used in many different medical and industrial devices. Like Wi-Fi, it also operates at 2.4 GHz, but it does have some key differences that make it ideal for embedding in smaller products.

Bluetooth systems are designed to be used only within a short range (0-10 meters), and as such, require less power. This makes it ideal for embedding in small electronic devices, such as wireless headphones, smartwatches and other wearable electronics, as well as wireless keyboards, mice, speakers and more.

Want to know more? Tonex offers Wireless Engineering Training Bootcamp, a 3-day course that covers all aspects of Wireless communications. Participants will learn the fundamentals of RF, Software-Defined Radio (SDR), microwave, cellular, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and SATCOM engineering.

For more information, questions, comments, contact us.

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