WiFi Shield 101
Concerned about the future
Topic: Concerned about the future
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Concerned about the future
Dec 30, 2015, 04:02 pm
I embraced the Arduino "concept" due to its "open" philosophy. I almost jumped head first into the WiFi Shield 101 until I started reading about NDA and other failure to disclose issues...
Has the leadership of Arduino lost its way? Is it time to jump ship? Is this PCB going to be one of those things with lots of potential wrapped up in a NDA and as a result being very limited and perhaps a failure? TRUE development does NOT begin until NDA's go away!
Without the NDA going away, TRUE development will not begin until sufficient information is leaked out.
If that is the game... I will be forced to find another avenue as I don't have that much time and I NEED encrypted WiFi. While Arduino is among the least expensive it is NOT the only game in town.
Former Honeywell programmer and current independent contractor.
Re: Concerned about the future
Dec 30, 2015, 07:37 pm
Good Day NotJarvis,
Your concern confuses me as there are several issues here.
#1 The WiFi 101 Shield as it comes today with Arduino library support is an IPV4 solution that provides most of the functionality needed for 802.11. It competes with other solutions that you could get from SparkFun or Adafruit. The Eagle files are posted by arduino.cc and you could modify the board, send it out to OSH Park and solder on the components, I think all of the parts can be purchased from Newark. For instance, you could build a board that uses an external antenna for greater range. The arduino library support is open source and can be adapted or used as you see fit. As first issued the library support is a nice match for the Arduino.cc zero.
#2. The Shield contains an Atmel ATECC508A Crypto chip that is not yet supported by any Arduino libraries. Crypto information seems proprietary. Atmel Studio (a free download) contains some examples that interface with this, and I think someone is working on Arduino library support for this. Check back in about a year or today you can implement a software solution or use some other shield. At the current time I am not using this chip and it doesn't seem to draw much current. Some competing solutions feature a microSD reader instead of a crypto chip.
#3. The Shield contains an Atmel WINC1500 module that implements the IPV4 stack. The microcode for this is field updatable through Atmel Studio but its microcode also seems proprietary. I'd be interested in this because other protocols such as IPV6, APRS, and Mesh networking are useful on micro controllers, and also because there would be some use for network management interfaces such as used by Ping.
#4. I would note in passing that the Cortex M0+ chip on the Arduino Zero board is also proprietary. You can't just download the CAD files for the ARM chip and send out to a foundry.
Regarding the proprietary items, I have found that Atmel provides excellent support. You may have to show a need and sign an NDA to get information from them, but that's typical of any vendor. The current lack of arduino library support for the Crypto chip is I think just a matter of it still being a new product and the availability of resources to immediately produce the library.