Lantronix’s wireless device server provides mobility, flexibility, access

Irvine, CA—Lantronix Inc. has launched its WiBox external device server to bring 802.11 wireless network capabilities in minutes to virtually any device with serial connectivity.

By Control Engineering Staff August 10, 2004

Irvine, CA— Lantronix Inc. has launched its WiBox external device server to bring 802.11 wireless network capabilities in minutes to virtually any device with serial connectivity. Legacy devices can plug into WiBox, which connects deployed equipment to networks and the Internet without wires. Cost-effective and scalable, WiBox increases the lifespan of previously non-networked devices, integrating them into newer networked systems and maximizing their return-on-investment.

The second in Lantronix’s family of wireless device networking solutions, WiBox joins WiPort wireless embedded device server, which the firm says was the industry’s first product to offer both IEEE 802.11 wireless and wired Ethernet connectivity in a compact integrated module. Both of these devices are compatible with virtually all wireless access points sold through computer resellers, in addition to public ‘hot spots’ in coffee shops, libraries, airports, and other commercial locations worldwide. With both an embedded and external solution, hundreds of wireless manufacturers now have far more flexibility in designing and deploying wireless access points.

‘We continue to see increased demand for wireless solutions, and we’re committed to meeting our customers’ needs for technology that solves real world problems,’ says Chris Humphrey, Lantronix’s marketing VP. ‘Adding an external solution to our family of wireless offerings delivers a huge cost savings to a variety of commercial applications. When legacy equipment is working just fine, companies don’t need to spend thousands or even millions of dollars to replace it, instead they can simply network them using our external device servers. With WiBox, additional flexibility and mobility is enabled through its wireless capabilities.’

Presentlya factory automation machine at a manufacturing plant, can be turned into a fully functioning component of a network. By adding the value of a wireless interface, the expense of cabling and the high cost and technology disadvantages of modem setups are also eliminated. Lantronix adds that wireless connectivity can be applied to just about any device. It is a particularly strong solution for applications in medical, retail point-of-sale (POS) and logistics where device mobility is important, and in some areas of building and industrial automation where wired solutions are not a viable option.

To enable access to a local network or the Internet, WiBox integrates a fully developed TCP/IP network stack and OS that includes a built-in web server for configuration or to display operating and troubleshooting information. With the highest serial port speeds in the industry (920kb), WiBox features 802.11b to serial communications (without needing a PCMCIA card), two DB9 serial ports, serial RS-232/422/485 flexibility, WEP security, and robust data handling capabilities.

Using a method called tunneling, WiBox encapsulates serial data into packets and transports it over 802.11b wireless networks. Virtual serial connections can be extended across a company’s facilities or worldwide. Leveraging wireless mobility and bandwidth to eliminate dedicated modems and phone lines, WiBox can also replace dial-up modems by accepting modem AT com-mands on the serial port, then establishing a network connection to the end device.

Control Engineering Daily News DeskJim Montague, news