u-blox’s New Multi-Radio Modules Aim to Bring Wi-Fi 6 to the RoadFebruary 24, 2020 by Gary Elinoff
The JODY-W3 series of multi-radio modules features 2 x 2 MIMO and dual-mode Bluetooth 5.1.
The JODY-W3 series from u-blox supports IEEE’s latest standard for ISM, IEEE 802.11ax, also known as Wi-Fi 6. The units also support dual-mode Bluetooth/Bluetooth LE 5.1. u-blox has designed these new devices specifically for high-speed wireless connections in automobiles.
The JODY-W3 series from u-blox. Image used courtesy of u-blox
As stated by Håkan Svegerud, Senior Director for Product Strategy Short Range Radio at u-blox, “Wi-Fi 6 delivers a leap in performance over previous Wi-Fi standards, delivering functionality that makes it ideal for use in automotive systems, both in OEM equipment and aftermarket telematics solutions.”
Key Features of JODY-W3
Series members are multi-radio modules that feature Wi-Fi 6 with 2 x 2 multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO). MIMO enhances the data-carrying capacity of a radio link using multiple transmission and receiving antennas. Operating simultaneously at 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz enables high data-rate performance.
Two JODY-W3 Models
There are two members of the new series: the JODY-W374 and the JODY-W377. Both are concurrent dual-band Wi-Fi 2.4 and 5 GHz, 2 x 2 MIMO (5 GHz), multiple access channel (MAC) devices. The units are optimized for parallel operation of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
The JODY-W374 features two antenna output pins, one for Bluetooth and one for Wi-Fi. Pin one is for the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi antenna and pin two is for 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
The JODY-W377 features three antenna output pins. Pins one and two are both for 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi, and pin three is for Bluetooth.
Both members of the series operate over a temperature range of -40℃ to +85℃. They are available in a 13.8 mm × 19.8 mm × 2.5 mm package.
These devices are designed to work with either Linux or Android host processors. Users can achieve a connection to the processor through high-speed UART for Bluetooth, PCIe, or SDIO for Wi-Fi and through PCM I2S for Bluetooth audio.
As expected, the JODY-W3 devices are backward compatible with older Wi-Fi versions.
The JODY-W3 has been approved based on several international standards for radio safety.
- US: FCC CFR part 15C and 15E
- Europe: ETSI RED
- Canada: ISED
What's New Since JODY-W1 and JODY-W2?
JODY-W3 is preceded by two earlier series: u-blox's JODY-W1 and the JODY-W2 series. In the past, we've even discussed the JODY-W2 series as a multi-radio module outfitted for Wi-Fi 5 & BLE 5 in vehicles and industrial devices.
The JODY-W3 series is distinct from the former series because it is the first to support Wi-Fi 6.
Overview of u-blox's short-range products prior to the JODY-W3 release. Image used courtesy of u-blox
The JODY-W1 featured a Cypress' CYW88359 and CYW89359 and supported Bluetooth v4.2, while the JODY-W2 employed a Marvell's 88W8987xA and supported Bluetooth v5.0. The JODY-W3 modules are based on Marvell's 88Q9098 chip and offer Bluetooth/Bluetooth LE 5.1.
Built for Automotive Connectivity
The JODY-W3 devices will find use in applications such as ultra-HD video infotainment streaming, screen mirroring, and wireless backup cameras. They might also aid in cloud connectivity, vehicle maintenance, and diagnostics.
u-blox also asserts that the Bluetooth 5.1 capabilities will be useful for navigational applications and keyless entry systems.
Both devices in the JODY-W3 series meet automotive qualifications, specifically ISO 16750-4 and AEC-Q100.
u-blox also offers EVK-JODY-W374, an evaluation kit for JODY-W374. No details are available as yet.
What specifications rank high on your list for multi-radio modules? Share your thoughts in the comments below.