Today, the pocket-sized, bare-bones computer can visit the Web, with help from a new, affordable device with Broadcom® WICED™ Wi-Fi technology.
Broadcom and the Raspberry Pi Foundation announced a Broadcom USB hub and Wi-Fi adapter that’s optimized for the Raspberry Pi.
“It gives you full-featured Wi-Fi connectivity out of the box for your Raspberry Pi device,” said Jeff Baer, director of business development for Wireless LAN at Broadcom.
The low-cost adapter bolsters the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s mission: to get affordable computers into the hands of students so they can learn critical computer science skills.
The new USB Wi-Fi adapter for Raspberry Pi sports two USB ports and 802.11 b/g/n support in a very low-power package.
That last bit is a big selling point, since it frees up the Raspberry Pi’s computing power to do other nifty things.
“The BCM43143 has a very low CPU load, so it’s lightweight and efficient,” said Eben Upton, Broadcom Technical Director and co-Founder of the Raspberry Pi Foundation. “It places a very small power demand on the device and that gives you a lot of room to do other demanding things on the Pi.”
One of its other standouts: the Broadcom USB hub has integrated software support for Raspberry Pi and other Linux-based platforms, the operating system of choice for the millions of open-source tinkerers who develop on the Pi.
The collaboration made a lot of sense because “Wi-Fi is the connectivity option of choice for consumers and Broadcom is an industry leader in Wi-Fi,” Baer said.
Other specs include:
- Support for external power with optional adapter (sold separately)
- Wi-Fi adapter with IEEE 802.11b/g/n support
- 150 Mbps maximum receive and transmit rate
- Supports 20 MHz and 40 MHz channel
- Supports Infrastructure mode, Wi-Fi Direct and soft-AP mode
- Supports WPA, WPA2 (802.11i), AES/TKIP, IEEE 802.1X and WAPI
- Maximum transmission power 15 dbm
- Operating Frequency 2.4 MHz – 2.497 MHz
The Broadcom® Wi-Fi Adapter with USB hub is currently available for sale through ModMyPi and PiSupply, and the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s network of distribution partners for $14.99 or £9.99, or its equivalent. The Wi-Fi drivers are available as part of the Raspbian OS download from the Raspberry Pi Foundation. Additionally, the Linux drivers are also available for source code download here.