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Compact, low-power serial device gateway runs FreeRTOS on Cortex-M3

Jan 30, 2018 — by Rick Lehrbaum 1,051 views

Artila’s “Aport-213” is a low-power, industrial strength, single port serial-to-WiFi gateway that offers WiFi-based remote access to devices such as meters, sensors, and switches without requiring the development of wireless LAN drivers and security supplicants.

The Aport-213 is the newest member of Artila’s industrial communications gateways family. The device runs FreeRTOS on an unspecified 166MHz Cortex-M3 SoC, and offers 802.11 wireless connectivity to serially-interfaced devices for monitoring and control functions. The compact, low-power device can be configured as a transparent bridge, allowing a serial device to be accessed wirelessly without requiring modifications to existing software, says the company.

(click image to enlarge)

The Aport-213 provides “enterprise” level wireless security, including support for WPA, WPA2, WEP, 802.1x, and 802.1x EAP (extensible authentication protocol). Also included are functions that minimize power consumption during the transmitting or receiving of data, as well as during periods of inactivity, adds Artila.

Aport-213 front, top, and bottom details
(click image to enlarge)

Artila expects applications for its Aport-213 to include agriculture, smart energy, security systems, and factory automation, among others. Based on the use of open source FreeRTOS, and the device’s support for “upgradeable firmware,” we presume it could be relatively easily customized for use in industry- or company-specific applications.

Artila lists these specifications for Aport-213:


  • Processor — 1x Cortex-M3 166MHz core
  • Memory — 512K RAM; 2MB SDRAM; 2MB SPI flash
  • Wireless — 2.4GHz 802.11b/g/n; supports WEP-64/128, WPA, WPA2; external antenna via SMA connector
  • Other I/O:
    • 1x serial device interface (DB9M); supports RS232/422/485 (switch selectable); data rate up to 921.6Kbps
    • 1x serial console port (DB9F)
  • Buttons/switches — reset, WPS, restore-to-default buttons; 1x 4-pin serial interface configuration switch
  • Other features — buzzer, 4x LEDs (power, status, COM, serial console); DIN rail mounting kit available
  • Power:
    • 9-48V DC input via terminal block
    • 5V DC input via micro-USB connector
    • Consumption — 180mA @ 12VDC (typical)
  • Operating temperature — 0-70° C
  • Dimensions– 78 x 108 x 24mm
  • Weight — 324gm
  • Regulatory — CE/FCC compliant
  • Software:
    • Upgradeable FreeRTOS-based firmware
    • TCP Server and Client mode support
    • Configurable via web or serial console

FreeRTOS on the rise

FreeRTOS recently received a major boost from Amazon, with the launch of an open source Amazon FreeRTOS that’s aimed at MCU-based IoT devices. Open source OSes like Linux and FreeRTOS continue to grow as proprietary platforms decline, according to the findings of AspenCore’s 2017 survey of embedded developers. Interestingly, although the survey found “Embedded Linux” and FreeRTOS to be in first and second place, at 22 and 20 percent for “current use,” their order was projected to reverse over the next 12 months, to 27 and 28 percent, potentially moving FreeRTOS to the top of the heap.

Further information

The Aport-213 is available now, at an undisclosed price. Further details are available at Artila’s Aport-213 product page, and in this PDF datasheet.

(advertise here)

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