Supply chain disruptions have created havoc for many producers of industrial devices. But Digi has met the challenge to ensure off-the-shelf availability for our OEM customers.
Watch this webinar to learn how Digi has redesigned and recertified Digi XBee® wireless modules to ensure availability for OEMs and other customers. You’ll hear how Digi’s Wireless Design Services team can help expedite your redesign and certification process and about the key role of remote management in a complete IoT solution.
Want to learn more about how Digi can help you? Here are some next steps:
Thank you again for attending our session on Meeting Your Development Deadlines Despite the Supply Chain. Here are the questions that followed the presentation and their answers. If you have additional questions, be sure to reach out.
Moderator: Ryan Chacon, Co-Creator and CMO, IoT for All
Presenters: Bob Blumenscheid, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Digi International and Kevin Eichhorst, Senior Principal Systems Design Engineer, Digi International
Bob: Yeah, that's a great question, and that's exactly what we did. We went to our partner, Silicon Labs, and said, "Hey, we need a bunch of these parts." And they said, "Well, we're just not able to ship those to you in the quantities you need." And we're using a lot of these. I mean, we passed 15 million XBees deployed worldwide.
So we talked to them about a different version of the microcontroller that we were using, and it had different parameters, different memory size, which is why the MicroPython is in there. But in the Digi XBee RR and others, we absolutely redesigned that product.
Bob: Yes, it is. Same footprint, same AT commands. That's the beauty of the XBee, and the benefit of the XBee is it's a system that regardless of the connectivity, has the same software interface.
Bob: Yes, absolutely, that is unchanged. In the 2.4 Gigahertz range, they are the same in terms of range and selectivity.
Bob: No. On the Digi XBee RR does not have programmability. The XBee 3 family, which is in short supply, has a microcontroller. And we've enabled pipe MicroPython programming on that, but not bare metal programming.
Bob: Yeah, good question. We are working on our sub-gigahertz line to refresh it as well. So the XBee RR is strictly 2.4 gigahertz short-range mesh, but we are working on the 968-megahertz modules to do the same redesign in the same availability.
Kevin: Oh, that's a good question. The client does. They pay for it. At the end of the project, we give them a complete documentation set so that they can either take the design and add to it, or take it to somebody else for manufacturing, or however that works out. But, yeah, at the end, they own everything.
Bob: Yeah, great question. Q1 of '23, and we're finishing the last stages of those.
Bob: Good question, and I have to confess that I don't know that particular one. But we can get an answer for you for that.
Bob: Let me go back to the different footprints. Yes. So there the picture shows, the U.FLs on there. But we do have versions that include antennas directly on the module.
Bob: Yes. I think you're talking about cellular there. And, yes, we have relationships across the world, and we can do that to provide that connectivity.
Kevin: Yeah, that's a good question. It comes up a lot. Our motto is, "We'll do as much or as little as you need." In a lot of cases, we may be only doing an antenna design for a customer or they may want us to do what a real popular option is for things like with our system on modules is we'll develop the carrier board, the harbor for it, and a board support package, and then the client provides the application. So as much or as little as you need — we're pretty flexible.
Kevin: Yeah. Usually there are a couple of different reasons. One is space. You just can't get an off-the-shelf antenna to fit in the space that you've got allocated. That's one. But a lot of times we have clients where their production volumes are going exceed 10,000 units. Then doing things like a PCB trace antenna, for instance. It costs a quarter of a cent to put a PCB trace antenna directly into the copper of the board itself versus a buck, or two bucks, or depending on what you're gonna pay for an antenna. It's a huge cost savings for volume. And in a lot of cases, we have to do that just to get performance. Where, like I said, for things that are space limited, you just can't get the performance with something that will fit off-the-shelf.
Kevin: We can pretty much do every country. I think we've been in over 100 different countries around the world for certifications.
We've got a wide network of agents that are on the ground, so a lot of places where you have to have a local agent that works with the agency to be able to carry all the paperwork, and the units to be tested, and all those kinds of things. They want to work with somebody locally in-country. We've got all those networks set up, but we've been literally on every continent.
Bob: No, it doesn't, and it's strictly 2.4 Gigahertz mesh, but come see us for 900 megahertz varieties.
Bob: The XBee 3 modules, which include MicroPython edge intelligence, are not EOL, They're just in short supply. But we'll continue to provide long-term availability for the XBee 3 and the XBee RR.
Bob: Typically, Digi keeps our components in production for as long as we can once we release it, and the XBee RR fits into that plan. We strive for 10 years after introducing it. We use components that our suppliers commit to for long-term availability, so it's part of our long-term availability plan.
Bob: If you go to the Digi website, there are different ways to contact Digi in North America and worldwide, on our Contact Us page. We have a complete sales team, and an FAE team. So if you do send in a question, that'll be responded to quickly. If you have specific questions for WDS, the salesperson can direct those questions straight to them as well. And, you know, if you have questions from me, I mean, I'm email@example.com, so I'll be happy to take an email from anybody.
Kevin: You can also directly send an email to me for wireless design services questions at, firstname.lastname@example.org.