RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- One key innovation inside the Sierra Wireless Fastrack Modem is the expansion slot. A Fastrack plug-in card delivers the functionality of a custom solution, with the cost-effectiveness of an off the shelf modem. So, how come there are only three expansion cards developed to date?

All of that is about to change, thanks to ClearConnex. RTP, NC-based ClearConnex has launched the first U.S. designed, commercially available, third party Expansion Card for wireless modems. It’s called the GPS Plus Card for Fastrack. The Card is the first of many expansion cards planned for the ClearConnex family of products.

Ryan Rangel, CTO of ClearConnex, explains, “Take the Sierra Wireless Fastrack Modem with our GPS Plus Card for Fastrack and you don’t have to invest another cent on hardware or mechanical design. But what’s even better is this: We’ve tested and proven this Card with our ClearComm Software Platform. That way there are little or no software development costs either.”

Rangel adds, “The key is the Card design with 26 GPIOs, a PIC processor, NVRAM and micro SD. With this Card, you get SiRFstar III-based GPS functionality. You can use this Card as is and have an out of the box solution. Or you can use this design as a starting point and swap out capabilities with little cost in time or money for development.”

“We have a Trimble-based GPS version coming soon and longer term plans for Zigbee, Wi-Fi and RFID expansion cards. Whether we license this Card design out to a company to manufacture or we receive an order for a million cards right now, the design will save our customers time and money, Rangel continued.”

Manuel Zepeda, ClearConnex President, puts the Card design story like this: “To build a customized system with a unique mechanical design and specialized software programming requirements can take up to eighteen months and cost a bundle. With the GPS Plus Card for Fastrack tested and proven on the ClearComm Software Platform, we can reduce that timeframe to a couple of months and a small fraction of the price. We’ve just made another way to save our clients money.”