max_sockets in wiced_http_server_start() API stand for maximum number of sockets to be served simultaneously. If you check the underlying implementation, it is essentially creating the transport layer sockets for which the memory allocation is done dynamically based on the number of simultaneous connections required; i.e number of sockets. I tested with the snip.http_server_sent_events example. With the max_sockets set to 1, I could not connect to the http server from more than one client device (connection times out. Maybe you can tell me the connection event you are seeing it in a wireshark trace).
So for the rendering issue, what is the stack size you are using? I tried to connect again through the same example but could not see the rendering issue.
As far as teh rendering issue....
I experimented with different stack sizes, from 5000 all the way up to 10000, but that did not matter. The rendering issue may also be related to IPhone. I recreated the problem connecting an iPhone and using one of the sample apps....
I modified the apsta example application to only create a server with AP interface and running on an MXCHIP EMW3166 development kit. I am connecting to it with an IPhone 6, iOS 11.2, running Chrome (latest version). When I create the server with the original max sockets parameters set to 10 then connect / browse with my iPhone, the page refreshed instantaneously. When I rebuild the application with max sockets set to 1, it can take 1 minute for the page to fully render or refresh. Sometime the browser times out waiting for the page.
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I don't have your eval kit with me but I checked with CYW943907AEVAL1F kit and was not able to reproduce the same.
Which network stack are you using? NetX/NetX_Duo/LwIP?