Tag Archives: Wifi

BlkBox BB-E01P – The World’s Smallest ESP8285-Based WiFi Module

Back in March 2016, Espressif Announced the ESP8285 Wi-Fi Chip, a supposed killer of the favorite ESP8266 chip. The new chip is an ESP8266, but with the flash memory onboard –  1MB flash memory. Espressif’s ESP8285 delivers highly integrated Wi-Fi SoC solution to meet users’ constant demands for efficient power usage, compact design and reliable performance in the Internet of Things industry. With the complete and self-contained Wi-Fi networking capabilities, ESP8285 can perform either as a standalone application or as the slave to a host MCU. When ESP8285 hosts the application, it promptly boots up from the flash. The Chip is also ultra-small as compared to the ESP8266 making it suitable for applications like in wearables.

Taiwan based Blkbox may have designed the world’s smallest WiFi IoT module with their Espressif Systems ESP8285 based BB-E01P module which is pin-compatible with the ESP-01 module, and measuring just 10×14 mm. Several ESP8285 modules have been released, but the Blkbox version is probably the smallest ever. Itead Studio’s PSF-A85, an ESP8285 Wireless Module measures just 14mm*135mm, and even the Electrodragon ESP8285 WiFi module measures 15.5mm x 17.8mm. With this, the Blkbox module might be the smallest we currently have. The BB-E01P is the equivalent of the Blkbox predecessor BB-E01 with reduced dimensions.

BB-E01P ESP8285 Pinout

The following are the specification of the Blkbox BB-E01P ESP8285 WiFi module:

  • WiFi SoC – Espressif ESP8285 WiFi SoC with 1MB internal flash
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi with chip antenna
  • Expansion – 8-pin (2.54mm pitch) with Tx/Rx, CP, RS, GPIO0, GPIO2, 3V, GND (Same layout as ESP-01)
  • Interface – UART
  • Misc – Jumper supports Deep Sleep Mode (AT+GSLP)
  • Firmware Version: AT v1.6 / SDK v2.2
  • Power Supply – 3V -3.6V
  • Dimensions – 10 x 14 mm
  • Pin Pitch – 2.54mm

The Blkbox board is preloaded with the firmware version AT v1.5/SDK v2.2. Just like every other Blkbox boards, the module can be purchased on Tindie for $6.80 + shipping.

HioTron IoT Kit – A Modular and Enterprise IoT Development Kit

HioTron IoT Kit is a modular and enterprise IoT kit that is entirely pre-programmed prototyping kit for quickly building and testing IoT concepts. All modules are plug-n-play, allowing for flexible prototyping, customization & production. This set of kit is made by the Indian based company HioTron, which specializes in IoT solutions development. This Kit includes Hardware, IoT Platform & User App/Dashboard needed to build quickly any IoT application right from Scratch to Production.

Hiotron Development Kit

One of the challenges that come with embarking on IoT project is that of the platform, software, wireless standard, API, and hardware selection. We have numerous IoT enabled hardware in the market, with each having their own software stack and also several IoT platforms available to pick from. The process of going through these selection pools, valuable and productivity time could be lost and still not arrive at something that genuinely works or is efficient. Hiotron’s goal is to solve this by providing a complete package that can be used from PoC (Proof Of Concept) to Production. HioTron complete IoT solution which includes not only the hardware building blocks (Nodes & Gateway) needed to quickly prototype a wireless IoT system from scratch but most importantly hIOTron enterprise IoT™ Platform is integrated with custom mobile application & GUI dashboard that enable user to get up and run PoC of any idea as easily and quickly as possible.

The IoT Kit is ideal for makers, enthuthat siast, startups and even organization that wants to embark on IoT projects in the areas of smart cities, agriculture, industrial & smart factories, energy, healthcare, logistics, and several others. The kit is modular which means you can easily stack in add-ons on top of existing ones or add another device to the network infrastructure. The kit includes the following:

  • Hi-Node
  • Hi-Gate
  • hIOTron IoT Platform
  • Dashboard and Mobile App

Hi-Node

Hi-Node is a battery (2700 mAh Li-ion) or USB [Optional] powered wireless node which comes with 4 output channels to control real-world devices using 4 relays (Output 5A 230VAC) with 4 connectors and 4 universal (Analog/Digital) input channels to communicate with real-world sensors and transmit this information to IoT gateway using wireless (Zig-bee & BLE4.0) protocols.

Hi-Node

Hi-Node provides standard interface that offers not only remote monitoring but also control capability for managing many types of devices and it also offers advanced Edge Analytics & Local storage. The Hi-Node ZigBee is based on the Digikey Wired XBee module which boasts a range of about 80 – 100 meters line of sight and about 40 meters indoor. The Hi-Node is based around the ATmega328P with 2KB of SRAM, 32KB of Flash memory, and 1KB of EEPROM.

Hi-Gate

Hi-Gate is the brain of this kit which is fully Modular & Enterprise IoT gateway and which doesn’t only translate the protocol [RF/ NON-RF –To– REST/MQTT] but has TI CC3200 at its heart. The Gateway device comes with Zig-Bee and BLE4.0 to support its local network infrastructure with the Hi-Nodes and an outbound connectivity for connecting to the outside world using Wi-Fi 802.11 B/G/N Radio, Ethernet, and Cellular connectivity (2G, 3G, and 4G).

Hi-Gate

The Gateway device supports dual mode of operation – As a Node or Gateway. The Hi-Gate can support up to 25 wireless Hi-Nodes and offers an auto-reconnect for Wi-Fi and GSM network.

The following are the specification of the Hi-Gate:

Hardware System
  • Controller: ARM Cortex-M4 Core at 80 MHz
  • Flash: 1MB Serial Flash Memory
  • RAM: 256KB
  • EEPROM: 512KB External
Interface
  • Power input: 9-12V DC
  • 2-GPIO Port Pins
  • 2-Analog Port Pins
  • RTC
WiFi Specs
  • IEEE 802.11 b/g/n
  • Frequency Band: 2.4 ~ 2.462 GHz

HioTron IoT Platform

The hIOTron IoT Platform supports five major D’s such as Device Management, Device Connectivity, Data Storage, Data Analytics and Dashboard/Application enabled for the management of an IoT project life cycle. The Hi-Gate stream data to the hIOTron platform where all the analytics, storage, automation will be carried out.

The Hiotron IOT Platform

Dashboard & Mobile App

You can monitor & control your project application through the Dashboard & Mobile Application provide by HioTron and do unlimited customization from anywhere, anytime.

The Modular & Enterprise IoT development kit comes in 3 versions are Standard, Advance & Customized which can be selected based on applications requirement. The kit pricing is currently not disclosed. More information about the Kit can be found here and for more details on about getting started with the kit can be found here.

Banana Pi BPI-W2 SBC – A Multimedia Router And NAS Board That Runs Android Or Linux

SinoVoip has released Banana Pi BPI-W2 multimedia network and smart NAS router SBC. The BPI-W2 has a faster processor and more advanced features than last year’s Banana Pi BPI-R2. However, the new model has only two Gigabit Ethernet ports instead of four.

This SBC is designed for applications such as high wireless performance, home entertainment, home automation, and many more. The BPI-W2 runs on a Realtek RTD1296 SoC with 4x Cortex-A53 cores clocked at up to 1.5GHz with a high-end Mali-T820 MP3 GPU. By comparison, previous year’s BPI-R2 used a quad-core, Cortex-A7 MediaTek MT7623 with a Mali-450 MP4. SinoVoip confirms full support for Android 6.0CentOSDebian 9Raspbian, and Ubuntu 15.04, and the board is also said to support OpenWrt.

Banana Pi BPI-W2
Banana Pi BPI-W2

The updated I/O support is shown in the BPI-W2’s dual SATA III ports, compared to only one on the single SATA interface found on the MT7623-based BPI-R2 and RTD1295-based devices. The BPI-W2 also has 8-64GB eMMC, a microSD slot, and 2GB of DDR4.

Although limited to dual GbE ports, the board also has a GbE WAN port for router applications. Unlike the R2, there is an HDMI input in addition to the HDMI output, and a mini-DisplayPort has replaced the earlier MIPI-DSI connection. In either case, the output resolution is still limited to HD (1080p) only.

Four USB ports are available, including single USB 3.0 and Type-C ports. There is a 40-pin header that is claimed to support Raspberry Pi 3 add-on boards. Other features involve RTC, IR, debug, audio I/O, and a 12V input.

Like other Banana Pi boards, the BPI-W2 is open source, shipping with schematics and other documentation. The AliExpress and wiki pages list and show PCIe 2.0 and 1.1/SDIO slots on the front as well as a single M.2 slot on the back. Yet the PCIe slots are also tagged as M.2 slots (E-Key), and it’s unclear which slots are capable of what. The PCIe slots are capable to support up to 802.11ac WiFi, and there’s also a SIM card slot.

The Banana Pi BPI-W2 is available now for $93 plus shipping on AliExpress. More information may be found on the BPI-W2 wiki page.

InnoComm NXP i.MX8M System on Module – An Advanced Video Processing SoM with Connectivity

Last year (2017), NXP announced its new applications processors, the i.MX 8 series. The i.MX 8M family of applications processors based on Arm® Cortex®-A53 and Cortex-M4 cores provide industry-leading audio, voice and video processing for applications that scale from consumer home audio to industrial building automation and mobile computers. NXP announced a select group of partners that have been engaged in the development of an ecosystem for the i.MX 8M family processor. Taiwan based Innocomm Mobile Technology was one of those selected partners among others and have announced their NXP i.MX 8M quad-core system-on-module – called WB10 with wireless and wired connectivity options.

Innocomm WB10

Innocomm WB10 is a next generation Wireless System-on-Module powered by the NXP i.MX 8M SoC. It offered advanced video processing capabilities and designed for application in the areas of internet audio, home entertainment, smart speakers among many others. With inbuilt Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Ethernet connectivity options, the WB10 can quickly find applications in the trending areas of Internet of Things (IoT) and Industrial applications.

The WB10 is a small module and measured at just 50 x 50 mm. The WB10 module comes with only 2GB LPDDR4 RAM and an 8GB eMMC flash memory. It provides onboard support for WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Ethernet controller with MIMO 2 x 2 and Bluetooth 4.2. Apart from impressive connectivity options, you also get a host of other interfaces like – USB 3.0 host, USB 2.0 device, 2x I2C, 3x UART, GPIO, PWM, SPI, and PCIe interfaces.

WB10 Block Diagram

The WB10 has an impressive audio and video interfaces with is Media I/O expressed via three 80-pin connectors that include an HDMI 2.0a supporting 4K and HDR, as well as MIPI-DSI, 2x MIPI-CSI, SPDIF Rx/Tx, 4x SAI, and the high-end DSD512 audio interface.

The following are some of the SoM specifications:

  • Processor – NXP i.MX8M Quad, Cortex-A53 x 4 + M4
  • Display  –
    • 4K + HDR
    • HDMI 2.0a
    • MPI DSI
  • RAM – 2GB LPDDR4
  • Flash Memory – 8GB eMMC Flash
  • Connectivity –
    • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
    • MIMO 2×2 / BT 4.2
    • Ethernet 10/100M/1Gbps
  • Audio –
    • SAI
    • SPDiF Rx/Tx
    • DSD512
  • Dimension – 50 x 50 mm
  • Others –
    • USB 3.0/2.0 Host
    • USB 2.0 Device
    • i2C
    • SPI
    • UART
    • GPIO
    • CSI
    • PWM
    • PCIe
    • 80 pins x 3, board to board connectors
Carrier Board

Although no official software support has been provided, it is expected the SoM should support the usual Android and Linux BSPs as seen in most modules. A development carrier board is made available by the company to extend the SoM interfaces and will surely make development easier. The module connects to the carrier board through three 80-pin board-to-board connectors exposing many of the I/Os provided by the latest NXP processor.

At this point, no pricing or availability information is provided for the WB10. More information about the module can be found on the product page.

Espressif ESP32-PICO-KIT WiFi/WLAN+Bluetooth Module

ESP32-PICO-KIT V4 is a mini development board produced by Espressif. At the core of this board is the ESP32-PICO-D4, a System-in-Package (SIP) module with complete Wi-Fi and Bluetooth functionalities. Comparing to other ESP32 chips, the ESP32-PICO-D4 integrates several peripheral components in one single package, that otherwise would need to be installed separately. This includes a 40 MHz crystal oscillator, 4 MB flash, filter capacitors and RF matching links in. This greatly reduces quantity and costs of additional components, subsequent assembly and testing cost, as well as overall product complexity.

Espressif ESP32-PICO-KIT WiFi/WLAN+Bluetooth Module – [Link]

Tiny i.MX7 module runs both Linux and FreeRTOS

F&S announced their tiny PicoCore MX7ULP module, which is able to run Linux or FreeRTOS on an NXP i.MX7 SoC. The board comes with up to 32GB eMMC plus optional WiFi/BT and extended temperature support. The new board measures only 40 x 35mm and will be presented on Embedded World (Feb. 27-Mar. 1) with expected shipment in the third quarter 2018.  The PicoCore module doesn’t have an edge connector, instead interfaces with a 2x 80-pin Hirose DF40C plug connectors.

PicoCore MX7ULP Block Diagram

The PicoCore MX7ULP ships with up to 1GB LPDDR3 RAM, 64MB SPI NOR flash, up to 32GB eMMC, and an optional SD slot. There’s also an option for a wireless module with 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.1 LE. For display, you get a MIPI-DSI interface that is accompanied with I2C-based resistive and capacitive touch support.

PicoCore MX7ULP, front and back

Additional I/O includes USB OTG, SPI, 2x I2C, 33x general purpose DIO, audio interfaces, and 2x UARTS. The 10-gram board runs on 5V DC power (or a 4.2V battery) and consumes a typical 1W. For more information, please visit F&S Elektronik Systeme’s PicoCore MX7ULP announcement and product page.

PIXO Pixel – An ESP32 Based IoT RGB Display

PIXO Pixel uses an ESP32 to control a matrix of 256(16×16) RGB LEDs. It is an IoT device that can display information via Wifi and BLE.

The PIXO Pixel is an open source RGB display that uses the very cool, APA102-2020 Addressable LED in a 16 x 16 array. These LEDs are very fast, bright, and tiny; only 2mm x 2mm! Controlling the LED matrix is an ESP32 which is a WiFi and BLE connected microcontroller than can be programmed using the Arduino IDE(Or MicroPython!). Together these make up a very cool desktop display that you can program to do pretty much anything you want. There is also an added proto board for if you want to add more components like an accelerometer, thermometer, light sensor, potentiometer, anything!

PIXO Pixel – An ESP32 Based IoT RGB Display – [Link]

RDA5981 is a $1 Fully Integrated WiFi Chip with an ARM Core

RDA’s RDA5981 is a fully integrated low-power WiFi chip from RDA Microelectronics. RDA5981 is a fully built WiFi chip highly intended for applications in the areas of a smart home, audio applications and IoT applications. The RDA5981 is being used in devices running Baidu DuerOS, the Chinese alternative to Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.

RDA5981 WiFi Module

During the annual event of China’s semiconductor industry IC China 2016, RDA Microelectronics announced the RDA5981 during the event with promises of it reducing the size, power consumption, development costs of a smart device.

The RDA5981A is a low power MCU with IEEE802.11b/g/n MAC/PHY/radio integrated into one chip. The RDA5981 is powered by the ARM Cortex M4 plus FPU/MPU core running at 160MHz speed, a high performing processor for that application type. It has up to 288KByte of internal SRAM and additional 160Kbyte SRAM for Wi-Fi stack and flash cache but with only about 192Kbyte available for the user. It has up to 8MB of Flash, 2x ADC with a 10bit resolution, 8x PWM (Pulse Width Modulation), 4x SPI (Serial Peripheral Interface) with a maximum clock frequency of about 20MHz, one I2C, 2x I2S, 2x UART and a total of about 14 GPIO Pins.

RDA5981 Block Diagram

Concerned about Security, the RDA5981 has an onboard hardware cryptographic accelerator supporting AES/RSA, and a True Random Number Generator (not the one you use software to generate), and lastly a CRC accelerator for improved performance. It includes an onboard TCP stack which could either support SSL, TLS or even both.

Unlike the ESP8266, one the maker’s favorite Wi-Fi module, the RDA5981 includes USB2.0 features.

RDA5981 A/B/C processor specifications:

  • CPU – Arm Cortex-M4 +FPU/MPU core @ up to 160 MHz
  • Memory –
    • Up to 448 KB SRAM for network stack and application
    • User available memory is 192Kbyte
  • Storage –
    • Up to 32Mbit SPI flash
    • Support 64M PSRAM expansion
  • Connectivity
    • WiFi
      • 2.4 GHz 802.11b/g/n WiFi up to 150 Mbps with 20/40 MHz bandwidth
      • WPA, WPA2, WEP, TKIP, CCMP security
      • STA, softAP, P2P, STA+softAp, STA+P2P modes
      • A-MPDU, A-MSDU, HT-BA
    • TCP/IP stack with SSL and/or TLS
  • Host Interfaces – SPI / UART (AT command set) / USB2.0
  • Peripherals – 14x GPIO, 2x UART, 2x I2S, 1x I2C, 8x PWM, 4x SPI, 1x SDMMC, 1x USB2, 2x ADC
  • Security –
    • Hardware crypto accelerator AES/RSA,
    • True random number generator (TRNG)
    • CRC accelerator
  • Misc – Watchdog, 16×16 bits eFuse configuration
  • Package – 5×5mm2 QFN package, 0.4mm pitch QFN-40
  • Temperature –
    • -30oC to +80oC
  • Voltage – 3.0V – 3.5V

The board can be programming with AT commands or using mBed and the company provides support for FreeRTOS and mbedOS5.1 for the chip. More information about the device specification can be found on the Electrodragon Wiki

The RDA5981A IC is expected to sell for around $1 and an RDA5981A Wi-Fi module is available for sale at $1.92 from Electrodragon.

Panasonic PAN9420 is a standalone fully embedded Wi-Fi Module

Building an Internet of Things infrastructure most times depends upon the wireless connectivity, but there are many options for wireless and not every device is IP addressable – a requisite feature for IoT. There are many wireless interface options, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), ZigBee, Z-Wave, Lora, RFID and Satellite, each with their own unique balance of power, range, data rates, mesh networking, interference immunity, and ease of use. However, some interfaces are not yet native-IP enabled, so cannot be addressed directly or exchange data with other devices and servers over the Internet. These then require a separate gateway, adding expense and complexity to the final solution.

PAN9420 Wi-Fi module

This is where Wi-Fi stands out: it is based on the IEEE 802.11 standards with native IP addressability, is ubiquitous, well understood, and can scale well in terms of data rates to optimize for power consumption. The PAN9420 is a 2.4 GHz ISM band Wi-Fi-embedded module from Panasonic.

The PAN9420 is a fully embedded stand-alone 2.4 GHz 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi module and the successor of the PAN9320.  It includes a wireless radio and an MCU for easy integration of Wi-Fi connectivity into various electronic devices. The module is specifically designed for highly integrated and cost-effective applications and includes a fully shielded case, integrated crystal oscillators, and a chip antenna.

The PAN9420 is a 29.0×13.5×2.66mm SMT package with a fully shielded case and a high-performance Marvell® 88MW300 MCU/WLAN System-on-Chip (SoC) inside, an integrated crystal oscillator at 38.4MHz, a clock crystal at 32.768KHz, medium access controller, encryption unit, boot ROM with patching capability, internal SRAM, and a chip antenna with option for a selectable external antenna. It also comes with an integrated web server, over-the-air firmware update, two UART interfaces, and a full security suite.

Block Diagram for the PAN9420 module

Simultaneous Wi-Fi connections can easily be implemented from the module with other smart devices as a result of its support for parallel access point and infrastructure mode. Client (STA), a micro access point (μAP), and Ad-hoc mode (Wi-Fi Direct) applications are enabled by the pre-programmed Wi-Fi SoC firmware. Raw data can be sent over the air from UART to smart devices, web servers, or PC applications with the transparent mode.

Unlike the PAN9320, the PAN9420 has an enhanced temperature range of -40 °C to +85 °C and reduced power consumption in transmitting, idle and power down. The PAN9320 and PAN9420 both have the same PCB configuration making it easy to migrate from PAN9320 without any changes to the PCB design. With a power supply of 3.0 to 3.6V and a power down mode current consumption less than 1mA, the PAN9420 is suitable for low power applications and should run comfortably with coin cell batteries.

It’s available in an Evaluation Kit containing one PAN9420 Mother Board (MB), one PAN9420-ETU daughter board which includes the PAN9420 FCC approved version, and one USB-cable packaged in a large case. The PAN9420 FCC version module already comes preinstalled with a firmware for easy deploying IoT based applications. The Evaluation Kit is going for around $128 and the PAN9420 module is costing at about $20.76 on digikey.

iWave releases first Xilinx Zynq 7000 based SOM Module

The Zynq 7000 family based on the All Programmable SoC architecture are processor-center platforms that offer software, hardware and I/O programmability in a single chip.

iWave Systems which has released several Altera based FPGA system on modules has just announced its SODIMM (Small Outline Dual In-Line Memory Module) form-factor Xilinx Zynq based module known as the iWave’s iW-RainboW-G28M. The iW-RainboW-G28M features the Xilinx Zynq 7000 series SOC with Dual Cortex A9 CPU @ 866MHz, 85K FPGA logic cells, and up to 125 FPGA IOs.

iWave iW-RainboW-G28M SOM

The iWave iW-RainboW-G28M is compatible with the Zynq Z-7007S, Z-7014S, Z-7010, and Z-7020 SoC. Equipped with an onboard 512 Mbytes of NAND Flash, 512Mbytes of DDR3 SDRAM, Gigabit Ethernet, USB 2.0 ports, an optional Micro SD slot, and an optional WIFI/Bluetooth module with a form-factor of 67.6 mm x 37 mm plug-in SODIMM style. It supports -40 to 85oC temperatures and powered through the SOM edge connector with a 3.3 DC Volt.

SOM Block Diagram

The following are the SOM specifications:

  • SoC –
    • Xilinx Zyng 7000 SoC
    • Single/Dual Cortex A9 @ up to 866MHz
    • Up to 85K logic cells
  • SoC Compatibility –
    • Compatible with Z-7007S, Z-7014S, Z-7010, and Z-7020
  • Memory –
    • 512 MB DDR3 and expandable to 1GB
    • 512 MB NAND Flash
    • An Optional QSPI Flash
    • Optional Micro SD Slot/eMMC (Optional)
  • Zynq PS & PL Interfaces –
    • Gigabit Ethernet x1 Port
    • USB 2.0 OTG x 1 Port
    • SD (4bit) x 1 Port
    • Debug UART
    • JTAG Port
    • 60 LVDS/120 SE FPGA IOs
  • SOM Features –
    • PMIC with RTC
    • Gigabit Ethernet Transceiver
    • USB 2.0 Transceiver
    • Optional Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Module
  • OS Support –
    • PetaLinux 4.9.0
  • Power Supply –
    • 3V DC
  • Temperature Support –
    • -400C to +850C
  • Dimension –
    • 6mm x 37mm

The iW-RainboW-G28M has applications in the areas of Industrial Automation, Machine Vision, Control & Measurement, Scientific Instruments and Medical Instruments. For pricing and availability, please contact iWave directly iW-RainboW-G28M SODIMM SOM.