Home > Hardware, Processors > Olimex Introduces Open Source Hardware ESP8266 Wi-Fi Modules, Evaluation Board Coming Soon

Olimex Introduces Open Source Hardware ESP8266 Wi-Fi Modules, Evaluation Board Coming Soon

ESP8266 has become popular as module based on this SoC make it incredibly cheap to add Wi-Fi to all sort of things, the SDK available, and a community has gathered around the solution. Olimex has jumped on the bandwagon, and is now provided two open source hardware ESP8266 modules: MOD-WIFI-ESP8266 which makes it easy to interface to other Olimex boards thanks to its UEXT connector, and MOD-WIFI-ESP8266-DEV with  two rows of 0.1″ connectors and an unsoldered UEXT pad, is better suited if you want to integrate it with your own baseboard, or experiment with a breadboard. An evaluation board called MOD-WIFI-ESP8266-EVB will be launched a little later.

MOD-WIFI-ESP8266-DEV

MOD-WIFI-ESP8266-DEV Module

Both modules share most specifications:

  • SoC – Espressif Systems ESP8266 32-bit RISC processor with 802.11 b/g/n support(32-pin QFN package),
  • Wi-Fi – 802.112 b/g/n with WEP, TKIP, AES, and WAPI engines, Wi-Fi direct (P2P), and soft-AP. On-board antenna and u.FL connector
  • Expansion
    • MOD-WIFI-ESP8266 – UEXT connector for Olimex MCU boards
    • MOD-WIFI-ESP8266-DEV –  2x 11-pin connectors (0.1″ pitch) for 11 GPIOs, ADC, SDIO, and power signals, and 10 solder pads for an unsoldered UEXT connector (I2C and UART, 3.3V and GND).
  • Dimensions – N/A
  • Weight – N/A
MOD-WIFI-ESP8266 Module

MOD-WIFI-ESP8266 Module

The upcoming MOD-WIFI-ESP8266-EVB evaluation board will feature a relay, buttons, a power supply, and GPIOs header. Availability is schedule in a few weeks.

Olimex ESP8266 EVB PCB Layout

Olimex ESP8266 EVB PCB Layout

[Update: Features for MOD-WIFI-ESP8266-EVB:

  • MOD-WIFI-ESP8266-DEV module with soldered connectors
  • Base board with female connectors for accepting MOD-WIFI-ESP8266-DEV
  • Power Relay 10A/250VAC connected with driver to GPIO output
  • User Button connected to GPIO input
  • Power supply jack – 5V input
  • DCDC power converter to 3.3V to supply ESP8266 and UEXT modules with up to 1.5A current
  • UEXT connector where you can connect different modules and sensors from Olimex
  • GPIO  CON3 with 16 pins where all ESP8266 resources are available
  • 4 mounting holes

]

You can find the schematics and PCB layout (Eagle and PDF) on MOD-WIFI-ESP8266 and MOD-WIFI-ESP8266-DEV product pages, and the two modules sell for respectively 5 and 5.50 Euros + shipping, and as low as 4 Euros in quantities greater than 50 pieces. Price for MOD-WIFI-ESP8266-EVB (including MOD-WIFI-ESP8266-DEV) will be 12 Euros.

  1. Harley
    December 4th, 2014 at 02:05 | #1

    Does this work with both Raspberry Pi and Arduino?

  2. December 4th, 2014 at 09:15 | #2

    @Harley
    It’s controlled via SPI or UART, so in theory it could be hooked to a Raspberry Pi or Arduino board. But if you just want to add Wi-Fi to a Linux board, a USB dongle will be better, because it’s even cheaper, and will be more faster. ESP8266 is more suited to MCU based system that don’t have the required memory for a full TCP/IP stack. ESP8266 modules can also be used in standalone mode.

  3. December 4th, 2014 at 11:46 | #3

    @cnxsoft
    Apparently you can run Lua scripts on this module that behave very much like Node.js. Have a look here for more info.

    You can get the ESP-12 version of the ESP8266 (with something like 16/14 GPIOS) for around $3 US on AliExpress. This might be somewhat expensive to compete…..especially when one factors in the shipping cost.

  4. December 4th, 2014 at 12:22 | #4
  5. Ian Tester
    December 4th, 2014 at 13:58 | #5

    The Olimex site incorrectly says they have an ARM processor core inside. It is in fact an Xtensa LX106 core from Tensilica.

  6. Mathieu
    December 4th, 2014 at 20:44 | #6

    Or the one made by limpkin is actually currently available (even if it’s more expensive):
    http://www.limpkin.fr/index.php?post/2014/11/27/A-Development-Board-for-the-ESP8266-03

  7. Ian Tester
    December 4th, 2014 at 23:46 | #7

    Yikes, shipping from Europe to Australia is not cheap. I’ve ordered five so that I’m paying more for the product than postage. Lets hope they’re not too hard to program…

  8. December 5th, 2014 at 00:28 | #8

    @cnxsoft
    @cnxsoft, oops sorry that is it…. the nodemcu github repo also has some great tuts https://github.com/nodemcu/nodemcu-firmware and https://github.com/nodemcu/nodemcu-firmware/wiki/nodemcu_api_en

  9. December 5th, 2014 at 10:41 | #9

    Updated post with more details about the evaluation board, and its price.

  10. Paul
    December 5th, 2014 at 23:56 | #10

    MicroPython also started ESP8266 port. Unlike awful chinese lua mess quoted above, it’s fully open-source project: https://github.com/micropython/micropython/tree/master/esp8266

    CNX, btw, will you have your traditional crowdfuning round-up this year? Please include MicroPython in your review – it’s not only one of the successfully projects delivered on time, it continues to be developed and is rumping up.

  1. January 27th, 2015 at 14:40 | #1