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IoT Wi-Fi Modules Comparison Table – ESP8266 vs CC3000 vs RN131 vs HDG204

We now have several options to add WiFi to IoT / embedded projects at relatively low cost, and ESP8266 based solutions clearly wins on costs, but are there some advantages to other higher priced modules? To help us find out, Mike Barela has put up a comparison table with some Wi-FI modules based on Espressif ESP8266, Texas Instruments CC3000, Microchip RN131, and H&D Wireless HDG204 processors.

IoT_WiFi_Comparison_Table

  • Note 1 – Also comes in Arduino Shield size with SD card slot for $39.95
  • Note 2 & 3 – Adafruit and Sparkfun sell tested units with AT Firmware for $6.95. lower prices are available on eBay, but quality may vary.
  • Note 4 – Currents are probably somewhat higher than stock ESP-12 due to onboard LED and regulator.

The comparison is not exhaustive, but it still appears to show ESP8266 solutions support most features than pricer competing modules. There are however case where competing solutions have an edge, for example if you need an Arduino shield, although ESP8622 can be programmed with the Arduino IDE, and some ESP8266 based shields are available, but probably not as well supported (yet?) as the ones from Sparkfun and Adafruit. Mike also considers Arduino shields and CC3000 to have better software support and documentation, although he acknowledges ESP8266 community has help narrowing the gap.

Finally, for battery powered systems, TI CC3000 is the best of the list, with Arduino shields not really suitable, and ESP8266 modules could be used but a lack of documented projects with optimized power usage may make such project a little more complicated. You can read Mike’s complete blog post for more on his take.

  1. June 15th, 2015 at 11:54 | #1

    Title states “CC3300”. It should be CC3000.
    Nice post.

  2. RobF
    June 15th, 2015 at 12:27 | #2

    At this price the community will close the gap. I have a few ESP8266 boards. They Ti support for C3300 board is absolutely top notch. (The actual designers answer questions on the forum) But, OMFG, the price of the ESP 8266 and access the the CPU on chip is totally amazing.

  3. Anders
    June 15th, 2015 at 13:20 | #3

    Sizes on the shields looks wrong, 2100x2600mm is really huge!

  4. gicho
    June 15th, 2015 at 19:42 | #4

    ESP8622??? What is this?
    TI’s CC3200 also provides on-chip CPU access. In fact it has 2 separate cores – cortex-m3 for use app, and something else for radio part. This has some advantages, but this price is higher.

  5. June 15th, 2015 at 21:50 | #5

    This post copied from http://21stdigitalhome.blogspot.com/ – the original does not have the errors. Please take your copy down and link to the original.

  6. Jon Smirl
    June 15th, 2015 at 22:22 | #6

    @gicho
    ESP8266 is from Espressif – http://espressif.com/
    It is under $1 in quantity.

    http://www.esp8266.com/

  7. ben
    June 15th, 2015 at 23:07 | #7

    Doesn’t the Huzzah ESP8266 use the ESP-12? Also, not sure about the microchip wifi modules,
    http://www.microchip.com/pagehandler/en-us/technology/wifi/home.html

    but their wired modules (enc286j60) are nice because they implement only the physical layer.. leaving your host platform to implement the tcp/ip stack. Much more control if you want it!

  8. iridiumsat
    June 16th, 2015 at 01:46 | #8

    I found many weird part numbers here…
    CC3300 = maybe a new release of CC3200
    ESP8622 => maybe a new release of ESP8266
    enc286j60 => maybe a new release of enc28j60

    So I made a conclusions… ^_^

  9. June 16th, 2015 at 02:53 | #9

    There’s a typo in the title. It’s actually ESP8266 not ESP8622.

    Thanks for this really handy table. Even more WiFi Modules to consider:

    – CC3200 Launchpad, http://www.ti.com/tool/cc3200-launchxl
    – USR-C322 (also CC3200 based) http://www.usriot.com/Product/113.html
    – USR-WIFI232-A Mediatek MT5931 http://www.usriot.com/Product/29.html
    – MT7681-based Module http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/MT7681-WiFi-module-p-2083.html
    – Atmel’s ATWINC1500-MR210PA http://www.atmel.com/devices/atwinc1500.aspx
    – STMicro’s SPWF01SA Module http://www.st.com/web/catalog/sense_power/FM2185/SC1930/PF258591
    – HLK-RM04 Module (RT5350-based) http://www.hlktech.net/product_detail.php?ProId=52
    – Dragino AR9331 based module http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/Dragino-HEopen-source-wifiLinux-Hardware-p-2049.html?cPath=19_20

  10. deets
    June 16th, 2015 at 03:26 | #10

    What about hlk-m35 (mt7681, $4-5) and hf-lpb300 (88mw300). Actually the latter seems unavailable and maybe hard to get access to marvell sdk but if the new electric imp which is also based on the Marvell chipset can sell for $4 @10k then leaves room for optimism.

  11. JohnG
    June 16th, 2015 at 04:22 | #11

    Could you add a column on SSL support with # of SSL conns. From what I have read, the 8266 supports SSL but only 1 concurrent socket connection.

  12. June 16th, 2015 at 06:58 | #12

    @Mike Barela
    I think you should read the post first…

  13. June 16th, 2015 at 18:20 | #13

    @JohnG

    If you provide the data, I’ll add it to the table. That’s a good catch.

  14. xxiao
    June 16th, 2015 at 20:21 | #14

    can the os inside esp8266 be modified to run as real host OS? currently it’s used as a serial module, can the esp8266 run as a real host cpu while providing wifi? that way it can be used 100% independently.

  15. Jon Smirl
    June 16th, 2015 at 22:05 | #15

    @xxiao
    esp8266 is real SOC. Everything you need to know to program it is here at www dot esp8266 dot com

  16. xxiao
    June 17th, 2015 at 13:52 | #16

    @Jon Smirl
    could not find any OS for it to run standalone, e.g. contiko, freertos…

  17. Jon Smirl
    June 17th, 2015 at 18:56 | #17

    @xxiao

    FreeRtos

    search FreeRtos + esp8266 since my link with get moderated.
    It is on github. github dot com slash espressif slash esp_iot_rtos_sdk

  18. Jon Smirl
    June 17th, 2015 at 18:58 | #18

    Most people don’t bother with an OS on the ESP8266. The SDK provides a library that you link into your app that interfaces with the bare metal.

  19. June 17th, 2015 at 19:28 | #19

    @Jon Smirl
    I think since you are a regular poster, a single link won’t be moderated. Post with two links are always moderated.
    Even though I’m not online that often right now, a moderated post should make it within 24 to 48 hours.

  20. gicho
    June 18th, 2015 at 15:05 | #20

    @Jon Smirl
    I know ESP8266 very well, but ESP8622???
    I wanted to pinpoint the mistake in the heading. It is fixed now.

  21. Jon Smirl
    June 18th, 2015 at 18:35 | #21

    @gicho
    It is just a typo, ESP8622 does not exist.

  22. Nir
    June 20th, 2015 at 02:26 | #22

    I’ve commented on Mike’s blog –

    Good post – it’s really important to put all features in one place for better selection.
    I think the table is missing two big devices in the IOT market – CC3100 and CC3200.
    http://www.ti.com/product/cc3200
    http://www.ti.com/product/cc3100

    I would add to the table SSL support, networking protocols (like HTTP server), Documentation and support.

    Best Regards,
    Nir

  23. June 23rd, 2015 at 19:25 | #23

    Mike posted another table with MCU + Wi-Fi breakout boards @ http://21stdigitalhome.blogspot.de/2015/06/comparing-microcontroller-wifi-breakout.html

  24. July 28th, 2015 at 22:30 | #24

    @Jon Smirl
    HI Jon,

    Any idea at what quantity?

  25. Jon Smirl
    July 28th, 2015 at 23:38 | #25

    You can get it for $1.08 quantity 1 on taobao right now.
    https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a230r.1.14.11.KvDFvn&id=520327972063&ns=1&abbucket=18#detail

    I’ve heard that if buy 10 reels or more direct you might be able to negotiate as low as $0.80.

  26. Jon Smirl
    July 28th, 2015 at 23:40 | #26
  27. Jon Smirl
    July 28th, 2015 at 23:43 | #27

    @Jon Smirl
    $1.50 on 1688.com

    http://detail.1688.com/offer/43215628268.html?spm=0.0.0.0.UkQzQ2

    I suspect $0.80 was the ESP8089, the lowest I’ve heard for real is $1.

  28. July 29th, 2015 at 06:35 | #28

    Jon Smirl :
    @Jon Smirl
    Ooop, that was an ESP8089.
    ESP8266 $1.60 Quantity 1
    https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a230r.1.14.17.KvDFvn&id=520454675276&ns=1&abbucket=18#detail

    Yes this was in my mind something 1.6$. Before we have a big volume requirement something 20K. But we can’t find right solution on time that we also required high throughput and sleep mode.

    It still looks difficult to find module with feature of “High Throughput & Sleep Mode”.

  29. Jon Smirl
    July 29th, 2015 at 20:53 | #29

    @Piyush Verma
    You will not beat the cost/benefit of the ESP8266. Any other chip on the market is 2x-3x more.

    You can make a sleep mode using an external chip. For example TI has a chip that consumes almost no power and can delay from 30sec to several days. Then it powers on the bigger chip.

    Hopefully the next ESP8266 version will have a better sleep mode. (ESP8266 does have one right now, it just isn’t very power efficient). The ESP8266 was not designed for battery use. It’s original target was as a controller for LED light bulbs.

  30. Jon Smirl
    July 29th, 2015 at 20:56 | #30

    @Piyush Verma

    Modules are pretty cost effective for ESP8266. These ESP12 ones have legitimate FCC approval and are under $2.
    http://world.tmall.com/item/45497905584.htm?spm=a312a.7700714.0.0.3ZWb0E

  1. September 13th, 2015 at 08:41 | #1