Home > Hardware, Realtek RTD > Realtek RTL8710 Witty-like WiFi IoT Board with micro USB Port Sells for $8 / 35 RMB

Realtek RTL8710 Witty-like WiFi IoT Board with micro USB Port Sells for $8 / 35 RMB

Realtek RTL8710 could eventually become a serious competitor to ESP8266, as it’s based on ARM Cortex M3, provides many of the same features, and sells for roughly the same price. While currently software support is still work in progress and community is very small, I’ve recently written a quick start guide  using AT commands to control RTL8710 connectivity in station and access point mode, and commands are also available for GPIO, OTA firmware updates, servers… This however requires some soldering and a USB to TTL debug board, and is not quite as convenient as ESP8266 board like NodeMCU. Some RTL8710 and RTL8195 development boards are already available but they cost over $25, but I’ve been informed of a cheap no-name RTL8710 board with a micro USB port for programming and power, and well as headers with GPIOs, UARTs, NFC, and power pins, that looks somewhat similar to ESP8266 Witty board.

Realtek_RTL8710_Development_Board

RTL8710 “Witty” development board specifications:

  • WiSoC – Realtek RTL8710 ARM Cortex M3 MCU with 802.11 b/g/n connectivity
  • Serial to TTL Chip – CH340G
  • Expansion headers – 2x 13 pin with GPIOs, I2C, UART, SPI, NFC, and power signals (5V, 3.3V, GND)
  • Misc – RGB LED, temperature sensor, photo resistor, and button
  • Power – 5V via micro USB port, 3.3V via header
  • Dimensions – TBD

I’ve asked one Aliexpress seller whether it would be breadboard compatible, but they did not manage to answer my question. [Update: After estimating dimensions with pictures, it will most likely not be breadboard friendly]

Breadboard-RTL8710They did try to help however, by first sending some software manual with AT commands, followed by schematics and PCB layout pictures, all of which you can find here.

You can purchase for board for $8.82 on Aliexpress including shipping, and it’s also sold on Taobao for 35 RMB ($5.26). shipped in China. [Update: The board is also on eBay for $7.99 shipped]

  1. TC
    August 20th, 2016 at 20:18 | #1

    probably wont fit a breadboard, looks to wide

  2. August 20th, 2016 at 20:32 | #2

    @TC
    Yes, you must be right… I’ve just check the measurement with my RTL8710 module. It’s 1.5cm, and based on measurements on the screen, the board looks double.. So 3 cm. That means it will probably be breadboard-friendly like the first NodeMCU board (v0.9)… It will fit but you can’t connect your own wires…

  3. Martin
    August 21st, 2016 at 03:07 | #3

    I wonder if there will easy development tools and SDK available like the ones on ESP8266. Because if we are stuck with AT firmware, it will be a flop.

  4. August 21st, 2016 at 10:08 | #4

    @Martin
    As discussed in http://www.cnx-software.com/2016/08/01/development-resources-for-realtek-ameba-rtl8710-rtl8711-and-rtl8195-wifi-socs/, there’s an SDK, but I have not tested it. It’s been designed for Amena Arduino board, but also works with RTL8710. There may be some issues with licenses though, as part of the code requires Realtek written permission to use it, despite it being made available without NDA.

  5. Singman
    August 21st, 2016 at 15:26 | #6

    Missing ADC pin, it’s not like ESP8266. Be carefull.

  6. August 21st, 2016 at 20:17 | #7

    “[Update: After estimating dimensions with pictures, it will most likely not be breadboard friendly]”

    Right, that was the same problem as for the Witty esp8266 based, it was not mini-breadboard friendly, while the Wemos D1mini was leaving 2 rows on each side of the breadboard, and was breadboard friendly.

    For the SDK, there is a Facebook group for the Ameba board, but they don’t want to officially support the RTL8710 because it does not have “video”.

    @cnxsoft is there a tool to upload some code to the board?

  7. August 21st, 2016 at 20:25 | #8

    @zoobab
    I have not really checked into it much further myself. But people are working on OpenOCD and mbed in RTL8710 forums.
    mbed -> https://www.rtl8710forum.com/viewtopic.php?t=15&p=55
    OpenOCD -> https://www.rtl8710forum.com/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=12

  8. August 22nd, 2016 at 14:15 | #9

    Updated post with link to ICStation, as it’s sold for $5.99 there.
    Edit: They’ve removed the link for some reasons.

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