Home > Hardware, Linux, Mediatek Wi-Fi, OpenWRT > Vocore2 Lite is a $4 Linux MIPS WiFi Module based on Mediatek MT7688AN SoC (Crowdfunding)

Vocore2 Lite is a $4 Linux MIPS WiFi Module based on Mediatek MT7688AN SoC (Crowdfunding)

I’ve already written about Vocore v2 Crowdfunding campaign, where the second generation Vocore WiFi module supports audio, PoE, and ultimate dock, and price starting at $12. But there has been some development since the launch of the campaign, as the developer received request for a cheaper board, and after looking into it, has now added Vocore2 Lite WiFi module reward for only $4, or $7 once shipping included.

vocore2-liteHe obviously had to make some trade-offs to bring the cost down, but the Lite board impressively still keep many of the same features.

VoCore (2014) VoCore2 Lite (2016) VoCore2 (2016)
Price 19.99 USD 3.99 USD 11.99 USD
CPU RT5350, 360MHz MT7688AN MIPS24KEc
@ 580MHz
MT7628AN, 580MHz
Memory 32MB SDRAM 64MB DDR2 128MB DDR2
Storage 16MB NOR 8MB NOR 16MB NOR
Antenna Slot x1 x1 x2
On-Board ANTENNA ×
Wireless Speed ~75Mbps ~150Mbps ~300Mbps
Ethernet Port x5 x1 / x5 x1 / x5
Ethernet Speed 100Mbps 100Mbps 100Mbps
SPI Master
SPI Slave
SPI DMA ×
USB 2.0 Host
USB 2.0 OTG × ×
PCIe 1.1 × ×
SD Support SPI
GPIO > 30** >=40 >= 40
UART x2 x3 x3
PWM x2 x2
Power Consumption 138mA 74mA 74mA

Compared to Vocore2, Vocore2 Lite has a cheaper Mediatek MT7688N MIPS processor, which is already used in board such as Mediatek LinkIt 7688, Onion Omega2, and Widora-NEO, less memory and storage, WiFi is limited to 150 Mbps and an external antenna is required, and the PCIe 1.1 interface is gone. The dimensions appear to be the same, so the dock should be compatible too, provided PCIe is not needed. Software support will be the same with OpenWrt/LEDE Linux distribution.

If you are interested, you can pledge $7 for Vocore2 Lite on the Indiegogo page with delivery planned for January 2017. There aren’t any pledge combining Vocore2 Lite with a dock so far.

Thanks to Freire for the tip.

  1. Sander
    October 19th, 2016 at 20:42 | #1

    What is the price of the required external antenna? 2 USD? 4 USD?

  2. October 19th, 2016 at 20:52 | #3
  3. Paul M
    October 19th, 2016 at 21:51 | #5

    sorry but I see mediatek and I automatically shudder!

  4. Mario
    October 20th, 2016 at 07:53 | #6

    Very nice find! Thank you!

  5. Miha
    October 20th, 2016 at 13:20 | #7

    FYI: For those who don’t know the SPI on that particular chip is fundamentally broken. So this means that everyone will distribute the boards Onion2, widora, mediatek’s linkit, … with a broken SPI.

  6. Ali
    October 20th, 2016 at 14:09 | #8

    If the Orange Pi Zero ever becomes real, so many of these tiny Linux boards are going to look pointless and expensive. Orange Pi One itself makes this look expensive.

  7. tkaiser
    October 20th, 2016 at 14:45 | #9

    @Ali
    But you will have a hard time getting consumption of Orange Pi One below 750 mW (150 mA). It’s possible with Armbian’s h3consumption tool but then you also need to build USB and Ethernet drivers as modules to unload them when not needed (then you get below 100 mA).

  8. Mum
    October 23rd, 2016 at 21:48 | #10

    @Miha
    Can you provide any more information about how SPI is “broken” ?

  9. Miha
    October 24th, 2016 at 14:09 | #11

    @Mum
    An excerpt from the MT forum:
    I’m trying to hook up an LCD to the SPI port (SPI CS1) on the LinkIt Smart 7688. It appears the most significant bit of data writes isn’t being sent reliably. If I send 0x8E, my analyzer shows 0x0E. If I send 0xCE the analyzer shows 0xCE. I’ve tried this with several different values and don’t see any pattern. I’ve used both C and Python (MRAA) to send the data and the problem is in both places. I’ve also disconnected the MISO line from the LCD thinking the LCD might be affecting the signal, no change. Here’s the Python script…

    https://labs.mediatek.com/forums/posts/list/3683.page

    MT released fixed firmware for it’s boards, but didn’t publish the sources. As you can see from reverse engineering it seems that the workaround is that SPI is now limited to reading/writing in half duplex chunks of 16bytes.
    You also cannot set the SPI frequency from the code anymore.

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