There are many mini PCIe WiFi modules on the market, but what AsiaRF provides with AP7620-MPE-1 is a little different, as it’s a router based on Mediatek MT7620A fitted into a mini PCIe card to be plugged inside a computer or embedded system.
- SoC – Mediatek MT7620A MIPS 24KEc CPU @ 580MHz with 2T2R WiFi 802.11 b/g/n (but board only supports 1×1)
- 802.11ac WiFI Chipset – Mediatek MT7612E AC1200 chipset limited to 433 Mbps
- System Memory – 64 or 128MB DDR2
- Storage – 8 or 16MB SPI flash
- WiFI features
- Security: 64/128-bit WEP, TKIP, WPA, WPA2, AES; 802.1X Authentication with RADIUS Client
- Multi-mode support: Access Point/Client mode
- Support Multiple SSIDs
- mini PCIe interface with USB2.0 to Ethernet, UART, 8 GPIOs, 1.5V, 3.3V and ground
- Dimensions – 60 x 41.5 mm (bigger than standard mini card: 50.95 x 30 mm)
The card is seen as a USB 2.0 to Ethernet dongle from the system, with the dongle connected to a router. The reason why the AC1200 chipset is limited to 433 Mbps is because of the USB 2.0 interface in the mini PCIe card itself limited to 480 Mbps.
The company also told me there will be three versions of firmware SDK for this router:
- Mediatek official SDK
- Mediatek OpenWrt SDK with Mediatek WiFi driver
- OpenWrt.org SDK with “public” WiFi driver (most of time uses less power)
The company does not have an habit of release firmware and documentation publicly, so you’ll probably get them after you purchase the card. In case you wonder why you’d ever need such mini PCIe card the company claims “it is ideal for multi-purpose installations for sharing wireless connections”.
The first engineering samples have just been produced. Price will be around $20 per unit, with discount in larger quantities. You can find some more technical details on the product page.