NanoPi is a new Linux development board powered by Samsung S3C2451 ARM9 processor with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth LE connectivity, connectors for a camera and an LCD display, as well as two expansion headers including a 40-pin “Raspberry Pi compatible” header.
- Processor – Samsung S3C2451 ARM9 @ 400Mhz
- System Memory – 64M DDR2
- Storage – micro SD slot
- Connectivity – AP6210 module for 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0
- USB – 1x USB 1.1 host port, 1x micro USB OTG port for power and data (serial or Ethernet)
- Display I/F – LCD Interface: 0.5mm pitch SMT FPC seat, support full-color LCD (RGB: 8-8-8)
- Camera I/F – DVP Camera Interface: 0.5mm pitch FPC connector, including ITU-R BT 601/656 8-bit, I2C and GPIOs
- Debugging – Serial Port
- Expansion Headers
- “GPIO1″ – 40-pin header including UART, SPI, I2C, GPIO pins (Raspberry Pi compatible)
- “GPIO2″ – 12-pin header including I2S, I2C, UART pins
- Power – 5V via micro USB port or headers
- Dimensions – 75 x 30 mm
The board is said to run u-boot, a Linux distribution based on Linux 4.1 and Qt, as well as Debian. You can download firmware images, source code, and schematics (PDF only), and checkout the Quick Start Guide to find out how to get started with a PC running Ubuntu.
NanoPi launch is planned for the 1st of August, and it will sell for $16, although I’m not sure whether shipping is included. Visit nanopi.org for details.
Categories: Debian, Hardware, Linux
ble, bluetooth, corewind, debian, development board, linnux, nanopi, raspberry pi, wifi
A few months ago, Seeed Studio started selling MXCHIP EMW3162 Wi-Fi module with a STM32F2 Cortex M3 MCU clocked at 120Mhz for $9.95. It’s more capable than ESP8266 modules but also around 3 times more expensive. The company has now launched another WiFi module called MXCHIP EMW3165 with an STM32F4 Cortex M4 MCU @ 100 MHz, FCC certification, and listed for $7.95.
EMW3165 module specifications:
- MCU – STMicro STM32F411CE ARM Cortex M4 micro-controller @ 100 MHz with 512KB flash, 128KB RAM, DSP, and FPU
- Storage – 2MB SPI flash
- Wi-Fi connectivity
- 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n (single stream)
- WEP, WPA/WPA2 PSK/Enterprise
- 16.5dBm@11b; 14.5dBm@11g; 13.5dBm@11n
- Receiver Sensitivity – 87 dBm
- Station, Soft AP and Wi-Fi direct
- Support EasyLink
- On-board PCB antenna (EMW3165-P model) or IPEX connector for external antenna (EMW3165-E model)
- CE & FCC compliant
- 22 GPIOs
- USART, I2C
- ADC, DAC
- JTAG/SWD debug interface
- Connectors – 1×20 + 1x 21 half-through holes on both sides of the module (1mm pitch)
- Dimensions – 32 x 16 mm
- Operating voltage – 3.0V~3.3V
- Operating Temperature – -30°C to +85°C
More details can be found in the datasheet.The main difference with EMW3162 module is the STM32F4 processor replacing STM32F2 processor, 2MB on-board flash (EMW3162 used 1MB on-chip flash only), and a smaller footprint. EMW3165 also appear to lack SPI and I2S found on EMW3162.
I could not find information about the software development tools, but it’s likely you can use the same tools as for EMW3162 namely Broadcom WICED firmware development kit, or MXCHIP MICO (Mico-controller based Internet Connectivity Operation System).
EMWE-3165 Development Board
EMWE-3165 is the baseboard for EMW3165 module with an NFC antenna, JTAG, USB, DB9 interface (serial), buttons, as well as supports for battery. It sells for $21.95 on Seeed Studio
. Thanks to Lalith for the tip!
A little while ago, I purchased Zsun SD111 W-Fi USB flash drive, and after several tentatives, I finally found a way to access the device’s serial console. Since then the company announced another wireless storage device with Zsun Wi-Fi card reader, and Zoobab decided to try to hack it too.
Since the device is pretty hard to open without damaging the enclosure, connecting the serial pin was not really an option, and the first exploit was to input shell commands in the web interface SSID field… For example, entering `reboot` there, would indeed reboot the device.
However, this would still not allow full shell access, and finally after a broader port scan, it was found out that TCP port 11880 was open for telnet daemon. You can then access the shell as root with the same password as SD111: “zsun1188″. For some reasons, telnet can’t work with the device, and socat must be used instead.
zoobab@zoobab /Users/zoobab $ socat - TCP4:10.168.168.1:11880
(none) login: root
------- | / /--/ ___ |
/ | /| \/ _____ --|--|
/_____\ |--- --|-- //--/ / / |
__|__ | /|\ / \/ /___\ / |
___|___ ___|____ / | \ / / \|
Shenzhen Zsun Cloud Technology Co., LTD.
BusyBox v1.01 (2014.12.27-02:50+0000) Built-in shell (ash)
Enter 'help' for a list of built-in commands.
That’s it you now have full access to this small and inexpensive Linux device powered by Atheros AR9331 SoC with 32MB RAM and 16MB flash, plus up to 64GB storage on micro SD card.
Thanks to Zoobab for his work.
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.
- 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.
Rockchip has announced a new WiFi SoC for IoT applications claiming 85% lower power consumption compared to competing WiFi solutions, which allows cell-coin battery powered WiFi systems thanks to a power consumption equivalent to what you’d get with a Bluetooth 4.0 LE system.
Rockchip RKi6000 is said to consume 20 mA (@ 3.3V) during Rx operations. The SoC has been developed with an unnamed third party, and can achieve a lower power consumption thanks to three improvements:
- Improvement of RF transceiver architecture. The architecture can greatly reduce the active power consumption of IoT smart devices during continuous data transfer. Ultra low power can be achieved both in work and standby mode. Dozens of international patents have been filed for this technology.
- Adaptive dynamic power control technology. Power efficiency is optimized in different working modes and the total power consumption is reduced greatly in different application scenarios by adjusting the chip’s power configuration dynamically so that better energy efficiency can be achieved.
- RKi6000 can keep the device online without waking up the host processor. It can reduce the wake up time and simplify the application power control design. Since for most IoT applications, the device should be kept in sleep mode and turned back on when needed, the reduction of wake-up time further lowers the power consumption and extends battery life.
Anandtech also compared Rockchip RKi6000 to other WiFi solutions, as well as Bluetooth 4.0 and Zigbee chips by TI and CSR, and if numbers are true, then Rockchip may have disrupted the market provided the price is right.
RKi6000 vs WiFI (Top) and BT4.0/Zigbee (Bottom) Solutions
Rockchip did not mention transmit power at all in the press release, so either Anandtech obtained this info from Rockchip, or they just assumed Tx and Rx power would be similar.
RKi6000 is expected to be used in smart wearable devices, consumer electronics, mainstream appliances, home safety, automation systems, automobiles and medical equipment. Pricing information has not been released, but RKi6000 will become available in Q3 2015.
Thanks to Nanik for the tip
Olimex had been working on a small board with Ralink RT5350F processor for over a year, with delays mostly due to software development and undocumented registers. But RT5350F-OlinuXino is now available together with an evaluation board with tow relays, two Ethernet ports, and expansions headers, as well as a DIN EBV still in development.
- SoC – Ralink / Mediatek RT5350F MIPS24KEc CPU @ 360 MHz
- System Memory – 32MB SDRAM
- Storage – 8MB SPI NAND Flash
- 3x headers with access to
- USB 2.0 HOST/Device
- 5x 10/100 Mbps Ethernet port
- GPIOs, SPI, I2C
- I2S, PCM
- Power – 3x external DCDC power converters releasing internal RT5350F vreg and preventing common problem with overheating with this chip.
- Dimensions – N/A
- Operating Temperature Range – -10 to +55C
The board is pre-loaded OpenWRT with Linux 3.18.11. You can find builds instructions and other documentation in the Wiki, as well as github.
Baseboard for RT5350F-OlinuXino module
The company jointly launch the module with RT5350F-OlinuXino-EVB evaluation board with the following technical specifications:
- Module – RT5350F-OlinuXino with RT5350F processor, 32MB RAM and 8MB flash
- WIFI 801.11n 150Mb
- 2x 10/100 Mbps Ethernet ports (RJ45)
- 2x Relays 15A/240VAC
- USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port
- Expansion headers:
- UEXT connector (I2C, SPI, RS232) for Olimex modules
- EXT header with 3 remaining Ethernet signals, GPIOs, I2S/PCM, JTAG…
- Misc – Button
- Power Supply – 5V DC via power barrel
- Dimensions – N/A
- Temperature Range – -10 to +55C
Documentation is available on the same Wiki and Github account as for the module.
Olimex is working is also working an an other EVB with a single Ethernet port, and an LED display that can fit into a DIN enclosure which should be useful for home automation.
It will cost about 35 Euros once it is available in June or a little later. RT5350F-OlinuXino can be purchased now for 15 Euros in single quantities, while RT5350F-OLinuXino-EVB goes for 24 Euros including the module, and you can purchase both directly on Olimex website.
It’s quite common to find MCU board for less than $10, but if you want to run Linux, you’ll need to spend a bit more, unlessit’s sponsored, and today, the cheapest you can get is probably the $20 Raspberry Pi Model A+, unless you go with some OpenWRT compatible routers. But there’s now a new board in development, called CHIP, with Allwinner R8 Cortex A8 processor, 512MB RAM, and 4GB NAND flash, as well as wireless connectivity, that will bring cost even lower, as you can pledge $9 on Kickstarter to fund its development.
- SoC – Allwinner R8 Cortex A8 processor @ 1 GHz with Mali-400 GPU (Compatible with Allwinner A13)
- System Memory – 512 MB RAM
- Storage – 4GB NAND flash
- Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 4.0
- Video Output – 3.5mm jack for composite video and audio (HDMI and VGA available via adapters)
- USB – 1x USB host port, 1x micro USB OTG port
- Two expansion headers
- Power – 5V via micro USB OTG or battery
- Dimensions – 60 x 40 mm
The board is said to run a Linux distribution featuring the mainline kernel. There’s also some sort of portable gamedpad called Pocket C.H.I.P that integrates the board and that you can get for $49. The board should ship in December 2015, and Pocket C.H.I.P in May 2016….
The project looks exciting, but when you look at the details, it’s not quite as ground breaking as it may first seem. Shipping is $20, unless you live in the US ($5), so you’d buy a $29 board, which brings it very close to competitors. The internal flash, WiFi and Bluetooth are clear winners in this price range, but I assume few people will use composite output, so you’ll need to spend a few more bucks ($10 to $15) on adapters, and if you need these, you won’t get the board before May 2016… What do you think?
Espressif, the company behind ESP8266 (EX) Wi-Fi chip for IoT applications, has now opened store on Taobao, where they sell WROOM-02 and WROOM-02 modules based on ESP8266EX with FCC, CE, TELEC, and SRRC certifications.
WROOM-01 has some soldered headers that make it easier to use for hobbyists and prototyping, while WROOM-02 is more compact, and should be more suitable to include in your own products. But otherwise, they share about the same specifications:
- SoC – Espressif Systems ESP8266EX 32-bit RISC processor @ 80 MHz with integrated WiFi
- Wi-Fi – 802.11 b/g/n with STA/AP/STA+AP operation modes
- Header – 2x 18-pin headers with SDIO 2.0, GPIOs, SPI, UART, GND and 3.3V pins
- Dimensions – 11.5mm x 11.5mm
- Temperature Range – -40C ~ 125C
- Certifications – FCC, CE, TELEC, and SRRC
The company can also provide “hardware reference design, antenna design, and SDK for secondary development”, but you’re likely to find most of what is needed for development, including the SDK, on esp8266.com. You can also checkout WROOM-02 datasheet.
Both modules sell for 20 CNY (~$3.22) on Taobao, before shipping, but in due time they should also show up on Aliexpress stores.
Thanks to Jon for the tip.