For some reasons, Wi-Fi modules are pretty popular this year. After modules such as VoCore, AsiaRF AWM002, and ESP8622, here’s come xWifi. This module is based on Mediatek MT7681 SoC which includes a TCP/IP stack like Espressif ESP8622 or TI CC3300, so it won’t run OpenWRT like VoCore or AsiaRF modules. The module only consumes about 350mW during transfer, it will be open source hardware, and the xWifi module plus a dock with a 10A relay, a humidity and temperature sensor, and a LED will go for as low as $17.
- SoC – Mediatek MT7681 802.11 b/g/n SoC with 32-bit RISC CPU. Support for Client/softAP mode. Package size 5×5 mm
- Storage – 512KB SPI Flash (for firmware)
- I/Os via headers:
- UART and SPI interfaces.
- 5x GPIOs
- Power – 3.3V, GND
- Power Consumption – ~70mA @ 5V (during RX active)
- Dimensions – 14 x 17 mm
The module can be used for smart home appliances, smart plug and door locks, smart lighting, metering, remote control, network consumer devices, and more.
There’s also a dock available with xWifi modules:
- Relay – Songle SRD03VDC-SL-C – 3V for control pins. 230V/10A support.
- Sensors – Humidity & Temperature sensor
- Header – 2x 8 pin header for xWifi module
- Misc – 3-color LED
- Power – 5V via micro USB port
- Dimensions – N/A, estimated ~ 4 x 3 cm
The kit comprised of the xWiFi module and the dock with be open source hardware with schematics, PCB layout, Gerber files, and BoM released. An SDK with samples apps for Android & iOS will also be provided.
If you want to know a bit more about MT7681, you can download the datasheet, but you may also access much more resources with documentation, code samples, and SDK via a forum post on Andes Workshop. The datasheet also gives some pricing information for another MT7681 module by Shenzhen Anxinke Technology, which sells for 30 CNY (~$5) in 500-unit order, and as low as 25 CNY (~$4) for 10k orders.
xThink Lab, the company behind the project, has now completed development, and they are looking for $4,500 or more via an Indiegogo campaign to start mass production in November. There’s no word about FCC/CE compliance by the way…, but it was the same with VoCore at the beginning and it ended up being ultra successful. An early pledge of $17 will get your a full kit with xWifi module and the dock. There’s no way to get a xWiFi module only, unless you pledge $37 for 3 modules. Shipping is free to the US and China, and $3 to the rest of the world, with delivery scheduled for November 2014.