MXCHIP EMW3162 is a $10 Low Power Wi-Fi Module for IoT Applications

You can’t beat ESP8266 Wi-Fi modules on price to add Wi-Fi to your IoT projects, but Hackaday found a new Wi-Fi module by Shanghai MXCHIP Information Technology that sells for $10 on Seeed Studio or Amazon US, that should be better suited to battery operated project thanks to a lower power consumption. EMW3162 also features a more powerful STM32F205 cortex M3 micro-controller, as well as more I/Os than ESP8266.

EMW3162Specifications for EMW3162 Wi-Fi module:

  • MCU – STM32F2 Cortex M3 MCU @ 120 MHz with 128KB RAM, 1MB flashOn
  • Wi-Fi connectivity
    • 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n (single stream) on channel 1-14 @ 2.4GHz
    • WEP, WPA/WPA2 PSK/Enterprise (hardware encryption)
    • Transmit power: 18.5dBm@11b; 15.5dBm@11g; 14.5dBm@11n
    • MIN Receiver Sensitivity: -96 dBm
    • Max Data rate: 11Mbps@11b; 54Mbps@11g; 72Mbps@11n HT20
    • Wi-Fi modes: Station, Soft AP and Wi-Fi direct
    • Advanced 1×1 802.11n features: Full/Half Guard Interval, Frame Aggregation, Space Time Block Coding (STBC), Low Density Parity Check (LDPC) Encoding
    • WPS 2.0, EasyLink
    • Multiple power save modes
    • On-board chip antenna, IPEX connector for external antenna
  • Peripherals accessible via 30x through holes and 14 solder pads:
    • 32x GPIOs
    • 2x UARTs with hardware flow control
    • 1 x I2C, 1x SPI/I2S
    • 8x ADC input channels, 2x DAC output channel
    • 1 x USB OTG
    • 2 x CAN
    • PWM/Timer input/output available on every GPIO pin
    • SWD debug interface
  • Misc – 2x user LEDs
  • Single operation voltage – 3.3V
  • Power consumption:
    • ~7mA while module is connected to access point and no data is transmitting,
    • ~24 mA while sending data under 20kbps
    • 8μA under standby mode.
  • Dimensions – 38.60 x 23.62 mm
  • Compliance – CE,  FCC
  • Operating Temperature – -40°C to 85°C
  • Moisture Sensitivity Level (MSL) – Level 3

You can get the full details in EMW3162 datasheets. The module can be programmed with Broadcom’s WICED firmware development kit (See github), or the company’s MICO (Mico-controller based Internet Connectivity Operation System) that relies on IAR Workbench.

EMB-380-S2 Baseboard for EMW3135 Module
EMB-380-S2 Baseboard for EMW3162 Module

Since the module is said to require a single 3.3V power input it should not be too difficult to power it by yourself, but if you want an easier platform for evaluation, EMB-380-S2 development board is sold on Seeed Studio for $21 without the module. Both can also be found on Aliexpress but prices are quire higher, at least for now.

Visit MXCHIP EMW3162 product page for a few more details about their embedded Wi-Fi module.

Thanks to Freire for the tip.

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