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.
- 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.
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.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.