MXCHIP EMW3165 is an $8 CE/FCC Certified WiFi Module with an STM32F4 Cortex M4 MCU

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.
EMW3165EMW3165 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
  • Peripherals:
    • 22 GPIOs
    • USART, I2C
    • ADC, DAC
    • Timer/PWM
    • 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

EMW3165_Block_DiagramMore 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.

You can also find some more details on MXCHIP EMW3165 Download page.

Via HackADay. Thanks to Lalith for the tip!

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16 Replies to “MXCHIP EMW3165 is an $8 CE/FCC Certified WiFi Module with an STM32F4 Cortex M4 MCU”

  1. Too far to catch up ESP8266, from C/C++ to Lua and now Arduino ide style is a very strong run for ESP8266.
    And absolutely a cheapest stand alone WiFi module in the world!

  2. @iridiumsat The ESP8266 is fine if you don’t need very many GPIO pins. The EMW series is great and for only a few dollars more you get way more capability than you get with the ESP8266.

  3. @iridiumsat
    That is true for lowest cost situations but otherwise this ia a two chip solution and STM32 has way more features including more gpio, ADC, DMA, timers, USB, and well documented.

  4. Also, this one support enterprise WLAN security, has SWD (on-chip debug), has code-protected flash memory (for firmware and certificates), has additional 32KHz oscillator for RTC – not bad at all.

  5. I have tried some extension modules like PCF8574 I/O expander,
    low cost high precision rtc like DS3231 and OLED display SSD1306.
    Those interfaces via I2C need only 2 gpios.

    BTW, I agree with all high speed extension modules like hi-speed A/D or USB interface on STM32F4 is ready to go.

    ESP8266 SmartConfig is very practical use than WPS like i have in my mind all the way for IoT wifi registration method.

  6. It is always good to have options – ESP is the lowest cost, than this one, and above them (as price point, not sure as functionality) are the CC3200 modules that sell now below 12 USD. But above 10USD there are more options, OpenWRT based, with lots of power and functionality.

  7. @gicho
    So I conclude for various options mentioned here by price range:

    $3 => ESP8266
    $8 => EMW3165
    $15 => CC3200MOD
    $22 => SOM9331 (AR9331 module, OpenWrt)

    PS: price range categorized, application will be adapted from one platform to other.

  8. Looks the Broadcom WICED is better than mxchip’s firmware. Use mxchip’s IAR project files, I even can’t compile successfully. OpenOCD + eclipse is my choice.

  9. Fan :
    Looks the Broadcom WICED is better than mxchip’s firmware. Use mxchip’s IAR project files, I even can’t compile successfully. OpenOCD + eclipse is my choice.

    Luckily it looks like this will support the WICED SDK just like the 3162. MXCHIP has said they’ll port their SDK to GCC also.

  10. NanoPi WiFi Module will coming on 2015-8-1, Running with 400Mhz ARM9 chips, Linux system with the WiFi/BT module support, expand more IO and compatible Raspberry PI GPIO, more important thing is the price is only 16USD!!!

  11. The data sheet does not go through. Can you try uploading it as a pdf? Thank you. I really apprciate it

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