Weightless Development Kits are Finally Available (Sort of)

Orange Pi Development Boards

The first version of the Weightless standard aiming at lowering cost of IoT communications was published in 2013, but so far development kits were nowhere to be found. Nwave has now launched a Weightless-N SDK using sub-GHz spectrum, but not the white space spectrum used by Weightless-W, probably due to regulatory hurdles.

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Specifications and features of Nwave development board:

  • MCU – Silicon Labs EFM32G210F128 ARM Cortex M3 MCU @ 32 MHz with 128KB flash, 16KB SRAM
  • Connectivity – RM3 radio module (868MHz) and antenna connector (X3)
  • USB – X1 USB port for connection to PC or UART interface, X2 micro USB port
  • Debugging – UART, and 10-pin JTAG connector (X4)
  • Expansion header – 16 through holes for GND, 3.3V, GPIOs, ADC, Timers output, I2C, etc… (X5)
  • Misc – Three Jumpers for UART and other selections (TBD), reset buttons for USB ports?
  • Power – 5V via USB ?
  • Dimensions – N/A

I could not find any details about RM3 radio module, and the company only mentions NW1000 module, also a sub-GHz chip (868 to 915 MHz) on their radio modules page. Software development tools includ Simplicty Studio with GCC for Windows and Linux, as well as IAR Embedded Workbench for Windows, and the board also supports ARM Cortex Microcontroller Software Interface Standard (CMSIS). Programming templates and examples of telemetry applications are provided.

The Weightless SIG now has 100 Weightless development kits, allegedly priced at £699 (~$1073 US) each, which it intends to giveaway to the first 100 Weightless Associate Members (membership: £900 per year). But once you submit a Weightless product for certification, the membership fee will be reimbursed too.  So that’s great if you are a company planning to design and manufacture products in quantities, but if you are just an hobbyist / maker, you’ll probably have to wait a bit longer to experiment with Weightless. You can find more details on Weightless-N SDK page, and especially on Nwave development kit product page.

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cnxsoftAlan Woolhouse Recent comment authors
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Alan Woolhouse
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Nice review CNX. One correction, Associate membership costs £900, not £1600. That gets access to all of the specifications, and the test specifications (when published – stay tuned), to the test and certification process and, importantly, it permits Members to sell product using the technology royalty free. This is what an open standard is – like Bluetooth for example, royalty free IP.