I’ve taken apart lots of TV boxes and together with Realtek, Ampak are by far the most popular wireless modules to provide WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity in those devices. One startup decided to use Ampak AP6212 module, also found in NanoPi 2 board, to create a breadboard-friendly IoT board with Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11b/g/n connectivity.
Redboard Duo has been designed with the same form factor as many other IoT boards such as NodeMCU or Spark Photon, and features the following:
- Ampak AP6212 module:
- STMicroelectronics STM32F205 ARM Cortex-M3 @120MHz, 128 KB SRAM and 1MB Flash
- Broadcom BCM43438 Wi-Fi 802.11n (2.4GHz only) + Bluetooth 4.1 (Dual Mode) combo chip
- Storage – On-board 16 Mbit (2 MB) SPI Flash
- Integrated chip antenna with the option to connect external antenna
- Expansion – Headers with 18 I/O pins
- Misc – RGB status LED
- Dimensions – 20.5mm x 39mm
The company also made a small baseboard called RBLink with ST-LINK/V2 for programming the board, and 8 connectors compatible with Seeed Studio grove modules.
Developers will have a decent choice of programming language and tools for the board:
- Arduino IDE
- Particle Web IDE, Dev and CLI – A development platform that allows you to program your Duo online and wirelessly.
- Broadcom WICED SDK – C programming. Support Classic Bluetooth for audio or streaming data devices, and Apple HomeKit (provided you have Apple MFi license)
RedBear, previously known as RedBearLab, has previously developed 9 IoT boards, so the technical and manufacturing risks should limited it you decided to contribute to their Kickstarter campaign. RedBear Duo early bird pledge is $19, but if you want to use Broadcom WICED SDK, or develop HomeKit applications, you’ll want to go with RedBear Duo + RBLink combo that’s $29 (early bird). There are also other rewards such as kits including some grove modules, as well as packs with multiple RedBear Duo and so on. Shipping is not included, but they’ve kept it affordable, and simple, since $5 is required whatever country you reside in, and whatever rewards you chose.
RedBear Duo official product page should be where you’ll eventually get all the details.