We’ve already covered Realtek Ameba ARM Cortex M3 WiSoC several times with their RTL8710AF, RTL8711AM and RT8195AM solutions, but the company has now a new “Ameba Z series” relying on an ARM Cortex M4 core starting with RTL8711BN MCU.
RTL8710BN specifications as listed on Realtek website:
- CPU – ARM Cortex-M4(F) up to 125MHz with FPU (TBC)
- Memory – 256KB embedded SRAM
- Storage – 512KB embedded ROM, external flash interface; XIP (eXecut In Place) support
- 2.4GHz 1T1R 802.11b/g/n up to 150Mbps; 20MHz and 40MHz
- WEP, WPA, WPA2, WPS support
- Security engine – MD5, SHA-1, SHA2-256, DES, 3DES, AES
- Peripheral Interfaces
- SDIO Slave
- 2x UART
- SPI interface (Master/Slave)
- 2x I2C interface
- ADC for voltage management
- 5x PWM
- Up to 17x GPIOs
- Package – QFN-32; 5 x 5 mm
AFAIK, other Ameba MCUs do not support XIP, but RTL8710BN and this lowers memory requirements since code can be executed from storage.
MJIOT-AMB-03 module – pictured at the top of this post – is the first module based on RTL8710BN, supports up to 128 MB external flash, and includes a PCB antenna, and an u.FL connector. Power consumption is said to be 2.5 mA during operation, and 70 uA during sleep (@ 3.3V?). The module can be made to interface with cloud services such as Ailink, Joylink, QQlink, Hilink, Gagent, and Weichat. You can find a longer list of hardware parameters here.
The module can also be found on MJIOT-AMB-03-DEBUG, a breadboard-friendly board with a micro USB port, two buttons, and a JTAG/SWD header. The module used to be sold for $1.98 and the board for $5 on eBay, but the listings have expired. However, some RTL8710BN items are still for sale on Taobao with a 5 CNY ($0.725) adapter board for MJIOT-AMB-03 module, 13.30 CNY ($1.93) for the module itself, and 30 CNY ($4.35) for the development board. Shipping (to China) adds 8 CNY ($1.15).
However, you can’t do much with an SDK, and kisste, who has been deeply involved in Ameba solutions (see VGA on RTL8710), found out that this module requires a newer Ameba SDK, and that Ameba SDK 4.0A without NDA had just been released with support for RTL8710BN / Ameba Z series MCU and mbedTLS.
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.
If it contains an FPU, you should call it an “M4F”.
Realtek website only reports Cortex-M4. Other websites also show Cortex-M4 but mention FPU capabilities for the module, while one Chinese source with more detailed specs shows Cortex-M4F. So maybe I’ll add a TBC in the specs.
These guys can’t learn it, while it’s on the surface: release one product, support it well (if you don’t know how, learn as you go), then prepare another product with what you learned and support even better. Now even big guys like Microsoft and Intel talk about Espressif (wonder if it will be bought off but one of the big names soon), while all this stuff comes like a line noise…
Is it me or the “BP” logo should read “pb” instead ?
UART pin= I2C pin = SDIO pin = 75% IRQ pin