If you are after a solution that supports WiFi 6 (802.11ax) and 5G, but with a bit more processing power and faster WiFi 6 speeds, Compex WPQ873 wireless embedded SBC may be an interesting option thanks to Qualcomm IPQ8072A quad-core Cortex-A53 processor clocked at up to 2.2 GHz, with integrated support for WiFi 6 up to 2475Mbps, and an M.2 socket for an optional 5G card.
- SoC – Qualcomm Atheros IPQ8072A quad-core ARM 64 bit A53 @2.2GHz part of Qualcomm Networking Pro 600 Platform
- System Memory – 1x 512MB, DDR4 16-bit interface
- Storage – 256MB NAND flash, 8MB NOR flash
- Networking and Wireless Connectivity
- 3x Gigabit Ethernet (RJ45) ports
- 1x 2.5 Gbps Ethernet port
- On-board 4×4 2.4GHz MU-MIMO OFDMA 802.11b/g/n/ax, up to 1182 Mbps, max 17dBm per chain
- On-board 4×4 5GHz MU-MIMO OFDMA 802.11a/n/ac/ax, up to 2475Mbps, max 17dBm per chain
- 8x U.FL connectors
- Bluetooth 5.0 via QCA4024
- 5G with 4G fallback via M.2 B-Key socket. Card tested: Quectel RM500Q powered by Qualcomm SDX55 chipset
- USB – 1x USB 3.0 port
- M.2 B-Key socket with PCIe 3.0 that can be used for 4G/5G cellular connectivity
- Mini PCIe 2.0 slot
- Debugging – JTAG debug interface
- Misc – 2x RGB LEDs, reset button
- Power Supply – 12V via DC jack connector
- Power Consumption – 22.5W typ.
- Dimensions – 180 x 128 x 20mm without heatsink
- Temperature Range – Operating: -20ºC to 70ºC; storage: -40ºC to 90ºC
- Humidity – Operating: 5% to 95% (non-condensing); storage: Max. 90% (non-condensing)
The main benefit of switching from IPQ6010/IPQ6018 (Networking Pro 400 Platform) to IPQ8072A (Networking Pro 600 Platform) is not the slightly higher CPU frequency but the much higher WiFi 6 transfer rates at 2.4 GHz (573 Mbps vs 1182 Mbps) and 5 GHz (1201 Mbps vs 2475Mbps).
The company provides support for the older OpenWrt Barrier Breaker which appears to be the same for all Qualcomm Networking Pro series, as well as Qualcomm SDKs with QCA binary drivers. Optional accessories include a JTAG programmer, a serial converter, and a power supply.
Compex WPQ873 is derived from HK09 reference design, so it may not be optimized for cost, and samples can be purchased for $785 or 629 Euros plus VAT depending on the shop we are looking at. That compares to just $200 for IPQ6010 powered DR6018 V2 board. Further information may be found on the product page.