Hi3861 based HiSpark WiFi IoT development board supports LiteOS and HarmonyOS

HiHope HiSpark WiFi IoT development board features Hisilicon Hi3518 microcontroller with 2.4 GHz 802.11b/g/n WiFi 4 and supports Huawei LiteOS as well as HarmonyOS.

Equipped with 2MB flash and 384KB SRAM, the board targets smart home applications, and ships with a baseboard to help with development.

HiSpark board specifications:

  • MCU – Hisilicon Hi3861 32-bit microcontroller @ up to 160 MHz with 352 KB SRAM and 288 KB ROM, 2 MB flash memory, and WiFI 4 connectivity; QFN-32 5x5mm package
  • WiFi
    • 802.11b/g/n standard up to 72 Mbps @ HT20
    • 2.4 GHz frequency band (ch1-ch14).
    • Station (STA) and access point (AP) modes with up to 6 clients for the latter
    • WiFi mesh with up to 256 nodes
    • Security – WPA, WPA2 personal, and WPS 2.0
    • PCB antenna
  • USB – 1x USB Type-C port for power and programming via CH340 chip
  • Expansion – 2x headers with up to 2x SPI, 2x I2C, 3x UART interfaces, 15x GPIO, 7x ADC inputs, 6x PWM interfaces, 1x I2S
  • Misc – Reset and user buttons, jumper to select boot mode
  • Power consumption for Hi3861 chip
    • Ultra deep sleep mode: 5 μA @ 3.3 V
    • DTIM1: 1.5 mA @ 3.3 V
    • DTIM3: 0.8 mA @ 3.3 V
  • Dimensions – 5×2 cm
  • Temperature Range – –40°C to +85°C
Hi3861 MCU Block Diagram

HiSpark board appears to be an official development platform for Huawei OpenHarmonyOS since there’s a dedicated device page on HarmonyOS website.

The specifications do not mention the type of microcontroller core used in Hi3861, but the software development workflow shows a Windows workstation to edit the code and Linux server which relies on a GCC RISCV-32 toolchain to build the code. So it must be a 32-bit RISC-V core despite some other websites mentioning a Cortex-M4 core. If you don’t plan on modifying the firmware, you can also program the board with Python.

As noted in the introduction, HiHope also provides a baseboard for HiSpark board with an NFC port, what looks like Arduino compatible headers, a battery header, a jumper to select USB or battery power, and an on/off switch.

Besides the device page on the HarmonyOS website, you’ll find code samples on Gitee, and a subforum on Elefans where developers share their experience (Chinese language only).

I could also find an unboxing box on Elefans, where somebody purchased a complete kit with HiSpark board, the baseboard and various modules include an OLED display, NFC, PIR, etc…

HiSpark board is sold for 56 RMB ($8.4) on HiHope Taobao store, while the devkit goes for 399 RMB ($59.5). There are also two other HiSpark devkits for HarmonyOS including HiSpark AI camera (Hi3516) and HiSpark DIY IP camera (Hi3518).

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6 days ago

How does this compete with the ESP32, beside the LiteOS and HarmonyOS?

6 days ago

Source code appears to be here: https://openharmony.gitee.com/openharmony/vendor_hisi_hi3861_hi3861/

However, I think to build it you’ll require bits from the rest of openharmony.

Browsing around, the device is certain to be 32-bit RISC-V based, which is a plus for everybody wanting to abandon proprietary arches like ESP32’s Tensilica and ARM used by others.