$7 ITEAD Zigbee 3.0 USB dongle features Silicon Labs EFR32MG21 MCU

ITEAD is known for its Sonoff home automation products that started with ESP8266 WiFi and/or RF connectivity several years ago, but more recently the company started to offer Zigbee compliant products including Sonoff BASICZBR3 smart switch, Sonoff ZBBridge WiFi to Zigbee Gateway, or a cheap $4 CC2531 Zigbee USB Dongle compatible with Zigbee2MQTT open-source firmware.

The company has now launched a more powered Zigbee 3.0 USB dongle, yet still affordable at $6.99, based on the same Silicon Labs EFR32MG21 wireless MCU as used in the Sonoff ZBBridge with a faster core, more RAM, and a more powerful radio.

Zigbee 3.0 USB dongle

Key features and specifications:

  • Wireless MCU – Silicon Labs EFR32MG21 Arm Cortex-M33 microcontroller @ up to 80 MHz with DSP and FPU, up to 1024 kB flash, up to 96 kB RAM, 2.4 GHz IEEE 802.15.4 for Zigbee or Thread
  • Host interface – USB port
  • Expansion – 7-pin IO header with programming pins, one GPIO, 3.3V and GND; 2-pin header for Tx/Rx serial port
  • Misc – Button and reset buttons, LED, PCB antenna
  • Power Supply – 5V via USB port, LDO chip
  • Dimensions – 56 x 14 mm
  • Weight – 5 grams

ITEAD Zigbee 3.0 USB dongle pinout diagram

The Zigbee 3.0 to USB adapter is meant to be used in DIY home automation setups often based on Raspberry Pi running open-source software such as Home Assistant or OpenHAB, both of which work out of the box with the dongle, and can be used to control Sonoff Zigbee modules (smart switch, smart plug, temperature and humidity sensor, motion sensor. door/window sensor, etc…)

Zigbee OpenHAB HomeAssistant

ITead also said that it will be shipped with non-signed standard Silabs application firmware without debug lock based on EmberZNet 6.7.8 SDK with the standard EZSP v8 interface as well as the standard Gecko bootloader.

The standard EZSP v8 interface means that it will be compatible out-of-the-box with the native ZHAintegration in Home Assistant, OpenHAB Zigbee Bindings, Jeedom new Zigbee Plugin (Beta stage support), and Zigbee2MQTT development branch (pre-alpha stage support), while the standard Gecko bootloader will enable firmware updates, downgrades, as well as custom compiled firmware.

Thanks to Andreas for the tip.

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