ESP8285 WiFi DIP module replaces ATMega328P MCU on Arduino UNO board (Crowdfunding)

Released over 10 years ago, Arduino UNO is still the best-selling Arduino board, but lacking WiFi in the IoT era is not ideal, so Gianluca Martino, Arduino co-founder and working with the company until 2015, decided to design the Jolly DIP module based on ESP8285 WiFi chip that can replace the ATmega328P 8-bit AVR DIP-40 microcontroller.

Since ESP8285 cannot provide all I/Os, notably analog inputs offered by ATmega328P, Gianluca combined it with the ATMega328PB microcontroller in a compact SMD package to offer firmware compatibility plus WiFi connectivity in the same DIP form factor.

Arduino UNO WiFi DIP Module

Jolly module specifications:

  • MCU – Microchip ATMega328PB 8-bit AVR microcontroller with 32 KB ISP Flash, 1 KB EEPROM, 2 KB SRAM (Based on data from the datasheet)
  • Wireless chip – Espressif Systems ESP8285H16 WiFi SoC with 2MB integrated flash plus ceramic antenna
  • Communication interfaces between the two chips – SPI + UART (the latter exclusively for ESP8285 programming)
  • I/O headers compatible with ATMega328PB DIP-40 MCU
  • Misc – Boot button, WiFi LED
  • Power Management – Voltage regulations to handle 5V for ATMega MCU and 3.3V for ESP8285.
  • Dimensions – 41 x 10 mm

Jolly module ESP8285 ATMega328P

The Jolly WiFi module offers a solution that’s neater and more compact than adding WiFi through an Arduino shield or module connected through jumper cables. The price is not excessive, although not incredibly inexpensive with the Jolly module going for 12 Euros on a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. Shipping from Europe is however somewhat pricy with shipping adding 8 Euros to Spain, 9 Euros to other countries within Europe, and 11 to 13 Euros to the rest of the world.

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