Challenger RP2040 board gets DWM3000 UWB module for indoor positioning, up to 10 Mbps data transfers

The Challenger RP2040 UWB board features a Raspberry Pi RP2040 microcontroller combined with a DWM300 UWB (Ultra-Wide Band) module in the Adafruit Feather form factor and is designed for indoor positioning and ranging applications with an up to 10-centimeter accuracy, and data transfers up to 10 Mbps.

The first Challenger RP2040 board was introduced in 2021 with an ESP8285 WiFi chip, iLabs (Invector Labs) shortly followed up with the Challenger RP2040 LoRa with an RFM95W LoRa module, and they also made models with NFC and cellular connectivity. The Swedish company has now just introduced their latest Challenger board with the Challenger RP2040 UWB leveraging UWB technology.

Challenger RP2040 UWB

Challenger RP2040 LoRa board preliminary specifications:

  • MCU – Raspberry Pi RP2040 dual-core Cortex-M0+ MCU @ 133MHz with 264KB SRAM
  • Storage – 8MB flash
  • Wireless module – Qorvo DWM3000 UWB module connected via SPI
    • Chip – Qorvo DW3110 ultra-wideband (UWB) transceiver IC, compliant with IEEE 802.15.4a and IEEE 802.15.4z BPRF mode, FiRa PHY and MAC specifications
    • UWB channels – 5 (6.5 GHz) and 9 (8 GHz)
    • Integrated antenna
    • Location accuracy – Less than 15cm (2D), less than 30cm (3D)
    • Number of Tags – 100s for TWR (Two-Way Ranging), 1000s for TDoA (Time Difference of Arrival)
    • Battery Life – Months (TWR), Years (TDoA)
    • Supply Voltage – 2.4 to 3.6V DC
    • Dimensions – 23.0 x 13.0 x 2.9
  • I/Os via Adafruit Feather compatible headers
    • 1x I2C, 1x SPI channel
    • 1x UART for the user (Serial1)
    • 4x 12-bit ADC
    • Up to 16x GPIOs
    • USB 1.1
    • 3.3V, ARef, GND, BAT, Reset, Enable signals
  • Debugging – SWD pads
  • Misc – Neopixel RGB LED; BOOT and RESET buttons, u.FL Wi-Fi antenna connector
  • Power Supply
    • 5V via USB Type-C port
    • 2-pin LiPo battery connector plus LiPo charger circuit with 500mA charging current
  • Dimensions –  50.7 x 22.8 x 7.2 mm  (Adafruit Feather form factor)
  • Weight – About 9 grams

Raspberry Pi RP2040 UWB board pinout diagram

The Challenger RP2040 UWB board will support Arduino or CircuitPython programming, but at this time there’s no DW3000 CircuitPython library, and documentation for the Arduino part is shown as “Coming soon”, although there’s on Arduino sketch showing how to transfer data. On the bright side, the RP2040 UWB board was added to the Arduino-Pico project last week. iLabs (and Qorvo) say the DW3000 module is compatible with Apple U1 chip, so you should be able to use it with recent iPhones and Apple Watch Series 6 and greater, and other devices with UWB support for indoor positioning and nearby interactions.

The Challenger RP2040 UWB board is available for purchase for $58.60 US on iLabs store with over 100 pieces in stock at the time of writing. This brings an alternative to Makerfabs’ ESP32 UWB board or NXP UWB development kits.

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