8devices Carambola 3 WiFi IoT module supports upstream OpenWrt, industrial temperature range

8devices Carambola 3 is a compact System On Module (SoM) built around the Qualcomm QCA4531 WiFi 4 chipset. The module comes in two variants – the Carambola3 for commercial applications (0 to +65°C) and the Carambola3-I for industrial environments (-40 to +85°C). Additionally, 8devices offers a development kit with integrated features like a 2.4 GHz chip antenna, dual LAN ports, USB, GPIO, and much more. Notably, the development kit also supports OpenWrt Upstream, making it ideal for IoT, industrial automation, and smart home projects.

The Carambola3 is a pin-to-pin compatible module with the Carambola2, but with a faster processor, more memory, and lower power consumption while the original Carambola was discontinued due to its older technology. 8devices has been developing and selling Wi-Fi modules such as the Rambutan Atheros module, Komikan 802.11ac Wave 2 Module, and recently announced Noni M.2 WiFi 7 module feel free to check those out if you are looking for Wi-Fi modules.

8devices Carambola3 DVK

8devices Carambola 3 specifications

  • Chipset – Qualcomm QCA4531 (MIPS 24Kc, 32-bit, 720 MHz)
  • Memory/Storage
    • 128 MB DDR2 RAM
    • 16 MB SPI NOR Flash
    • External SPI NAND Flash support
  • Wi-Fi
    • IEEE 802.11b/g/n
    • 2.4 GHz band
    • Up to 150 Mbps
    • Integrated chip antenna or U.FL connector
  • Ethernet – 2x 10/100 Mbps Ethernet
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 host/device
  • Serial – 2x UART
  • GPIO – Up to 23x configurable GPIOs
  • Other interfaces – I2C, I2S, SPI, JTAG
  • Additional features
    • Hardware encryption engine
    • Hardware random number generator
    • Watchdog timer
  • Power
    • Supply voltage: 3.3V
    • Power consumption: Typically 0.5W
  • Operating temperature
    • Carambola3 – 0°C to 65°C
    • Carambola3-I – -40°C to 85°C
  • Dimensions – 38 x 28 mm
  • Development Kit Specifications
    • Includes Carambola3 module
    • Integrated 2.4 GHz chip antenna
    • Dual LAN ports
    • USB port
    • GPIO headers
    • Reset button
    • LEDs

When we compare the Carambola 2 with Carambola 3 it boasts a 250 MHz faster CPU, 64 MB more RAM, and a faster RAM controller, the only disadvantage is that it has fewer GPIOs, but the overall performance upgrades outweigh this minor reduction.

Carambola 3 Block Diagram
8devices Carambola 3 block diagram

For easy reference, the company also provides a simple block diagram and a pinout diagram of the module which can be found on the download section of the products page.

Carambola3 Wi-Fi DVK
Carambola3 Wi-Fi Dev Kit

8devices also provides an open-source development kit for the Carambola 3 module. The devkit not only provides access to a chip antenna, dual Ethernet, USB-A, and USB-C ports but it also gives access to a hardware reset button a programmable GPIO button, and a 2.54 mm GPIO heaviest for breadboard compatibility.

Carambola 3 Board Specifications

According to the 8devices announcement page, the Carambola 3 now has upstream OpenWrt support, offering developers better security, the latest updates, more software choices, and broader community support. The announcement page also mentions that this isn’t the first 8devices module with OpenWrt support. Others include Carambola 2, Lima, Jalapeno, and others. The source code for QCA4531 (Ath9) 7 hardware can be found on GitHub.

The Carambola 3 Development kit, the  Carambola3, and the industrial Carambola3-I are all available on the official 8devices store where the devkit sells for $43.00. the commercial Carambola3 Wi-Fi module is priced at $27.00, and the industrial version of the module can be purchased for $29.00.

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2 Comments
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maurer
maurer
26 days ago

wow 802.11n new hw in 2024 – why would you buy this?

Ray Knight
Ray Knight
26 days ago

Cost and reliability. Some use cases are just fine with 802.11n speeds.

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