Challenger RP2040 WiFi board marries ESP8285 with Raspberry Pi RP2040

Challenger RP2040 WiFi board

We’ve already seen Raspberry Pi RP2040 getting WiFi connectivity with boards like Pico Wireless Pack, Wio RP2040 mini, and Arduino Nano RP2040 Connect in ways that do not always make technical and commercial sense as in many cases, the WiFi microcontroller (e.g. ESP32) is more powerful than the Raspberry Pi microcontroller. But Invector Labs’ Challenger RP2040 WiFi board does make more sense, as the company combines Raspberry Pi RP2040 dual-core Cortex-M0+ MCU with an entry-level ESP8285 WiFi microcontroller, and also offers LiPo battery support, all that in the Adafruit Feather form factor. Challenger RP2040 WiFi board specifications: Main microcontroller – Raspberry Pi RP2040 dual-core Cortex-M0+ MCU @ 133MHz with 264KB SRAM Storage – 8MB flash Network microcontroller – Espressif ESP8285 2.4GHz WiFi 4 SoC with 1MB on-chip flash pre-flashed with Espressif’s AT command interpreter, connected to the main MCU over UART at up to 921600 bps; I/Os via Adafruit Feather […]

Made in Thailand CorgiDude RISC-V AI board aims to teach machine learning

CorgiDude AI Learning Kit

There’s a relatively small but active maker community in Thailand, and we’ve covered or even reviewed some made in Thailand boards including ESP8266 and ESP32 boards, a 3G Raspberry Pi HAT, and KidBright education platform among others. MakerAsia has developed CorgiDude, a board based on the version of Sipeed M1 RISC-V AI module with built-in WiFi, and part as a kit with a camera and a display used to teach machine learning and artificial intelligence with MicroPython or C/C++ programming. CorgiDude board specifications: AI Wireless Module – Sipeed M1W Module with Kendryte K210  dual-core 64-bit RISC-V RV64IMAFDC CPU @ 400Mhz with FPU, various AI accelerators (KPU, FFT accelerator…),  8MiB on-chip SRAM Espressif ESP8285 single-core 2.4 GHz WiFi 4 SoC plus IPEX antenna connector Storage – MicroSD card slot Camera I/F for 2MP OV2640 sensor up to 1280 × 1024 (SXGA) @ 30 fosm SVGA @ 30 fps, or CIF @ […]

Espressif to Launch ESP8285 WiSoC Variants with Extended Industrial Temperature Range

ESP8285 Industrial Temperature

Espressif Systems first introduced ESP8285 WiFi SoC in 2016. The chip is similar to ESP8266 WiFi chip but includes 1MB flash making it more suitable for space-constrained applications since an external flash chip is not required. Since the launch, we’ve seen several modules and final products based on the solution including ESP-WROOM-5C and PSF-A85 modules, as well as Sonoff B1 WiFI RGB light bulb. The original chip (ESP8285N08) would work in -40°C to 85°C industrial temperature range, but in their recent newsletter, the company announced plans to launch two new variants in the ESP8285 series with an extended temperature range up to 105°C and different flash capacities: ESP8285H16 with 2 MB flash, -40°C to +105°C operating temperature range ESP8285H08 with a 1 MB flash, -40°C to +105°C operating temperature range ESP8285H16 is slated to launch at the end of August 2019, and the company plans to provide more details next month, […]

ESP-WROOM-5C is a Side-Mounted ESP8285 WiFi Module

ESP-WROOM-5C

You’d think by now we’d have enough ESP8266 or ESP8285 WiFi modules, but based on an FCC listing, we now know that Espressif Systems has been working on another ESP8285 WiFi module – ESP-WROOM-5C – designed to be side-mounted. ESP-WROOM-5C specifications: SoC – Espressif Systems ESP8285 Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n WiFi 4 @ 2412 MHz ~2462 MHz; Station/SoftAP/SoftAP + Station modes WPA/WPA2 security with EP/TKIP/AES encryption PCB antenna Peripheral interface I2C/IR Remote Control GPIO/PWM Operating voltage – 2.7V ~ 3.6V Operating current – Average: 80 mA Minimum current delivered by power supply – 500 mA Dimensions – 19 x 16 x 3.2 mm Temperature Range – -40°C ~ 105°C Reliability Tests – HTOL/HTSL/uHAST/TCT/ESD The module supports firmware upgrade over UART or OTA (Over-The-Air). Software development can be done with the IDF SDK for custom firmware, but “Cloud Server development” is also possible, and an Android/iOS app can be provided for user […]

Sonoff B1 Smart Light Bulb Review – Part 1 : eWeLink Android App and Teardown

ITEAD Studio has a popular family of home automation devices call Sonoff with WiFi switches, smart sockets, RF to WiFi bridges and so on. All WiFi devices are based on Espressif ESP8266 or ESP8285, and while the company provide a stock firmware working with eWelink app, at least two communities have formed around Sonoff and other similar devices providing two open source firmware alternatives: ESPurna and Sonoff-Tasmota. The company has sent me Sonoff B1 smart RGB light bulb for review. Today, I’ll check out the light with eWelink app for Android, and do a teardown, before trying one of the open source firmware in the second part of the review. Sonoff B1 Unboxing Some Chinese products come in a blank cardboard boxes, but Sonoff’s light bulb comes with in a nice looking retail package that would look good on store’s shelves. One of the side lists the specifications with an […]

USB Fun – Tiny USB WiFi and Hub Boards and micro USB Hub

I’ve come across a few interesting tiny USB boards and hubs in the last few days, so instead of writing a post for each, I’ve gathered all info into a single article. Small ESP8285 USB Board A couple of weeks ago, CNLohr released his first ESPUSB virtual USB implementation for ESP8266 allowing to use USB with external hardware, barring a resistor, and only two GPIOs. He has now made a tiny board based on ESP8285 with a USB interface leveraging ESPUSB. Hardware files can be found on github. So what can you do with it? CNLohr leveraged the work of the community in order to emulate a keyboard and mouse using a smartphone. The only bit of bad news in the video is that finally USB full speed (12 Mbps) can’t be supported. NanoUSB Hub Board Mux wanted to add more USB devices to its tablets, but there was none […]

PSF-A85 is a $2 ESP8285 WiFi Board for IoT and Wearables

Last month, we found out that Espressif has made a smaller version of ESP8266 targeting wearables called ESP8285, but the only development board available at the time was quite more expensive than usual at about $25. ITEAD has now released an ESP8285 module with some I/Os and an IPEX connector which they sell for just $1.99 + shipping. PSF-A85 specifications: SoC – Espressif ESP8285 Tensila WiFi SoC @ 80/160 MHz with 1MB flash Connectivity WiFi 802.11 b/g/n/d/e/i/k/r with support for STA/AP/STA+AP modes, WPA/WPA2 PSK and WEP security Antenna – IPEX connector (antenna not included) or “stamp hole interface” Expansion – 24-pin with GPIO, PWM, UART up to 460800 bps, SPI, ADC, Power Supply – 3.3 V Dimensions – 13.7 x 13.4 mm More technical information include the schematics (PDF only) and ESP8285 datasheet can be found in the Wiki, which sadly does not contain any software / getting started information, […]

Espressif ESP8285 is just like ESP8266 but with 1MB built-in Flash, and Designed for Wearables

Espressif announced ESP8285 WiFi SoC was entering production last March. The new processor is based on ESP8266, but the company added 1MB built-in flash to make the solution smaller, and more suitable to wearables such as smartwatches and activity trackers. ESP8285 features a Tensilica L106 32-bit MCU and another ultra-low-power 16-bit RISC core, as well as 802.11 b/g/n/d/e/i/k/r WiFi connectivity. AI Thinker has already produced a tiny module based on the solution, called ESP-8285, and another person has developed an ESP8285 development board sold on Tindie for $24.95, and with some code sample (Arduino sketches) on Github. You’ll also find some more technical information on a Devacron blog post, or inside the datasheet on Espressif website. Via Hackaday Jean-Luc Aufranc (CNXSoft)Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later […]