XIAO ESP32S3 is a tiny ESP32-S3 WiFi 4 and BLE 5.0 module for IoT, AI, and robotics


Seeed Studio XIAO ESP32S3 is the new member of the company XIAO family with an ESP32-S3 dual-core wireless microcontroller with WiFi 4 and BLE 5.0 designed for Smart Home, IoT, wearables, and Robotics applications. It succeeds the single-core ESP32-C3-based XIAO ESP32C3  board with the same form factor, but the new XIAO ESP32S3 offers more performance, vector extension for machine learning, more flash, and improved power consumption in deep sleep mode. Seeed Studio XIAO ESP32C3 specifications: Wireless MCU – Espressif Systems ESP32-S3R8 dual-core Tensilica LX7 microcontroller @ 240 MHz with 512KB SRAM, 8MB PSRAM, Wi-Fi 4 & Bluetooth 5.0 dual-mode (Classic + BLE) connectivity Storage – 8MB SPI flash Antenna – External u.FL antenna USB – USB Type-C port for power and programming Expansion I/Os 2x 7-pin headers with 1x UART, 1x I2C, 1x SPI, 11x GPIO (PWM), 9x ADC 3.3V I/O voltage (not 5V tolerant) Debugging – JTAG pads Misc […]

A first look at GL.iNet GL-S200 Thread Border Router kit with three nRF52840 Thread boards

GL-S200 Thread Border Router review with Thread Dev Boards

GL.iNet are better known for their routers, but the company is also offering IoT gateways and Smart Home hubs such as the GL-S10 BLE to MQTT IoT gateway. The company is now preparing to launch the GL.iNet GL-S200 Thread Border Router in early April, and I’ve been asked to do some beta testing before launch, so GL.iNet have sent me a kit with the GL-S200 and three Thread development boards acting as IoT nodes. A Thread Border Router acts as a WiFi or/and Ethernet gateway connecting to battery-powered Thread sensor nodes equipped with a low-power 802.15.4 radio. In this first post, I’ll go through the hardware and specifications, before reporting my finding in a separate post next week. GL-200 Thread Border Router kit unboxing and specifications The development boards are all identical and they were each kept in an antistatic bag. But let’s open the GL-S200 package first. The Thread […]

SONOFF MINIR4 review – A Tiny WiFi Smart Switch tested with eWelink app/web, and R5 controller


In this post, we’ll review the SONOFF Mini Extreme, also known as MINIR4, WiFi smart switch based on ESP32 wireless MCU by installing it into a wall-mounted light switch box and controlling it with both the eWelink mobile app for Android and the SONOFF R5 scene controller. SONOFF MINIR4 Installation We’ve already gone through the specifications, unboxing, and teardown in the announcement, so I’ll get straight to the installation part. Note this review was done with a light switch “box” (about 11x6cm) in Thailand, so your mileage may vary. The first challenge is that contrary to the similarly-sized SONOFF ZBMINI Extreme Zigbee switch, the MINIR4 WiFi switch requires a neutral cable, and most lights in Thailand are wired without a neutral wire, so I had to get the neutral wire from the outlet switch box underneath. When I call those “boxes” there are really holes in the wall here… Wiring […]

Portenta C33 is a lower cost Arduino Pro board based on Renesas RA6M5 Arm Cortex-M33 MCU

Arduino Portenta C33

Arduino Portenta C33 is the latest board from the Arduino Pro family which the company dubs a “high-performance, low-price” solution based on a 200 MHz Renesas RA6M5 Arm Cortex-M33 microcontroller and equipped with a ESP32-C3 Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Low Energy module. The new board provides a cost-effective alternative to the Portenta H7 and X8 boards, but still offers wireless connectivity, a secure element for industrial-grade security, and compatibility with Portenta, MKR, and Nicla components. Portenta C33 specifications: Microcontroller – Renesas R7FA6M5BH2CBG Arm Cortex-M33 microcontroller @ up to 200 MHz with 512KB SRAM, 2MB Flash, Arm TrustZone, and Secure Crypto Engine 9 Storage – 16 MB QSPI Flash Connectivity 10/100M Ethernet PHY ESP32-C3 WiFi and BLE module USB – 1x USB Type-C high-speed port with Power Delivery support I/Os via 2x 80 pin high-density connectors, Arduino MKR headers with castellated hole, and a 5-pin I2C connector Storage – SD Card Networking […]

SONOFF iHost Smart Home Hub enables local control of SONOFF, Tasmota, Matter home automation devices

SONOFF iHost package

SONOFF iHost is a Smart Home Hub that enables local control of SONOFF smart switches, lightbulbs, Zigbee sensors, and so on without having to require a connection to the cloud (e.g. eWelink). Future software upgrades will also add more devices such as the ones flashed with Tasmota firmware and any device compatible with the Matter IoT protocol. The gateway is based on either a Rockchip RV1109 SoC with 2GB RAM or a Rockchip RV1126 with 4GB RAM and offers 10/100M Ethernet, WiFi, Bluetooth LE, and Zigbee 3.0 connectivity, as well as a USB 2.0 port to allow for more connectivity. SONFF iHost Smart Home Hub specifications: SoC and Memory Rockchip RV1109 dual-core Arm Cortex-A7 @ 1.5 GHz with RISC-V MCU @ 400 MHz, 2D graphics engine, 1.2 TOPS NPU, 5MP H.264 and H.265 hardware video decoder and encoder, and 2GB DDR4 Rockchip RV1126 quad-core Arm Cortex-A7 @ 1.5 GHz with […]

BeaglePlay – A $99 Texas Instruments AM625 industrial SBC with plenty of communication and expansion options


The BeagleBoard.org Foundation has just launched their latest single board computer with the BeaglePlay SBC powered by a Texas Instruments AM625 Cortex-A53/M4/R5 processor with 16GB eMMC flash, 2GB DDR2, and a wide range of I/Os, wired and wireless communication options, and support for expansion module compatible with MikroBus, Grove, and Qwiic connectors. Two wired Ethernet are offered, namely a typical Gigabit Ethernet RJ45 port, as well as a single-pair Ethernet RJ11 port limited to 10 Mbps but with a much longer range and power over data, and wireless connectivity includes dual-band WiFi 4, Bluetooth LE, and Sub-GHz. The board also features HDMI and MIPI DSI display interfaces and a MIPI CSI camera interface. BeaglePlay specifications: SoC – Texas Instruments Sitara AM625 (AM6254) with Quad-core 64-bit Arm Cortex-A53 processor @ 1.4 GHz Arm Cortex-M4F at up to 400 MHz Arm Cortex-R5F PowerVR Rogue 3D GPU supporting up to 2048×1080 @ 60fps, […]

Allwinner R128 wireless SoC features 64-bit RISC-V core, Arm Cortex-M33 core, and HiFi 5 audio DSP

Allwinner R128

Allwinner is mostly known for its low-cost Arm processor running Android or Linux, but the Allwinner R128 is a wireless audio SoC with a C906 64-bit RISC-V application core, an Arm Cortex-M33 real-time time core, a HiFi 5 DSP, and built-in WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity. The SoC also comes with 1MB SRAM, up to 16MB flash, up to 32MB PSRAM, display and camera interfaces, support for microphone arrays, and plenty of I/Os that should make it suitable for smart speakers and other voice-controlled home appliances with or without display. Allwinner R128 specifications: Application core – Xuantie C906 64-bit RISC-V core clocked at 600 MHz. DSP – Cadence HiFi 5 audio DSP clocked at 400 MHz Communication core – Arm M33 Star (Cortex-M33 from Arm China?) core clocked at 240 MHz with Trustzone support Memory 1MB SRAM 8MB, 16MB, or 32MB PSRAM (SiP = System-in-Package) OPI PSRAM controller Storage QPI flash […]

Elfin-EW11 is a compact WiFi to RS485 unit with Modbus TCP support

Elfin EW11 Wifi to RS485 unit

Elfin EW11/EW11A is a small WiFi to RS485 unit with Modbus TCP/IP support that works either in the 5 to 18V DC (EW11) or the 5 to 36V DC (EW11A) input range. The WiFi to RS485 adapter is offered with either an internal or external WiFi antenna, the RS485 interface is exposed through an RJ45 port, and an RJ45 to terminal block cable is usually included, as well as a DIN Rail mount. Elfin EW11/EW11A specifications: MCU (I’m not sure which one is used, and the specs depend on where you look..) Unnamed Arm Cortex-M3 microcontroller @ 96 MHz with 2MB flash, 128KB SRAM (on the product page) OR Unnamed microcontroller @ up to 160MHz with 2MB flash, 352KB SRAM (on Aliexpress) Networking Wireless  – 2.4 GHz WiFi 4 with up to WPA2PSK security, station, AP, or station+AP modes; internal or external WiFi antenna depending on the model. Wired – […]

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