Realtek RTL8720DN Dual-Band WiFi & Bluetooth 5.0 IoT Modules Sell for $4 and Up

BW16 RTL8720DN Dual-band WiFi & Bluetooth Module

There are plenty of 2.4 GHz WiFi modules for IoT project based on processors ranging from Espressif Systems ESP8266 to TI CC3200, or Realtek RTL8710. Some others add Bluetooth 4.2/5.0 such as Espressif Systems ESP32, but it’s much harder to find solutions with dual-band WiFi especially if you have a tight budget for your project or product. But Realtek RTL8720DN – part of AmebaD family –  offers just that with the Arm Cortex-M4/M0 wireless MCU supporting dual-band (2.4/5.0GHz) 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, and found in modules currently selling for as low as $3.90 or 24 RMB in single units. B&T BW16 RTL8720DN Module Specifications: Wireless SoC – Realtek RTK8720DN MCU with KM4 Arm Cortex-M4 core @ 200 MHz and KM0 Arm Cortex-M0 core @ 20 MHz Connectivity WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi 4 Frequency Range – 2.412-2.484GHz & 5.180-5.825GHz Data Rates 802.11a: 6,9,12,18,24,36,48,54Mbps 802.11b: 1,2,5.5,11Mbps 802.11g: 6,9,12,18,24,36,48,54Mbps 802.11n: MCS0–MCS7 @ HT20/HT40 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands AP, Station, AP/Client …

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Silicon Labs BG22 Secure Bluetooth 5.2 SoC Promises 10-Year Coin-Cell Battery Life

Silicon Labs BG22 Bluetooth 5.2 SoC

Yesterday, we wrote about the new Bluetooth LE Audio standard which promises smaller Bluetooth audio devices, or longer battery life, as well as support for multi-stream and broadcast audio. But there has been some other Bluetooth developments with the release of Bluetooth 5.2 specification on December 31st, and the announcement of the first Bluetooth 5.2 SoC courtesy of Silicon Labs. Bluetooth 5.2 Main Changes Bluetooth 5.2 builds upon Bluetooth 5.1 with the following key changes: Enhanced Attribute Protocol (EATT) – Improved version of the Attribute Protocol (ATT), which supports concurrent transactions, allows the interleaving of L2CAP packets relating to ATT packets from different applications and allows the ATT Maximum Transmission Unit (MTU) to be changed during a connection. This can reduce latency and improves the responsiveness of Bluetooth LE applications. LE Power Control – Devices can dynamically optimize the transmission power used in communication between connected devices with BLE receivers now able to monitor signal strength and request transmission power-level …

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Bluetooth LE Audio Supports LC3 Codec, Multi-stream & Broadcast Audio, Nordic Semi Evaluation Kit Unveiled

Bluetooth LE Audio Evaluation Platform

I first heard about Bluetooth LE (Low Energy)- part of Bluetooth 4.0- in 2013 with RFDuino board, and it came to prominence once Android 4.3 added support later this year. Bluetooth LE is using to transmit messages using as little as energy as possible for example to synchronize data between a smartphone and a smartwatch. But if you ever had to transmit audio, you had to rely on Bluetooth Classic which, albeit considering low power, consumes more energy. But you should soon have much longer battery life on your Bluetooth headphone or battery-operated speaker, as the Bluetooth SIG has just announced Bluetooth LE Audio which adds a new codec and support for multi-stream and broadcast audio. The new high-quality, low-power audio codec used in the new Bluetooth standard is called the Low Complexity Communications Codec (LC3). The chart above shows the results of listening tests between LC3 and SBC codecs at different bitrates with a score from 0 to 5 …

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Fingerbot Bluetooth Mechanical Finger Enables Automation for most Home Appliances (Crowdfunding)

Adaprox Fingerbot Smart Home Automation  Fingerbot is the place where IoT meets analog and creates a solution for smart home automation that works with Alexa, Google Home, Siri, and many smart home apps. What is Fingerbot? Adaprox, a team of engineers, programmers, and designers, designed the finger-sized device that can handle on/off for devices, repetitive motion tasks, toggles or switches. Fingerbot Does What? The little robot can work through voice or app, and can handle all activation and deactivation of traditional appliances, lighting and can even use its soft “finger” on a touchscreen for repetitive tasks in the home, all done mechanically. How Does It Work Fingerbot is designed to be attached to the device it is controlling with double-sided tape or velcro.  This creates a firm grip on the surface so that its finger can control the device properly.  The velcro option allows for switching Fingerbot between appliances, and also makes sure there isn’t any loss of grip over …

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Espressif Systems ESP32 Gets Bluetooth LE 5.0/5.1 Certifications

ESP32 Bluetooth 5.0

Espressif Systems ESP32 was introduced in 2016, and one of the key differences between ESP8266 and ESP32 was that the latter supported Bluetooth 4.2. But since then, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) released Bluetooth 5.0 (2016) with higher speeds and longer range, and Bluetooth 5.1 (2019)  adding direction finding for indoor positioning applications. One would have thought that upgrading from Bluetooth 4.2 to Bluetooth 5.0/5.1 might have required a new radio, but apparently not. As you can see from the above link and screenshot, ESP32 is now Bluetooth LE 5.0-Certified having passed SIG Bluetooth LE 5.0 certification. That means the Bluetooth protocol version supported by the ESP32 microcontroller has been upgraded from Bluetooth LE 4.2 to Bluetooth LE 5.0 with improved stability and compatibility. Another link also shows Bluetooth 5.1 certification for ESP NimBLE Host stack. Sadly that does not mean ESP32 suddenly supports the longer range and higher data rate made possible by Bluetooth 5.0 as explained in …

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Xiaomi Smart Multi-mode Gateway Supports Zigbee 3.0, WiFi, Bluetooth, and Bluetooth Mesh

Xiaomi Mijia Smart Multi-Mode Gateway

Xiaomi has introduced several inexpensive home automation products over the years, often under their Mijia brands with for example a WiFi to IR blaster, a Zigbee & WiFi smart home kit, a smart door lock, or a smart speaker among other products. Recently, the company has launched the Xiaomi Smart Multi-mode Gateway that supports Zigbee 3.0, WiFi, Bluetooth, and Bluetooth Mesh. Xiaomi Mijia Smart Multi-mode Gateway (model ZNDMWG03LM) key features and specifications: Connectivity ZigBee2.0 / ZigBee3.0 2.4GHz Wi-Fi 2×2 MIMO Bluetooth & Bluetooth Mesh Compatible with Apple Homekit Max range – 200 meters (Line-of-Sight) Up to 32 devices Power Supply – 5V/1A Dimensions – 90x25mm Temperature Range – -5℃-50℃ Humidity – 0%-95%RH, non-condensing The gateway can be controlled via Mi Home app running on  Android 5.0 or iOS 12.0 smartphones. It’s compatible with Apple Homekit, Xiaomi Mi AI speaker, and the earlier Zigbee/WiFi kit with Aqara gateway and Zigbee sensors and sockets. I initially thought it might an ESP32 + …

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Inkplate 6 ESP32 Wireless e-Paper Display Recycles Kindle E-reader (Crowdfunding)

Inkplate 6 wireless display is made from recycled e-Paper display taken from a used Amazon Kindle E-reader and adds WiFi (and Bluetooth) connectivity thanks to an ESP32-WROVER module featuring Espressif Systems ESP32 dual-core processor. The 6″ e-Paper display can easily be updated over WiFi, and used for a variety of applications or projects such as high-latency digital signage displays, collaborative task trackers, e-Paper typewriters, open-hardware E-readers, art projects and so on. Inkplate 6 specifications: ESP32-WROVER wireless module ESP32 dual-core Tensilica LX6 processor @ 240 MHz 8MB RAM, 4MB flash Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.2 Display – 6″ e-Paper Display (ED060SC7) with 800×600 resolution taken from discarded Kindle readers; refresh time: 0.264 s; partial updates possible Storage – MicroSD card socket USB – 1x Micro USB Port for power and programming (via CH340C) Expansion EasyC / Qwiic connector with I2C Headers for power signals, I2C, SPI, ESP32’s GPIO, and MCP23017 I2C I/O expander Sensor – Internal TPS65186 temperature …

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UNISOC V5663 Arm Cortex-M33 AIoT SoC Comes with 802.11 b/g/n/ac WiFi 5, Bluetooth 5.1

UNISOC V5663

UNISOC has launched a new processor for AIoT (Artificial Intelligence + IoT) applications with V5663 dual-core Cortex-M33 processor, supports for dual-band WiFi 5, Bluetooth 5.1, and audio features such as a voice activity detector and microphone array support which should make it ideal for smart speakers, and other smart audio applications. UNISOC V5663 WiSoC specifications: CPU Arm Cortex-M33 processor @ 442 MHz with TrustZone, 32KB I-cache, 32KB D-Cache for application code Arm Cortex-M33 processor @ 416 MHz for WiFI and Bluetooth Memory – Built-in SRAM + external PSRAM interface Storage – eMMC, SDXC interfaces Connectivity – Dual-band 802.11 b/g/n/ac WiFi 5 2×2 MIMO Bluetooth 5.1 dual-mode (Classic + LE) Mesh Networking for WiFi and Bluetooth Indoor Positioning – WiFi RTT, Bluetooth direction finding (AoD / AoA) Audio – Voice Activity Detector (VAD), PDM and I2S/PCM interfaces Peripherals: USB 2.0 / 3.0, eMMC I2C, SPI, HS SPI, UART GPIO, PWM IR Touch and push-button interfaces Aux ADC Debugging – JTAG Security …

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