New RPi Zero W - with Wifi and Bluetooth

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BennehBoy
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Re: New RPi Zero W - with Wifi and Bluetooth

Post by BennehBoy » Sun Mar 05, 2017 12:07 pm

The specs on ESP32 are amazing.
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Squonk42
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Re: New RPi Zero W - with Wifi and Bluetooth

Post by Squonk42 » Sun Mar 05, 2017 9:41 pm

RogerClark wrote:I think the ESP8266 (ESP-12) modules have taken a lot of the market share of traditional MCU projects.
Going well beyond just people wanting Wifi, as they have loads of Flash and RAM and a relatively fast processor, and are cheap.

Looking at the AliExpress listings, I think tens of thousands of them have been sold.
It didn't happen all that suddenly: first was the Lua interpreter that removed some complexity of installing a cross-toolchain, then the more practical ESP-12 form factor instead of unpractical ESP-01, then the support in the Arduino IDE.
RogerClark wrote:They are however very power hungry, which may or may not be an issue.
With clever management, you can go down to 78µA deep-sleep. This can be good enough if you only need to transmit data infrequently.
RogerClark wrote:The ESP32 may take over from the ESP8266 when the prices come down and there is greater availability and the Arduino core stabilises.
Here you go, $3.50 for an ESP-WROOM-32 module: http://www.electrodragon.com/product/wr ... bluetooth/
RogerClark wrote:The Nordic devices still seem very niche. I'm not sure why that is. Possibly just because no one in China brought out a simple to use module e.g. Blue Pill format using them. Price is also not as competitive as the ESP8266 or STM32, which seems mainly because companies (even in China) are trying to get the maximum price they can for them, probably as a premium product.
Range is ~30m max for Bluetooth, about 3x better for Wi-Fi in indoor environment. In some cases, this is the difference between a device that will be accessible all over your house, and one that won't. Of course, it comes at the expense of power consumption.

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RogerClark
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Re: New RPi Zero W - with Wifi and Bluetooth

Post by RogerClark » Sun Mar 05, 2017 11:26 pm

Yes.

ESP8266 has been around in many forms for qyite a long time. I still have some ESP01 modules, but I may as well through them away as I have loads of ESP12 and ESP12E.

78uA is very good for a Wifi device. Not as good as Bluetooth devices, which have sleep currents much lower, without even needing to use "deep sleep"

BLE 5.0 has long range modes, but its going to be a while before many devices support them, and the data rate is low in those modes.

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Re: New RPi Zero W - with Wifi and Bluetooth

Post by mrburnette » Sun Mar 05, 2017 11:33 pm

BennehBoy wrote:The specs on ESP32 are amazing.

I've been playing with the dev module under Arduino for a little over a week; My BIG surprise is SPIFFS is not implemented; so if you were fond of SPIFFS for storage, it appears that support will come at some time (maybe.)
https://www.esp32.com/viewtopic.php?t=239

The extra SRAM is nice. I've been too busy with Spring cleaning to experiment too much ... perhaps in a couple of more weeks. However, for most uses, the ESP8266 is adequate and is way less expensive for a module with USB: such as the NodeMCU V3.

But my opinion, having a dual-core with one core available to the user and one core for the RF & TCP stack is the the really BIG architectural enhancement and that feature along may warrant the premium price.

Ray

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Re: New RPi Zero W - with Wifi and Bluetooth

Post by ag123 » Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:02 am

RogerClark wrote:I think the ESP8266 (ESP-12) modules have taken a lot of the market share of traditional MCU projects.
Going well beyond just people wanting Wifi, as they have loads of Flash and RAM and a relatively fast processor, and are cheap.

Looking at the AliExpress listings, I think tens of thousands of them have been sold.

They are however very power hungry, which may or may not be an issue.

The ESP32 may take over from the ESP8266 when the prices come down and there is greater availability and the Arduino core stabilises.

The Nordic devices still seem very niche. I'm not sure why that is. Possibly just because no one in China brought out a simple to use module e.g. Blue Pill format using them. Price is also not as competitive as the ESP8266 or STM32, which seems mainly because companies (even in China) are trying to get the maximum price they can for them, probably as a premium product.
the Nordic devices capture an important niche mcu + integrated 2.4 ghz radio, if you think a little about it, it may even be possible to do both wifi and bluetooth since both are 2.4 ghz bands. the limit seem to be the amount of memory and flash, cpu speed and the low level modulation stuff (bluetooth GFSK), wifi (CCK/QPSK/OFDM) which likely needs to be built into the 2.4 ghz radio hardware.

however, bluetooth or specifically BLE seem to be an 'in' thing now especially for 'sensors' type of 'point-to-point' connectivity.
with wifi one would need to do 'wifi direct' which is not all the most common
while bluetooth and BLE has all that 'point to point' connection and all its extensions (e.g. pairing, service discovery, att/gatt) all specified in its protocol stack. And if 1 make do with just BLE, 1 could do unsecured advertising based on the raw BLE link-layer
http://www.stm32duino.com/viewtopic.php ... =40#p24614
and just about any android phones/devices > 4.3 & iphones with bluetooth could receive that (e.g. ibeacon concept).

today it seems that the SOC manufacturers are knowing that the mkt wants mcu + 2.4ghz radio , specifically BLE (or/and WIFI) integrated and you have TI (sensor tag), ST (blueNRG), nxp (KWxxz), microchip (ATBTLC1000), broadcom, qualcomm, intel et.al. all getting into the game

i think esp8266 needs an external spi flash, but it has quite a bit of ram
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ESP8266
i think this design trade off is quite good as spi flash is rather cheap and it allows one to suit the amount of flash to one's needs.

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Re: New RPi Zero W - with Wifi and Bluetooth

Post by RogerClark » Mon Mar 06, 2017 9:04 am

@ag123

I've not heard of anyone doing Wifi on the Nordic devices. From what I understand there are some technical limitations to their 2.4GHz hardware which prevent it being used for some applications.

However, it looks like the nRF52840 is less limited, as apparently its likely to be able to operate as a ZigBee, as soon as someone ports the Zigbee stack (and I'm sure there would be a lot of other work)

The amount of RAM on these MCU's is going up all the time, the nRF52840 has 256k RAM and 1M flash (but the current nRF52832 only has 64k RAM)


With the ESP8266, the external flash is somewhat of a security weakness. I think anyone could clone a product developed using an ESP8266, and also reverse engineer the binaries and look for keys or any other security weaknesses.

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Re: New RPi Zero W - with Wifi and Bluetooth

Post by ag123 » Mon Mar 06, 2017 9:24 am

the prevalence of BLE mcus and devices seemed to be a 'scary' development as nrf51822 boards has already reach a price point of $4 on ebay, for that matter there is also the CC2540 (8051 based mcu) from TI which has reached below $2 price point
http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R4 ... 40&_sop=15
http://www.ti.com/product/CC2540

i'd imagine in the not too distant future (in fact today) we'd be *flooded* with ton's of 'incompatible' BLE devices/sensors since all developers just make do with the 'raw' BLE stack & do advertising/broadcast, or custom connectivity (not even att/gatt). it is already happening - if you buy 10 different BLE fitness trackers, you need 10 different apps on your android phone / iphone :lol:

btw it still amaze me on how to do BLE and app in 8k of ram on CC2540 :o :lol:

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Squonk42
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Re: New RPi Zero W - with Wifi and Bluetooth

Post by Squonk42 » Mon Mar 06, 2017 3:49 pm

You cannot do Wi-Fi modulation (CCK/QPSK/OFDM) without hardware support.

Bluetooth / BLE is okay if you are in the same room, but not much beyond. Again, this is merely a range vs. power consumption problem.

The ESP8266 does need an external SPI Flash, but the ESP8285 doesn't. But I don't count internal Flash as a security feature. Of course, unsolder a Flash chip and read it back is well within the reach of any script kiddie, but it is relatively easy too to have a lab decap a chip and bypass fuses for < $1500.

If you want a 100% secure device, don't release it :D

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Re: New RPi Zero W - with Wifi and Bluetooth

Post by RogerClark » Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:56 pm

@ag123

The problem with the TI BLE devices, is you cant compile code to run on it, because TI only release binary library files compatible with the IAR 8051 compiler.

And IAR costs $$$$

Plus you need a specialised programmer, as they are not SWD compatible.

You are better off paying the extra $2 and getting a nRF51.


Re: One App per device type of fitness tracker

From what I have read, the operation of the phone app linked to storage and analysis of data ( done by the server), is a key factor people use when choosing these things.

Hence all the manufacturers use their own private data formats, so you cant use a good app with someone elses cheaper hardware.


I dont think Bluetooth.org are helping this, because they charge $$$ per to be part of their private club, and use the Bluetooth brand on your product, and be involved with standardisation.

A lot companies in China are not members, and dont bother with bluetooth.orgs standard device types and protocols etc

Ollie
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Re: New RPi Zero W - with Wifi and Bluetooth

Post by Ollie » Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:19 pm

RPi Zero W is now available in stores. I got mine from Adafruit. They still have a restriction of one RPi Zero W for $10 per customer. That is a good price, but the $9 delivery cost is "too" high.

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