ESP-MESH is a network protocol based on the Wi-Fi protocol. ESP-MESH enables the connection of a large number of devices (hereinafter nodes) covering a large physical area (both inside and outside) over a single WLAN (wireless local area network). ESP-MESH self-organizes and self-heals, allowing you to build and maintain networks autonomously.

Traditional Wi-Fi Network Architecture. Source: espressif.com

Traditional Infrastructure of Wi-Fi network is a point-to-multipoint network in which a single central node called an Access Point (AP) is directly connected to all other nodes called stations. The AP is responsible for arbitrating and forwarding transmissions between stations. Some access points relay transmissions to and from external IP networks through routers.

Traditional Infrastructure Wi-Fi networks have the downside of having a limited coverage area as all stations need to be in range to connect directly to the access point. In addition, the maximum number of stations allowed in the network is limited by the bandwidth of the access point, making traditional Wi-Fi networks prone to overload.

ESP-MESH vs traditional Wi-Fi infrastucture

ESP-MESH differs from traditional Wi-Fi infrastructure networks in that the nodes do not have to connect to a central node. Instead, the node can connect with its neighbors. Nodes are responsible for relaying transmissions to each other. This allows for achieving interconnections without the need for nodes to be within the range of the central node, which significantly extends the coverage area of the ESP-MESH network. Likewise, ESP-MESH is less prone to congestion as the number of allowed nodes in the network is no longer limited by a single central node.

ESP-MESH Network Architecture. Source: espressif.com

Industrial use of ESP32-based solutions

One of industrial IoT devices, supporting Espressif’s ESP32 technology is eModGATE from TECHBASE. Economical, ESP32-based solution can serve as an end-point in any installation or works well as a gateway, gathering data from scattered sensor mesh across the installation. For more information check Industrial IoT Shop with all the configuration options for eModGATE.

eModGATE with ESP32

UPDATE 22.10.20: ModBerry 500 with Compute Module 4 available for pre-order

TECHBASE’s ModBerry industrial computer series has received an update to Compute Module 4 and is available for pre-orders. TECHBASE is leading manufacturer of Industrial Raspberry Pi and Industrial Compute Module solutions. ModBerry 500 series is fully compatible with all releases of Compute Module from Rasbperry Pi foundation.

Main features of updated device are:

  • up to 4x faster eMMC Flash with up to 32GB storage
  • up to 2x faster performance of CPU apllications than previous CM3 version
  • up to 8x more RAM (8GB LPDDR4)
  • optional 1Gbit Ethernet interface
  • optional PCIe card support for NVMe SSD drive (via M.2)
  • optional second PCIe support for wireless modem solutions

First orders will be ready with subject to the availability of the CM4 module itself.

A day ago, Raspberry Foundation announced new member of its family, a Rasbperry Pi Compute Module 4. It’s quite obvious, even from the first look, that the new module is very different from its predecessors. Main difference is a new form factor, leaving DDR2 SODIMM in the past.

The same 64-bit quad-core BCM2711 application processor as in Raspberry Pi 4B, the Compute Module 4 brings higher performance: faster CPU cores, better multimedia, more interfacing capabilities, and, for the first time, a choice of RAM densities and a wireless Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity options.

Compute Module 4 comes in 32 variants. Lite, as always, offers no eMMC memory, a and standard versions come with up to 8GB RAM, 32 eMMC Flash and wireless modem.

New Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 in new form factor

New features of Compute Module 4

  • 1.5GHz quad-core 64-bit ARM Cortex-A72 CPU as in Raspberry Pi 4 version B
  • 1GB, 2GB, 4GB or 8GB LPDDR4-3200 SDRAM
  • 8GB, 16GB or 32GB eMMC Flash storage for Standard version, Lite version without eMMC
  • Optional 2.4GHz and 5GHz IEEE 802.11b/g/n/ac wireless LAN and Bluetooth 5.0
  • Single-lane PCI Express 2.0 interface
  • Gigabit Ethernet PHY with IEEE 1588 support
  • Dual HDMI interfaces, at resolutions up to 4K
  • 28 GPIO pins, with up to 6 × UART, 6 × I2C and 5 × SPI

Source: https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/raspberry-pi-compute-module-4/

Compute Module 4 cutting edge in Industrial IoT

Few months ago IoT Industrial Devices predicted a possible release date for Compute Module 4 in Standard and Lite version:

Upcoming Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 possible release date
Raspberry Pi release timeline with probable Compute Module 4 release date

First Rasbperry Pi 1B model had it’s analogy in industrial Compute Module 1 after almost 2 years from it’s premiere. Compute Module 2 was probably omitted because the change from RPi1 to RPI2 mainly involved a minor change of the processor (Cortex-A7 900MHz), which was almost immediately replaced with Cortex-A53 1.2GHz in Raspberry Pi 3.

The premiere of Compute Module 3 occured a year after RPI 3 announcement, providing a significant boost of industrial market solutions. Since Raspberry Pi 4 was a great success in 2019, we might see it’s equivalent in industrial series of Raspberry Pi – Compute Module 4. A possible release date of Raspberry Pi’s Compute Module 4 is mid-2020.

Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 high-density connector

Raspberry Pi is gaining recognition in Industry

Almost a year ago, in the beginning of 2019, Raspberry Pi Foundation presented Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3+, a successor to previous CM3 version of development board, aimed at businesses and industrial users. The Compute Module uses a standard DDR2 SODIMM (small outline dual in-line memory module) form factor. GPIO and other I/O functions are routed through the 200 pins on the board.

Only a few months later, in June 2019, came big premiere of Raspberry Pi 4 Model B, the long-awaited successor of customer RPi3+. With new processor, larger RAM options and many input/output changes, became new standard in small, embedded PC world.

Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3+
Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3+

It seems a matter of time before the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3+ will get its own successor, probably called Compute Module 4, a new milestone of professional embedded IoT module. What might be the specification of this highly expected development board?

Industrial use of Compute Module

With Compute Module 3+ options from Raspberry Pi, TECHBASE upgraded their ModBerry 500/9500 industrial computers. From now on the ModBerry 500/9500 can be supported with extended eMMC, up to 32GB. Higher memory volume brings new features available for ModBerry series.

 ModBerry 500 with Compute Module 3+
ModBerry 500 with Compute Module 3+

Higher performance of ModBerry 500/9500 with extended eMMC flash memory, up to 32GB , powered by quad-core Cortex A53 processor allows the device to smoothly run Windows 10 IoT Core system, opening up many possibilities for data management, remote control and visualisation.

Realtek RTL8720DN Dual-Band WiFi & BT 5.0 vs ESP32

IoT market ofers wide range of small and efficient modules for Home & Industrial Internet of Things applications, equipped with 2.4GHz Wi-Fi, such as Espressif’s ESP32 or older ESP8266 modules. Additional Bluetooth 4.2/5.0 is often found on those. Dual-band Wi-Fi, on the other hand, is hard to find on low-budget IoT modules. Here comes Realtek RTL8720DN.

Realtek RTL2720DN module, as a part of AmebaD family, comes with ARM Cortex-M4/M0 wireless MCU with support of 802.11 b/g/n Dual-Band Wi-Fi 2.4GHz / 5GHz and extra Bluetooth 5.0 wireless connectivity.

Realtek RTL8720DN Dual-Band WiFi & Bluetooth 5.0 module

Realtek RTL8720DN 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 supported
    • Bluetooth
      • Bluetooth 5.0 LE
      • Receiver Sensitivity: -92 dBm
      • Transmit Power: 7 dBm
    • Antenna – IPEX connector or PCB Antenna
  • I/O – 16x castellated holes with GPIO, 2x UART (AT commands + serial), ADC, I2C, SPI, 4x PWM, 3.3V, GND
  • Power Supply – 3.3±5% V
  • Dimensions – 24 x 16 x 3 mm
  • Temperature Range – Operating: -20°C to 85°C; storage: -40°C to 125°C
  • Relative Humidity – 10%~90% (non-condensing)
  • Certifications – FCC, CE, SRRC, RoHS

Source: https://www.cnx-software.com/2020/01/17/realtek-rtl8720dn-dual-band-wifi-bluetooth-5-0-iot-module/

Bluetooth 5.0 update for ESP32

The Espressif’s flagship ESP32 chip recently passed the SIG Bluetooth LE 5.0 certification. This confirms that the version of the protocol supported by the ESP32 microcontroller has been upgraded from Bluetooth LE 4.2 to Bluetooth LE 5.0, which is more stable and compatible.

The implementation and development of the Bluetooth LE (BLE) application requires not only a system that supports this function, but also an attached Bluetooth LE protocol stack consisting of a driver and a host.

Thanks to Bluetooth LE 5.0 certification, ESP32 SoC not only updates the system as a whole, but also adds new features that improve the latest software after passing more stringent tests than previous certification.

Industrial use of ESP32-based solutions

One of industrial IoT devices, supporting Espressif’s ESP32 technology is eModGATE from TECHBASE. Economical, ESP32-based solution can serve as an end-point in any installation or works well as a gateway, gathering data from scattered sensor mesh across the installation. For more information check Industrial IoT Shop with all the configuration options for eModGATE.

eModGATE with ESP32