Wemos has designed some great WiFi IoT boards over the last few years with products like Wemos D1 mini or Lolin32 based on Espressif Systems ESP8266 and ESP32 processors respectively.But recently launched its cheapest board ever, with W600-PICO board going for just $2.10 + shipping. The board is based on Winner Micro W600 Arm Cortex-M3 WiSoC, and comes pre-loaded with MicroPython firmware. It is similar in capabilities to the ESP32 from Espressif Systems.
We first met the WinnerMicro W600 back in late 2018 when Seeed Studio released their Air602 WiFi Module. Three more boards from Seeed followed, along with yet another board that used the Feather form factor. But none of them really let you get your hands dirty with the W600 directly.
W600 could well be a competitor for the ESP8266, the chip has proved somewhat of a disappointment. Unlike the ESP8266, which was quickly picked up by the community, the W600 has stayed as designed—and has been used only as a Wi-Fi-to-Serial bridge—at least, until now.
New W600-PICO from Wemos, which comes pre-loaded with a MicroPython firmware onboard and Wemos has set-up a Wiki for the board explaining how to flash the board, and get started with networking, I/Os, RTC, and timers. Users who purchased the board on Aliexpress appear to be satisfied, and one mentions “Micropython works immediately”. Checkout this for Get started with MicroPython [W600 series].
Wemos W600-PICO V1.0.0 specifications
- SoC – Winner Micro W600 Arm Cortex-M3 MCU @ 80MHz with 1MB Flash
- Wireless Connectivity – 2.4GHz 802.11 b/g/n WiFi 4 up to 150 Mbps
- USB – 1x Micro USB port for power and programming (via CH340 USB to TTL chip)
- Expansion – 2x 10-pin headers with 15x GPIO, 9x PWM, 1x I2C, 1x SPI, 1x UART, Wake Up, Reset, 5V, 3.3V, and GND signals; 3.3V I/O voltage.
- Misc – Reset button
- Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port
- Dimensions – 33×20.3mm
- Weight – 3 grams
The chip has dual UARTs, I2C, SPI and I2S interfaces, as well as an RTC and hardware cryptography support.
The real sticking point with previous W600-based boards has been the toolchain. However this new board, which runs MicroPython out of the box, doesn’t have that problem, and it also has a price point to match the Espressif-based boards on the market. The W600 is also built around an Arm core, rather than the Xtensa core of the ESP8266, which depending on your use case could prove to be a serious advantage.
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