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Replacing the ST WiFi Modules


#1

ST Microelectronics has marked its Wi-Fi modules as end-of-life. Unfortunately, these are the Wi-Fi modules we have used on the FEZ, UC2550, and UC5550.

Per our longevity policy, we will continue to make the products in question available for as long as we are able to source the Wi-Fi module. We are already working on updating our products with a new Wi-Fi module. We hope to be able to create an update that is drop-in compatible.

This is one of the many benefits of utilizing SoMs from GHI Electronics. Once a component becomes unavailable, we find and integrate a replacement. In many cases, like changing the SDRAM, the change has no impact on you (the SoM users), especially when using TinyCLR OS. However, Wi-Fi modules generally do not share a common API or hardware interface, so minor changes are often needed in the application.

The current UCM modules without Wi-Fi are still a great way to start with TinyCLR OS and the Universal Compute Module Standard. They are production ready and backed by our longevity policy. If Wi-Fi is needed, the current modules remain a good place to evaluate Wi-Fi while we investigate a replacement. The switch to the updated modules will be a simple “click” to swap out the old module with the new! This is what the UCM Standard is all about: just remove the old SoM and plug in the new one.

We will continue to do basic software updates for the SPWF04 drivers, but there will be no major updates forthcoming – particularly considering that the underlying firmware on the Wi-Fi modules remains incomplete and buggy. Our Wi-Fi efforts will instead be focused on the new replacement. The TinyCLR driver for the SPWF04 is open source on GitHub. It is available for those interested in updating the drivers themselves and it is also a good reference driver for those integrating their own Wi-Fi modules in their designs.


#2

may e a stupid idea but is there any possibilty to have on top of the current board the UCM5550 dev board / fez with a mikroe socket.
this way we can use any of the wifi module they provide.
they already have release tons of wifi modules
just my 2 cents


#3

You can very easily add the, or whatever WiFi option you like, on your own PCB and use any of our modules. WiFi was added as further convenience to our customers but they can certainly add WiFi themselves.

This is not any different from if you want to add Bluetooth, mobile, zigbee, thread, or whatever wireless technology :nerd_face: they all work through SPI or uart.


#4

you are right, it is effectively easy too add whatever you want as you have shield available for the Fez (and I took the wifi option for both Fez and UC5550 because it is effectively more convenient.)
For the UC5550, you have slot where you can plug your own pcb as long as you have the material to do it.
not all hobbyist have it. (but I know that hobbyist are not your primary target and want to thank GHI for giving access to TinyClr to everyone…).