GTA04b7/Neo900

Issue 546: Candidates for WLAN/BT/FM/NFC module

Reported by Nikolaus Schaller, Jan 6, 2014

We need some WLAN/BT chip or module which optimally would also 
provide FM radio and NFC (although those can be implemented 
separately).

Optimally we should support the latest and fastest standards. On a 
single combined WLAN/BT antenna (which already exists in the N900 
case).

But we can also add a chip antenna to the PCB.
Interfaces should be SDIO (for WLAN), UART (for BT).

Please help to identify candidates by writing:

Part Number: 
Manufacturer: 
Features: 
Dimensions:   a x b mm
Where we can buy samples: 
Price per Chip (estimate): 
Linux drivers: 
Other comments:

Comment 1 by Nikolaus Schaller, Jan 6, 2014

Part Number: W2CBW003
Manufacturer: Wi2Wi
Features: 802.11b/g + BT 2.0
Dimensions:   12x12x1.6 mm
Where we can buy samples: Mouser, Avnet 
Price per Chip (estimate): 25 €
Linux drivers: Libertas / Marvell 8686
Other comments: used in the GTA04

Comment 2 by Nikolaus Schaller, Jan 6, 2014

Part Number: TiWi5 / 450-0053
Manufacturer: LS Research
Features: IEEE 802.11 a,b,g,n,d,e,i, compliant, Bluetooth 1.1, 1.2, 
2.0+EDR and 2.1+EDR 3.0 and 4.0, BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) and ANT, 
Power Class 1.5
Dimensions: 18 mm x 13 mm x 1.9mm
Where we can buy samples: Mouser
Price per Chip (estimate): 29 €
Linux drivers: ?
Other comments: TI WL1273L

Comment 3 by Nikolaus Schaller, Jan 6, 2014

Labels: Priority:High Priority:Critical
Summary: Candidates for WLAN/BT/FM/NFC module

Comment 4 by Joerg Reisenweber, Jan 6, 2014

for TI WL1251/WL1253 we have driver wl12xx in maemo fremantle 
already, incl a FOSS version to support monitormode/injection. 
Schould be easy to port to WL1271, if and porting needed at all.
"maemo6" Harmattan (N9) iirc has WL1271.

so the TiWi5 sounds pretty good, regarding compatibility. Also 
powersaving is guaranteed to work on SoC/system level since it's 
already verified in N900/N9

Comment 5 by Joerg Reisenweber, Jan 7, 2014

Also comes with FM-RX:
http://www.lsr.com/ProductsWiki/tabid/163/loc/TopicHistory/ShowHistor
y/298/Default.aspx?topic=TiWi-R2%2C+TiWi-BLE%2C+TiWi5 
(scroll down to "FAQ  1)How do I use the FM Radio on the TiWi 
Module?")
http://processors.wiki.ti.com/index.php/OMAP35x_Wireless_Connectivity
_Solution_Hardware#FM_Interface
http://www.lsr.com/products-wiki?topic=TiWi+Module+Evaluation+on+the+
Pandaboard

N9 Harmattan using this FM feature of "BOB" chip which is 
wl1271/3 (See N9 schematics page 7) - so driver integration / 
backporting from Harmattan to Fremantle shouldn't be too hard.

Comment 6 by Joerg Reisenweber, Jan 7, 2014

s;FM-RX;FM-RX/TX;

Comment 8 by Nikolaus Schaller, Jan 15, 2014

JorJin finally has a new (and better) home page. Their current WiFi 
modules are here:

http://www.jorjin.com.tw/#!wireless/c72v

The best matching WiLink6 module appear to be:

* WG7311-0A (WLAN/BT/FM)

For WiLink 8 a feature list of the chipsets can be found here:

http://www.multivu.com/mnr/54040-texas-instruments-ti-wilink8-5-in-1-
wireless-connectivity-next-gen-mobile

So the best matching modules might be:

* WG7831-D0 (802.11b/g/n, BT, FM)
* WG7833-D0 (802.11a/b/g/n, BT, FM)
* WG7837-D0 (802.11a/b/g/n MIMO, BT, FM)

They may be available in samples. Status of Linux driver is unknown.

A distributor (not listed there but I know them) is located in 
Munich.

Comment 9 by Nikolaus Schaller, Jan 15, 2014

I forgot to mention:

Part Number: WG7***
Manufacturer: JorJin
Features: 802.11b/g/n (a,MIMO), BT 4.0 LE, FM
Dimensions:   ca. 10-12 mm-sq x 1.6mm
Where we can buy samples: distributor in Munich
Price per Chip (estimate): ?
Linux drivers: ?
Other comments: OpenPandora uses an older WLAN module from them

Comment 10 by Nikolaus Schaller, Jan 16, 2014

I forgot WG7351 as a good candidate:

http://www.jorjin.com.tw/#!wg7351-00/c1dnh

Comment 11 by Nikolaus Schaller, Mar 1, 2014

Part Number: RS9113
Manufacturer: RedPine Signals
Features: 802.11b/g/n + BT 4.0 + Zigbee
Dimensions: ca. 14x15x2mm
Where we can buy samples: Mouser, Ineltek
Price per Chip/Module (estimate): 25 EUR
Linux drivers: yes
Other comments: appears that we can use USB2.0 to interface it 
(instead of SDIO)
http://www.redpinesignals.com/Technologies_&_Chipsets/Chipsets/RS
9117.php

Comment 12 by Kuper, Mar 27, 2014

> We need some WLAN/BT chip or module which optimally would
> also provide FM radio and NFC [and] support the latest and
> fastest standards.

Even more optimally than FM/NFC/bells/whistles: it should have free 
firmware.

Comment 13 by Nikolaus Schaller, Mar 29, 2014

@Kuper: please suggest a solution - not a requirement

Comment 14 by Linus Lüssing, Apr 30, 2014

Here are a few suggestions from Qualcomm Atheros / Atheros based 
chips. The great advantage: Completetly free drivers with supportive 
and active developers.

I personally find 5GHz wifi mandatory, too, as you cannot have 
reliable VoIP over 2.4GHz these days.

---

802.11n chips with BT from Atheros:

Part Number: AR9462
Manufacturer: Atheros
Features: 802.11abgn, 2x2:2, BT 4.0/LE
Dimensions: 10mm x 10mm
Where we can buy samples: ?
Price per Chip (estimate): ?
Linux drivers: ath9k
Other comments:
-> https://wikidevi.com/wiki/Atheros_AR5B22
-> 
https://www.qca.qualcomm.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/AR9462.pdf

---

802.11ac chips with BT from Qualcomm Atheros:

Part Number: WCN3680
Manufacturer: Qualcomm Atheros
Features: 802.11abgn+ac, 1x1:1, BT 4.0, FM
Dimensions: ?
Where we can buy samples: ?
Price per Chip (estimate): ?
Linux drivers: maybe ath10k?
Other comments: used by Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3
-> https://wikidevi.com/wiki/Samsung_Galaxy_Mega_6.3_(GT-I9205)

Part Number: QCA9862
Manufacturer: Qualcomm Atheros
Features: 802.11abgn+ac, 3x3:3, BT 4.0/LE
Dimensions: ?
Where we can buy samples: ?
Price per Chip (estimate): ?
Linux drivers: probably ath10k?
Other comments: 

Part Number: QCA9860
Manufacturer: Qualcomm Atheros
Features: 802.11abgn+ac, 3x3:3, BT 4.0/LE
Dimensions: ?
Where we can buy samples: ?
Price per Chip (estimate): ?
Linux drivers: probably ath10k?
Other comments: 

More:
-> https://wikidevi.com/wiki/Qualcomm_Atheros
-> 
http://www.qualcomm.com/media/releases/2012/02/23/qualcomm-atheros-la
unches-80211ac-product-ecosystem-provide-end-end

Comment 15 by Linus Lüssing, Apr 30, 2014

Woops, copy&paste error. QCA9862 is 2x2:2, not 3x3:3.

Comment 16 by Joerg Reisenweber, Apr 30, 2014

re: #8 http://projects.goldelico.com/p/neo900/issues/546/#ic1641

http://www.jorjin.com.tw/#!wg7831-d0/cxrp   WG7831-D0 
http://media.wix.com/ugd/0482ec_46d9486932f846829e0f9419495a7bdc.pdf
Doesn't mention any FM. 
We already seen from other modules that those functions might not be 
supported on module level despite chipset is supposed to provide 
them


re: #10 http://projects.goldelico.com/p/neo900/issues/546/#ic1643

http://www.jorjin.com.tw/#!wg7351-00/c1dnh   WG7351-00 
is another module based on WL1273, so yes, seems fine. Firmware can 
get "borrowed" at harmattan of not provided by TI/Jorjin, 
injection-driver patches as well as "normal" drivers from 
maemo/meego kernel should work 

Sidenote; we can't use MiMo, wouldn't know where to place antennas

Comment 17 by Joerg Reisenweber, Apr 30, 2014

re: #14 http://projects.goldelico.com/p/neo900/issues/546/#ic1809

the Qualcom/Atheros are chips, no modules. Thus the 10*10 are 
already quite large.
Nice part: AR9462  seems to offer USB2.0 interface. SDIO interface 
unclear, instead it offers PCIe, it#s clearly a chip for laptops, 
not embedded.

We need a chip (raher: module) for embedded, with HardMAC and 
(originat ticket text) "Interfaces should be SDIO (for WLAN), 
UART (for BT)."

Comment 18 by Linus Lüssing, Apr 30, 2014

WCN3680 has various HardMAC features:

http://wireless.kernel.org/en/users/Drivers/wcn36xx

Okay, and it uses the pretty new, mac80211 based, now upstream 
wcn36xx driver, not ath10k. Unfortunately, it looks like its 
firmware is not free...

And it's used by various smartphones already. So it looks like a 
chip for smartphones to me.

Comment 19 by Werner Almesberger, May 27, 2016

Note: section 5.22.2 of WL18x7MOD data sheet SWRS170H warn that 
"The correct power-up and shut-down sequences must be followed 
to avoid damage to the device."

http://www.ti.com/lit/ds/symlink/wl1837mod.pdf

Note 4 on figure 5-2 then proceeds by requiring that EN be 
deasserted 10 us before VBAT or VIO drop.

The "WL18xx Module Hardware Integration Guide" SWRU437 
repeats warning and requirement in its section 4.2.

http://www.ti.com.cn/cn/lit/ug/swru437/swru437.pdf

I suspect this could be something similar to the power sequencing 
issue we once experienced in Milkymist, where Flash remained 
operational while the FPGA's power rails were decaying. This 
resulted in Flash corruption frequent enough to be a nuisance yet 
rare enough to be rather hard to find and characterize. There, we 
solved this by adding a reset generator to a "parent" 
rail, thus resetting everything before crossing minimum input 
voltages of the respective regulators.

Comment 20 by Werner Almesberger, May 27, 2016

Addendum: Joerg suggests to use a system-wide SHUTDOWN_PENDING 
signal derived from VSYS (Neo900.VSYS == WL1837.VBAT), further 
details of SHUTDOWN_PENDING to be defined.

Created: 3 years 9 months ago by Nikolaus Schaller

Updated: 1 year 4 months ago

Status: New

Followed by: 3 persons

Labels:
Type:Enhancement
Affects:Both boards
Priority:High