Seeed Studio launched its Air 602 module in October last year and it was the first ESP competitor that retailed cheaper than the Espressif ESP8266 and ESP32 modules. Due to the lack of FCC certification for the Air 602 modules, integrating the module into a product seemed problematic. However, Seeed Studio announced early this year a new module, and two new development boards, designed based on the same chip as the Air 602 modules. The new boards are modeled around the same WinnerMicro W600 which features an Arm Cortex-M3 with 1MB of Flash on-chip with 2.4GHz support.
The new W600 wireless module is an FCC and CE pre-certified Wi-Fi module. The module has an on-module antenna and is mostly just an RF shield on a PCB. One of the two new boards is the Grove W600, which is powered by the W600 module, and it allows you to add Wi-Fi support to devices via serial UART using Seeed’s Grove System. It features a number of additional pins than those available in the Air 602 development board. The second board is a more conventional W600 Development Board, which breaks out all of the pins available by the W600.
The board has four Grove System connectors, as well as a LiPo battery connector. It isn’t expected to ship until sometime during the second quarter of the year. Significantly, the board will ship with support for both the Arduino development environment and MicroPython. The documentation on the W600 is sparse, and the documentation that is available is mostly in Chinese. At the moment, the board functions as a serial to W-Fi bridge and its functionality doesn’t go beyond that, but the incorporation of Arduino and MicroPython support will address that.
The W600 chip at the center of these modules features an Arm processor. This makes it interesting for those experimenting with machine learning on the edge, and for those building the Internet of Things. The W600 wireless module and the W600 Grove Module are available from Seeed Studio. You can pre-order the castellated wireless module, priced at $3.79 per unit, including shipping, as well the W600 Grove Module for $7.49 per unit plus shipping. The estimated availability date of both modules is May 22nd-23rd.