Surface-mount WiFi module for custom Apalis carrier board


I’m finalising the last few elements of my Apalis-based board design, and am currently investigating WiFi options. All 4 USB channels are accounted for, so I’m looking for a surface-mount module/solution. I’ve read through the various Toradex Developer Knowledge Base articles on this topic, and have read the datasheets for many of the recommended modules.

My question regards simplicity of implementation and runtime use. The LM816 for example is a plug ‘n’ play solution for Linux (I’ll most likely be using a Yocto-based Linux OS); is there a similar surface-mount module I could use? I have no need for additional GPIOs, ADCs, DACs, etc. as offered by many modules, nor do I have a need for different modes (AP mode, web server, etc.). I just want a means for connecting my Linux device to a WiFi network, with some sort of driver/API support to return the available SSIDs and provide a password for accessing a given SSID in runtime (i.e. not by flashing static config files to the module). Would the WM828CC6 be a logical option in this case, given it’s already implemented by Toradex in the Colibri iMX6ULL?

EDIT: I’ve just seen that the WM828CC6 has a -30-85 degree rating, whereas my device has an IT rating (-40-85). As such I’m looking at the u-blox ELLA-W131, which shows as supported and tested (under Linux) via the SDIO interface on this page. Would this module provide simple station-mode WiFi with c/c++ runtime SSID list and password capability?

There is a list of modules here:

We ended up using the u-blox ELLA-W1 series, which connects to SDIO socket and has decent temp range. We are using WEC7, so the mature driver support is important. I believe the Linux driver is also mature. They have a reference design/eval kit. We simply used the reference design and have had no issues.

Thanks for your input @kswain, I really appreciate it! Having conducted a considerable amount of research, I’m leaning heavily towards the ELLA-W1 series as well. I’ll review the reference design/evaluation kit, but the SDIO approach is certainly what I was expecting to use.

On the current version of the Colibri iMX6ULL, we use the Wi2Wi WM828CC6. On the upcoming Apalis iMX8, the Colibri iMX8X, as well as on the next revision of the Colibri iMX6ULL, we are going to switch to the Azurewave AW-CM276NF module. Unfortunately, also the AW-CM276NF is only rated for -30°C to 85°C. However, the Azurewave module is coming in the new M.2 1216 form factor which is adopted by many different Wi-Fi module manufacturer. This makes it easier to swap the wireless module with solutions from other manufacturer. For example, there is the almost identical SPB228 from H&D Wireless which is 100% pin compatible and rated for the full IT temperature rage of -40 to 85°C.

Another advantage of the AW-CM276NF and the SPB228 is that they can be strapped for using them with either the PCIe, USB, or SDIO interface. Some other M.2 1216 modules work only with some of these interface options. Both wireless modules are based on the Marvell 88W8997 chipset which has a relatively good support under Linux.

Thanks @peter.tx, really appreciate your input. You’ve given me a few great options to look at :slight_smile:

We had the same question regarding industrial temperature on the Colibri iMX6ULL. This answer helps us. We’re now investigating the SPB228 part from H&D Wireless. We contacted H&D Wireless for pricing & detailed technical info. Thanks!

hi @Jared

Could you ask a new question, please? Thanks.

I don’t have a question. I meant to say I had the same question as the original poster & the answer provided by Peter was a good answer. We’re now investigating SPB228 per Peter’s answer. Sorry for the confusion.

Ahh ok, Sorry for the misunderstanding. Thanks for the input.