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8devices Carambola 3 Wi-Fi Module Now Includes OpenWrt Upstream Support

Jun 12, 2024 — by Giorgio Mendoza 186 views

The Carambola 3 is a compact System on Module powered by the Qualcomm QCA4531 chipset, designed for a broad range of embedded applications including IoT, industrial automation, and smart home devices. This Wi-Fi module, which also has a compatible DVK, now benefits from OpenWrt support, as announced by 8devices.

The Carambola 3 offers robust connectivity options, supporting 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi standards at 2.4GHz with a data rate of up to 150 Mbps and an output power of 21 dBm per chain, ensuring strong and reliable wireless connections. It also provides flexibility in antenna configurations with a U.Fl connector and an external pin for attaching an external antenna, enhancing signal range and integrity.


Carambola3 Wi-Fi Module Block Module
(click image to enlarge)

In terms of memory and processing capabilities, the Carambola 3 is equipped with 32 MB of Flash and 128 MB of DDR2 RAM at 300 MHz, which supports smooth and efficient operation. The module is powered by a 650 MHz CPU, thanks to the QCA-4531 chipset, which marks a significant upgrade in processing power from its predecessor, enabling it to handle more complex tasks with ease.

Despite its robust features, the Carambola 3 maintains a compact form factor, measuring just 28 by 38 mm. The module includes a range of interfaces, such as a USB 2.0 host port, a serial port capable of 115200 Kbps, two 100 Mbps Ethernet ports, and 11 GPIOs, providing extensive connectivity options for a variety of peripherals and devices.

Carambola3 Wi-Fi Module Top View
(click image to enlarge)

Compared to the Carambola 2, the Carambola 3 introduces several enhancements. These include a 250 MHz faster CPU, which significantly improves the module’s ability to process and execute commands. Additionally, it comes with an expanded storage capacity, featuring 16 MB more flash and 64 MB more RAM, allowing it to handle larger datasets and more complex applications.

The RAM controller also operates at a faster speed, which enhances the module’s overall performance. Although it offers four fewer GPIOs than the Carambola 2, the advancements in processing power, memory, and connectivity largely compensate for this reduction.

Carambola3 Wi-Fi DVK
(click image to enlarge)

The Carambola3 DVK is an open-source development kit designed for this SoM. It features a 2.4 GHz chip antenna for wireless connectivity, dual Ethernet LAN ports, USB A and USB C sockets for peripheral and power connections, respectively. Additionally, it includes a hardware reset button and a programmable GPIO button for enhanced control. The board also provides a generous prototyping area with standard 2.54 mm pitch holes, facilitating easy modifications and expansions.

According to the 8devices announcement, Carambola 3 now enjoys enhanced OpenWrt support, offering expanded options and robust software and firmware support for developers. With this upstream support, the Carambola 3 benefits from more frequent security updates, the latest kernel updates, a broader range of software packages, and increased community support.

Carambola3 Wi-Fi DVK Ethernet Ports
(click image to enlarge)

This development is part of 8devices’ continued commitment to integrating OpenWrt across its product range, which already includes modules like the Carambola 2, Lima, Jalapeno, Habanero, Mango, and Rambutan. More details can be found on the OpenWrt GitHub repository.

Further Information

The Carambola3 DVK is currently available for $43.00, while the Carambola3 Wi-Fi module is priced at $27.00, and the industrial version, Carambola3-I, suitable for harsher temperatures ranging from -40 to 85 °C, is available for $29.00. Both modules are in stock and cater to different operational requirements, with the Carambola3 designed for commercial use in environments from 0 to 65 °C.

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One response to “8devices Carambola 3 Wi-Fi Module Now Includes OpenWrt Upstream Support”

  1. Matthias Urlichs says:

    “115200 Kbps”? That sounds suspiciously like you mean 115200 bps-no-K.

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