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Router board showcases up to octa-stream 802.11ax enabled Qualcomm SoC

Apr 30, 2021 — by Eric Brown 1,231 views

Wallys’ “DR8072A” router board features a 2.2GHz, quad -A53 Qualcomm IPQ8072A SoC equipped with dual-band, 4×4 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) for 8x streams at up to 2475 Mbps plus 4x GbE, 2x 2.5GbE, 2x USB 3.0, and mini-PCIe.

Wallys (or Wally’s) Communications manufactures router boards for Qualcomm’s growing roster of quad -A53 networking SoCs featuring 802.11b/g/n/ax (Wi-Fi 6). It latest DR8072A (HK09) board taps the Qualcomm IPQ8072A to deliver higher-bandwidth 802.11b/g/n/ax than is available on the earlier Qualcomm IPQ6000 (Networking Pro 400 Platform) family. Farther below, we also look at some other boards based on the IPQ8072A, including the Compex WPQ872 and WPQ873 and a UniElec WiFi 6 Router board

DR8072A, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

The IPQ8072A “Hawkeye” SoC is the lowest-end model in the Qualcomm Networking Pro 1200 Platform, which ranges up to a 12 spatial stream IPQ8078. The SoCs offer a faster 2.2GHz clock rate than the IPQ6000 series, which is found on Wallys boards such as the IPQ6010 based DR-6018-S, the IPQ6018 powered DR6018, and IPQ6000 based DR6000 mesh router.

The IPQ8072A supports 4×4 dual-band concurrent operation for up to 8x spatial 802.11b/g/n/ax streams (4×4 MU-MIMO 5GHz and 4×4 MU-MIMO 2.4GHz). The SoC features TX Beamforming and 17dBm per chain.


On the DR8072A, the IPQ8072A enables 1147 Mbps transfer rates at 2.4GHz and 2475 Mbps at 5GHz, which is much faster than with the IPQ6000 series. All the 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) products are faster than 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5) and they add concurrency support for simultaneous WiFi connections to multiple devices.

The DR8072A board provides “mobile access to high-bandwidth video streaming, voice, and data transmission for office and challenging RF environment in factories, warehouses establishment,” says Wallys. No OS is listed but Wallys has previously informed us its Qualcomm boards run OpenWrt and other Linux distributions.

DR8072A detail views (left) and Qualcomm IPQ8072A block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

The board is equipped with 512MB of 16-bit DDR4-2400 plus 8MB NOR and 256MB NAND flash. Major ports include 4x 1GbE, 2x 2.5GbE, and 2x USB 3.0. There are 8x U.FL antenna mounts to support the up to 8x WiFi connections. A mini-PCIe Gen3 slot is also available.

The DR8072A offers serial and JTAG connectors, 2x LEDs, a 12VDC input, and a software reset button. The board has a -20 to 70ºC operating range.

Compex WPQ872/WPQ873 and UniElec board

Compex has already released the WPQ872 and more feature rich WPQ873 Embedded Boards based on the same IPQ8072A SoC and Qualcomm APHK09 reference design as the DR8072A. (CNXSoft reported on the WPQ873 last September.)

Compex WPQ872 (left) and WPQ873
(click images to enlarge)

The WPQ873 ships with 512MB DDR4, 8MB NOR, and 256MB NAND. The board offers 3x GbE and single 2.5GbE and USB 3.0 ports plus 8x U.FL connectors and BT 5.0. There are mini-PCIe and M.2 B-key slots, with the latter tested with a Quectel RM500Q 5G cellular modem. The WPQ873 sells for $589 at Embedded Works and $820.60 at Arrow.

The earlier WPQ872, which sells for $599 at locations such as ReadyLink Systems, has single 1GbE, 2.5GbE, and USB 3.0 ports and a single mini-PCIe slot. RAM and flash allotments are the same.

UniElec WiFi 6 Router IPQ8072 detail view
(click image to enlarge)

There is also a UniElec board based on the IPQ8072A called the “WiFi 6 Router IPQ8072 Enterprise Wireless Dual band WIFI 802.11ax OpenWrt PCBA ODM OEM Board.” Selling for $899 at AliExpress, where we found the IPQ8072A block diagram shown above, the UniElec board offers 1GB DDR4, 8MB NOR, and 256MB NAND. You also get 8x 802.11ax connections, 4x GbE ports, 2x 10GbE SFP cages, and WAN and USB 3.0 ports. Other features include an M.2 slot for a 5G modem and a SIM card slot.

Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the DR8072A. More information may be found on Wallys’ product page.

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