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Tiny WiFi-loaded OpenWRT COM starts at $12

Mar 27, 2015 — by Eric Brown 21,650 views

[Updated Mar. 31] — OpenEmbed launched a 52 x 28mm “SOM9331” COM for IoT that runs OpenWRT Linux on a MIPS-based Atheros AR9331 SoC, and offers WiFi and extended temperatures.

Shenzhen OpenEmbed M&C Ltd (OpenEmbed) has introduced a tiny MIPS-based computer-on-module starting at $12 and aimed at home automation, wearables, medical devices, toys, and industrial router and sensor devices.

Arduino Yun

The SOM9331 COM follows in the path of several other embedded boards that run OpenWRT Linux on Qualcomm’s 400MHz, MIPS 24k-based Atheros AR9331 system-on-chip. These include:


Other tiny AR9331-based boards, from Smart Electronics (left), DPTechnics, and WeIO
(click images for details)

Unlike many of these AR9331-based boards, OpenEmbed’s SOM9331 is a pure COM, with not even a microSD slot available. Thanks to its 400MHz Atheros AR9331 SoC, the module features onboard WiFi, however, and’s available at a dirt cheap $12, in quantities of 100+, according to a company rep.

(click image to enlarge)

The module is equipped with 64MB DDR2 RAM, as well as 8MB SPI flash, expandable to 16MB. An Ethernet PHY with three lanes is available, along with interfaces expressed via three main connectors. These include USB, I2C, SPI, I2S, USART, S/PDIF, ANT, JTAG, and 20 GPIO lanes.

SOM9331 block diagram and schematic
(click images to enlarge)

The SOM9331 is available in versions that support 0 to 75℃ temperatures or a -25 to 75℃ range. All source code is provided with the OpenWRT Linux distribution.

Specifications listed for the SOM9331 include:

  • Processor — Qualcomm Atheros AR9331 (1x MIPs 24K core @ 400MHz)
  • Memory:
    • 64MB DDR2 RAM
    • 8MB SPI flash, expandable to 16MB
  • Wireless — 802.11b/g/n with security, routing/bridging support, and web config interface; optional antenna connector
  • Networking — 10/100 Ethernet PHY (3x “lanes”)
  • Other I/O (via connectors):
    • USB 2.0 host
    • I2C
    • USART
    • SPI
    • I2S
    • 20x GPIO
    • S/PDIF
    • ANT
    • JTAG
  • Other features — LEDs
  • Power — 3.3V supply ±10%@ 280-350 ma DC; built-in voltage regulator
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 75℃ or -25 to 75℃
  • Weight — 6.5 g
  • Dimensions — 52 x 28 x 2.8mm
  • Operating system — OpenWRT Linux

Further information

The SOM9331 module is available now. Pricing for single units is listed at $24 (with free shipping) at, and in quantities of 100+ it drops to $12 (plus feight) direct from OpenEmbed. More information may be found at OpenEmbed’s SOM9331 product page.

(advertise here)

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4 responses to “Tiny WiFi-loaded OpenWRT COM starts at $12”

  1. Steven says:

    checked the website and nowhere it said $12, it’s actually 100/6~=$16 with minimum order of 100, plus shipping, so it’s like $20-ish?

  2. TC says:

    There is a cheaper option produced by AsiaRF
    those could be had for 14$ including shipping
    sadly i cant find them anymore on Aliexpress

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