Introduction to EMW Wifi Modules

EMW wifi modules are ones designed by MXCHIP. MXCHIP offers a wide product range that caters to different usage/purposes. Each of its wifi modules provides distinct unique propositions.

Some of its older modules date back to the early 2013s while others are recent releases. Different modules have different price tags, I’ll be providing comparisons on the low-cost and higher performance product lines.

In this comparison guide, I’ll be covering the following:

Low-cost EMW WiFi Modules:

Higher performance EMW WiFi Modules:

For Arduino WiFi Module Comparisons, you can head here

EMW3060: Lowest Price Tag

For $1.79, the EMW3060 wifi module integrates ARM9 main core, WLAN MAC/Baseband/RF. It supports a maximum frequency of 120MHz with 256KB SRAM and 2MB Flash.

Other Features include:

  • Input voltage: DC 3.3V
  • Working voltage: DC 3.0 – 3.6V
  • Maximum transmission rate up to 72.2 Mbps with 20MHz bandwidth
  • 802.11 b/g/n wifi support, HT-40
  • Optional PCB or IPX Antenna

Operating temperature:

  • -20℃ to +85℃

Software support:

  • Support Station, Soft AP, Station+Soft AP
  • Support EasyLink, Alink, Joinlink

Module Block Diagram: EMW3060 Hardware

Peripherals:

  • 2x UART
  • 2x I2C
  • 1x SPI
  • 1x SDIO
  • 1x JTAG

Applications:

  • Intelligent lighting
  • Intelligent Transportation
  • Smart Home Application
  • Industrial automation
  • Intelligent security

EMW110: Small form factor with better software support

Similarly to the EMW3060, this is a low-cost option for consideration. It’s integrated with ARM9 and supports a maximum frequency of 120MHz with 256KB SRAM and 2MB Flash.

Features:

  • Operating voltage: 3V – 3.6V
  • 802.11 b/g/n WiFi support
  • Operating temperature: -20°C ~ 70°C

Software support:

  • WiFi mode: Station, SoftAP, SoftAP + Station
  • Encyption: WPA/WPA2/WEP/TKIP/AES
  • Firmware programming: SPI/UART/OTA/
  • Software development: AT command Develop by SDK
  • Network protocol: IPv4/IPv6,TCP/UDP/HTTP/FTP/HTTPS/SSL/MQTT
  • IoT Cloud support: Aliyun, Amazon, JD, Suning, Huawei, Microsoft

Peripherals:

  • UART×2
  • SPI×1
  • USB×1
  • ADC×1

Application:

  • Intelligent lighting
  • Intelligent Transportation
  • Smart Home Application
  • Industrial automation
  • Intelligent Security

EMW5080: The upgrade from EMW3080

For $3.49, the EMW5080 provides support for a higher transmission rate of up to 150 Mbps with 40 MHz bandwidth. It’s packed with CM46 main core, and integrated ARMCM4F, WLAN MAC/Baseband/RF.

The EMW5080 shares similar WiFi features with the EM3060; both supporting:

  • 802.11 b/g/n, HT-40
  • Support Station, Soft AP, Station + Soft AP
  • Support EasyLink, Alink, Joinlink

Other features:

  • ARM CM4F CPU with 62.5MHz maximum frequency, 256KB SRAM, and 2M flash
  • Input voltage: DC 4.5 – 5.5V
  • Working voltage: DC 5V
  • Optional PCB or IPX Antenna option
  • Operating temperature: -20℃ to +85℃

Software Support:

  • Support 802.11 b/g/n
  • Support Station, Soft AP, Station + Soft AP
  • Support EasyLink, Alink, Joinlink

Module Block Diagram: EMW5060 Hardware

Peripherals:

  • 1x HS UART

Product Applications:

  • Intelligent lighting
  • Intelligent transportation
  • Smart Home application
  • Industrial automation
  • Intelligent security

Which is the best low-cost EMW module?

All three EMW modules share similar WiFi features and applicational purposes but can be compared based on other factors.

Smallest Form Factor:

EM110, with its 18mm x 20mm x 3mm

Best software support system:

EM110, it provides IoT cloud support for Aliyun, Amazon, JD, Suning, Huawei, Microsoft

Highest power consumed:

EMW5080, it requires a higher working voltage, which results in higher power consumption despite only running at a normal state. Normal running mode at 5V results in 207mA consumed.

Best Performance:

EMW5080, the inclusion of UART allows for a higher maximum transmission rate of up to 150 Mbps with 40 MHz bandwidth.

Verdict: EM110. Overall, for $2.39, you’re getting a wider variety of software support and incremental hardware upgrade from EMW3060. It’s a better cost-effective option among them all.


Higher performing EMW WiFi Modules

If you’re looking for better performance and don’t mind the higher cost, this section is for you.

EMW3162: Includes Integrated microcontroller technology

Designed by MXChip back in 2013, this ultra-low-power wireless LAN module combines the latest Wi-Fi and microcontroller technology.

The integration of Cortex-M3 microcontroller STM32F205RG, 1M byte of flash, 128k bytes of SRAM and MxchipWnet firmware allow for extended functionality of the EMW3162

Users can use the MxchipWnet software library for direct development on a variety of embedded WiFi module applications as well.

Module Block Diagram: EMW3162 Hardware

For a further breakdown of the board, you can refer to the above diagram

Peripherals:

  • 32x GPIOs
  • 2x UARTs, includes hardware flow control
  • 1x SPI/I2S
  • 8x ADC input channels, 2 DAC output channel
  • 1x USB OTG, 2x CAN
  • 1x I2C
  • PWN/Timer input/output available on every GPIO pin
  • SWD debug interface

Other Features:

  • EasyLink a key configuration
  • Single operation voltage: 3.3V
  • Ultra-low power consumption
    • 7mA when the module is connected but not data is transmitting
    • 24mA while sending data under 20kpbs
    • 8μA when the module is in standby mode
  • Seamless roaming switch
  • Built-in real-time operating system

Applications:

  • Building automation/Access Control
  • Smart home appliances
  • Medical/Health Care
  • Industrial Automation Systems
  • Point of Sale system (POS)
  • Auto electronics

EMW3239: The option that includes Bluetooth

If you’re looking for a WiFi module that’s Bluetooth compatible, the EMW3239 provides dual-mode Bluetooth + WiFi combo, with the integration of Cortex-M4 MCU.

WiFi Features:

  • Support 2.4GHz WLAN IEEE 802.11 b/g/n
  • Support station and soft P mode
  • Baud Rate: 921,600

Bluetooth Features:

  • Classic and low power Bluetooth modes (dual mode)
  • Support for Bluetooth 4.1
  • Onboard PCB Antenna

Other Features:

  • 256KB SRAM, 1MB on-chip Flash, and 2MB off-chip SPI Flash
  • Operating voltage: DC 2.66V – 3.6V
  • Single operation voltage: 3.3V
  • Low noise amplifier

Module Block Diagram: EMW3239 Hardware

Peripherals:

  • 1x I2C
  • 2x USART
  • SPI/I2S
  • CAN
  • Up to 30 GPIOs with hardware interruption
  • 12-bit, 2.4MSPS ADC
  • Serial wire debug (SWD) & JTAG

Applications:

  • Smart Energy
  • Smart Security
  • Smart Security
  • Industrial Automation
  • Healthcare Devices
  • Instruments and Meters
  • Home Automation
  • Smart Transportation
  • Smart Lighting

Which is the better higher-performing EMW WiFi module?

Power consumption:

EMW3162 wins. Based on power alone, the EMW3162 ultra-low power consumption is unmatched, with standby mode only consuming 8uA instead of EMW3239 19.91uA.

WiFi Performance:

EMW3239 wins. Higher Baud Rate (921600) results in faster transmission speed. Its low noise amplifier helps in receiving better frequencies as well.

Verdict: EMW3239. For a price difference of less than $3, you’re getting a much complete package with the additional Bluetooth support and better WiFi performance.

Summary

Best EMW low-cost wifi module: EM110

Best EMW higher performance wifi module: EM3239

With that said, there are still other WiFi modules in the market for consideration but I hope that this article helped make your purchase decision a whole lot easier if you’re on a lookout for one!

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