IoTFi 2G/4G development board integrates Raspberry Pi RP2040 and ESP32 microcontrollers

June 10, 2022 — by Giorgio Mendoza



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The IoTFi is a development board designed for embedded applications requiring 2G or 4G support. The device combines the RP2040 chip to handle user applications and the ESP32 for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. The 2G model starts at ~$47 and the 4G variant ships for $114. The IoTFi was recently launched on Kickstarter and it has already reached its funding goal.

As mentioned earlier, the RP2040 consists of two Arm Cortex-M0+ processors (up to 133 MHz) and the ESP32-C3-32S with a 32-bit RISC-V single-core processor (up to 160 MHz) . The ESP32-C3-32S also supports Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n (up to 150 Mbps, data in 1T1R mode). The ESP32-C3-32S datasheet mentions that the chip supports BLE 5.0 (125Kbps – 2Mbps), however, the Kickstarter page states that the IotFi card has Bluetooth 2.0 built-in.


IoTFi frontends
(Click on the image to enlarge)

2G connectivity is achieved through the SIM868 module (up to 85.6 Kbps), while 4G is achieved with the SIM7600G module (up to 10 Mbps). The SIM868 supports GPS, GLONASS and BeiDou Satellite Navigation (GNSS). Unlike the SIM868, the SIM868 supports GNSS as well as multi-band LTE/GNS. Both chips come in a The LCC + LGA package and both are produced by SimCom Wireless.


IoTFi rear interfaces
(Click on the image to enlarge)

Other features include a 1.14″ LCD, IPEX/U.FL antenna connectors, accelerometer module, 3.5mm audio jack, and Type-C connector used for data transfer and food.

IdOFi Demo
(Click on images to enlarge)

IoTFi supports popular embedded programming languages ​​such as C/C++, Python and Arduino. The Kickstarter page mentions that there will be a Github repository and a Wiki for documentation, although it doesn’t appear to be available as of the publication date.

Specs listed for IoTFi include:

  • Processor system:
    • RP2040 – Dual Cortex M0+ processor (up to 133 MHz)
    • ESP-C3-32S – 32-bit RISC-V single-core processor (up to 160 MHz)
      • 400 KB SRAM, 384 KB ROM, 8 KB RTC SRAM
  • Memory storage
    • RP2040
    • ESP-C3-32S
      • 400 KB SRAM, 384 KB ROM, 8 KB RTC SRAM
  • Display:
    • 1.14 inch LCD screen (135 x 240 pixels)
  • Connectivity:
    • Wi-Fi/Bluetooth 2.0 via ESP32 SoC
    • 2G using SIM868 module
    • 4G using SIM7600G module
  • USB:
  • Other Features:
    • 1x SD slot
    • 1x micro Sim slot
    • 1x GSM antenna
    • 1x GPS antenna
    • 1x accelerometer
    • 3.5mm audio jack
  • Dimensions:
    • 80 x 60 mm (2G variant)
    • 100 x 70 mm (4G variant)

More information

The IoTFi is available on Kickstarter. The 2G variant costs around $47 and the 4G variant costs around $114. The boards are expected to ship around August 2022. The developer has more deals depending on the quantity ordered. For more information, refer to Arushi’s Kickstarter project.

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