Lets create the PineCom
(10-17-2020, 01:09 AM)tllim Wrote:
(10-16-2020, 08:29 AM)pinellama Wrote:
  • Should we use the same single band/11n/BT4 WiFi module in the PinePhone (for compatibility sake) or change it out for a dual band/11ac/BT5? As already mentioned, this is a big one. A dual band AC Wi-Fi module that supports AP mode, STA mode, monitor mode, and packet injection would be amazing.

Please advise a suitable Wifi/BT chip part number, currently select AP6256 which is the same chip use in Pinebook Pro.
While the AP6256 is a nice general-purpose part, I wonder how useful it's going to be for something like this. AFAICT (from spec sheets since I don't have one on hand...) it only does BDR/SDR, not BLE, and it doesn't look like it's designed for extremely low power consumption (though it also doesn't look to draw as much as many comparable parts).

If I was personally designing this for myself, I'd probably consider two chips to try to base a design around:

1) If robustness, performance, and versatility was the decided focus: Something like the u-blox JODY-W2 (the JODY-W3 supporting WiFi 6 is nice, but doesn't seem worthwhile for this) would be my choice. I've used various u-blox chips over the years and they *always* manage to just work, no matter how suboptimal the conditions. The JODY-W2 is rated for operation up to 105C (so leaving it in the sun shouldn't affect communications as much as with some other chips). The chipset also is designed for parallel high-performance use of WiFi (including WPA3, AP mode, STA mode, WiDi...), as opposed to mere "coexistence". Their Linux drivers have also always treated me well. Sadly, they don't have any combination communication + positioning modules in their lineup right now, I don't think. The drawback is the BOM cost. Sad https://www.u-blox.com/en/product/jody-w2-series

2) At the other end of the spectrum, favoring low power consumption and cost above all else, I'd choose the Jorjin WQ3132-00. It's an integrated Qualcomm-based solution and appears to be slightly more functional than the AP6256. I'd choose this even over the ultra-low-power Cypress parts, just because of past experiences and Cypress costing more. https://www.jorjin.com/products/wireless...wq3132-00/

That said, if the AP6256 is serving well in the Pinebook Pro, and economy of scale makes it the most sensible choice, it should definitely be considered. I just worry that without BLE, people will find the PineCom hobbled down the road as BLE opens lots of opportunity for a low power personal area network. I think the combination of LPWAN, AP mode, and BLE would make this a very compelling long-term product, especially at the targeted price point.

I'm quite sure @pinellama has feedback on these as well as many others, but I thought I'd toss my thoughts in the ring. Cool

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