Internet of Things (IoT) is recognized as the future of consumer, medical, industrial, as well as automotive electronics. Ability of various devices to interconnect via Internet (mostly wireless) is crucial for cloud-based systems in many fields of modern life. One of the most interesting products intended to use in IoT applications are Onion Omega 2S and Onion Omega 2S+ SoMs (System-on-Module). It’s a highly-efficient, compact and easy to use minicomputer with high-performance CPU, built-in RAM and FLASH memories and of course dual-mode 2.4 GHz 802.11 b/g/n WiFi module. All of the features enable you to create sophisticated, smart devices greatly fitting to almost every IoT needs. Along with main computing modules you can also find a wide range of compatible accessories and evaluation boards so making your own Onion-based is greatly simplified and the time-to-market is seriously shorted in commercial applications. In Botland store you can buy all of the most useful expansion boards for Onion IoT modules.
Like in any other IoT platform, Onion IoT engineers emphasize the connectivity functionality of their modules. The most important element of Omega 2S and Omega 2s+ SoMs that allows interfacing with external devices, networks and servers is dual-mode embedded WiFi module supporting 802.11 b/g/n. The „dual mode” feature means that the minicomputer can simultaneously act as WiFi access point (so it creates it’s own network like a regular Internet router) and connect with existing WiFi network like other machines (computers, mobile devices and of course other IoT devices). This mode of operation becomes crucial in more advanced designs and can be efficiently used in smart sensor networks, home and commercial bulding automation systems and other.
Onion Omega 2S and Omega 2S+ modules also have a bunch of serial interfaces allowing easy and stable connection with local microcontroller of the target device. A lot of digital input/output pins are located on three edges of the PCB and allow external access to basic serial peripherals (such as 3 USARTs, SPI, I2C and I2S), as well as high performance interfaces llike USB, PCIe and wired Ethernet. Some of the pins can also be configured as regular GPIO lines (up to 46 pcs) and the remaining act as power supply lines, system reset or even RF front-end connection (for use with external antenna).
Onion IoT modules are based on high-performance MediaTek MT7688 SoC. The chip integrates MIPS24KEc 580 MHz application processor with 64 kB of I-Cache and 32 kB of D-Cache memories, supporting up to 256 MB of external 16-bit DDR1 and DDR2 RAM and running at up to 193 MHz clock frequency. It also contains high-speed, 150 Mbps 1T1R 2.4 GHz WiFi PHY which can work with legacy 802.11b/g and HT 802.11n protocols. If your application should support wired Ethernet, you can also use integrated 10/100 FE PHY (only a few external components are needed to run Onion IoT module with this feature). The SoC can of course support external Flash storage memory (up to 512 MBit) via high-speed SPI interface. All of these features are implemented in Onion IoT modules, so when you choose one of these modules for your application, you can benefit from ready-to-use System-on-module, that needs only a few external components and power supply to run even more advanced IoT applications.
Unlike the SoM modules described earlier, other members of the Onion IoT family do not require soldering on the target device board. Onion Omega2 and Onion Omega2+ can be easily fit into properly design slot made from two 2mm pitch female headers. This is a very efficient way for developers who can benefit from dedicated development modules and expansion boards. Also the presence of bulit-in SMT chip antenna greatly simplifies overall design and reduces development time and cost. Of course, you can also use an external antenna with u.FL connector to reach higher link budget and increase wireless range. In Botland you can find a lot of great expansion modules for Onion Omega2/2+ that act similar as shields for Arduino or Hats for Raspberry Pi.