Top WiFi Boards for Commercial Connected Products

When building commercial IoT products, selecting the right hardware is crucial for success. Manufacturers need to consider a variety of factors when selecting a board or MCU, such as processing power, connectivity options, security features, and sensor capabilities. However, selecting the right hardware is just the first step.

One of the most important criteria for manufacturers is simplicity in building a software infrastructure that will connect the device to the cloud and create an app for the end-users to control the smart device. Additionally, they will need to implement important business functions like claiming the device by an end-user or updating the firmware over the air.

The easiest way would be integration with a no-code IoT platform like Blynk, that can cover most of the software needs and save time and costs on building a comprehensive solution. 

In this article we will focus on boards supported by Blynk.Edgent, which offers seamless integration and include important functionality such as WiFi provisioning, OTA firmware updates, and easy device activation flow out-of-the-box and therefore work best for the mass production.

Now let's move on to discussing the top WiFi boards for commercial IoT products. When it comes to top WiFi boards for commercial IoT products, several options stand out. 

ESP32 - M5Stack Core2

The M5Stack Core2 is an all-in-one development platform designed for various IoT applications. It offers a comprehensive set of built-in modules and accessories, ensuring versatility and convenience. It has dual-core processing and 16M Flash,8M PSRAM, making it ideal for more complex projects. The board is equipped with a 6-Axis IMU Unit (3-axis gravity accelerometer and 3-axis gyroscope), which can calculate tilt angle and acceleration in real time. Additionally, it features a 2-inch color LCD touch screen that provides visual feedback and serves as a user interface. With built-in WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, the Core2 board allows for seamless wireless communication. Moreover, the Core2 includes practical accessories such as buttons, a speaker, microphones, an SD card slot, and a built-in battery. A wide selection of additional modules, known as M5Modules, can be stacked on top of the board to introduce functionalities like GPS, cameras, environmental sensors, RFID, and more.

This board can be connected to Blynk in minutes with the pre-configured example for Platformio or Arduino IDE that includes connectivity setup, WIFI provisioning, FOTA updates and some basic M5Stack Core2 functionality support out of the box. Next steps will include adding the specific business functionality you envision for your product. With just a little tweak you can connect any other ESP-32 board using the same example.

CC3220 SimpleLink™ - TI CC3220 LaunchPad

A whole range of great development boards based on a powerful CC3220 MCU by Texas Instruments is designed specifically for IoT applications. The MCU features WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, a Cortex-M4 core with 256KB of RAM and a hardware crypto engine for enhanced security. This hardware is perfect for enterprise-level projects that require a high level of security and processing power, as well as a range of sensors for data collection.

The TI CC3220 LaunchPad is a development board that is ideal for testing and prototyping with the CC3220. A one-time integration of the SimpleLink platform enables you to add any combination of the portfolio’s devices into your design, allowing 100 percent code reuse when your design requirements change. It also makes it easy to use with Blynk opening a way to connect not only TI CC3220 LaunchPad but also CC3220SF-LAUNCHXL, CC3220S-LAUNCHXL, CC3220MODASF, CC3220MODASx or similar. 

Contact us for commercial implementations on this hardware.

ESP32 - Adafruit HUZZAH32 Feather

The Adafruit HUZZAH32 Feather is part of the Feather ecosystem and offers compatibility with a wide range of FeatherWings. This feature allows for numerous expansion options to add up additional sensors, connectivity modules and motors and actuators, making it a versatile choice for IoT projects. You can choose to also add optional Lithium ion polymer batteries of various capacities.

Within minutes, you can establish a seamless connection between this board and Blynk by utilizing the pre-configured example (Platformio or Arduino IDE). This example streamlines the entire process, providing all the necessary components such as connectivity setup, WIFI provisioning, FOTA updates right out of the box and continue prototyping adding specific business functionality you require for your product.

ESP8266 - WittyCloud

ESP8266 is a popular choice for IoT projects due to its low cost and built-in WiFi connectivity. The WittyCloud board is based on the ESP8266 and features a small form factor, making it ideal for projects where space is limited. The WittyCloud board is also perfect for projects that require a low-cost solution and don't need a lot of processing power.

With the pre-configured example (Platformio, Arduino IDE) at your disposal, you can effortlessly link this board to Blynk. This example streamlines the entire process, providing all the necessary components such as connectivity setup, WIFI provisioning, and FOTA updates right out of the box. Additionally, you can leverage the same example to connect any other board from the ESP8266 series with minimal tweaks.

SAMD21 - Arduino MKR WiFi 1010

Arduino MKR WiFi 1010 is a powerful board that features the SAMD21 Cortex-M0+ MCU and a u-blox NINA-W10 Series module for WiFi connectivity. It also includes a crypto chip for enhanced security. The board has a compact form factor, making it ideal for projects where space is limited. This board is a great choice for projects that require a powerful MCU and enhanced security features, as well as interface to connect a range of sensors for data collection.

Connecting this board to Blynk has never been easier with the pre-configured Platformio and Arduino IDE examples included. This example not only takes care of the connectivity setup, but it also enables no-code WIFI provisioning, and FOTA updates.

ESP32 - TTGO T-Display

Another notable board for IoT development is the TTGO T-Display, which features a built-in 1.14-inch color OLED display and WiFi, Bluetooth+BLE connectivity. Alongside buttons and battery power detection on board, the board also offers ample expansion options, making it easy to connect various peripherals and sensors. 

The board is also fully compatible with Blynk.Edgent which makes the integration process fast and simple. Use the same pre-configured example (Platformio or Arduino IDE) to instantly get connectivity, WIFI provisioning and FOTA updates. Once connected, you have the flexibility to incorporate the exact business functionality you have in mind for your product.

SAMD51 - Seeed Wio Terminal

Wio Terminal is a versatile microcontroller board that utilizes the ATSAMD51 chip and is equipped with both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi wireless connectivity, powered by Realtek RTL8720DN. In addition, Wio Terminal also features a range of integrated functional modules, including a 2.4” LCD screen, an onboard IMU (LIS3DHTR), a microphone, a buzzer, a microSD card slot, a light sensor, and an infrared emitter (IR 940nm), making it an all-in-one solution for many projects. (ideal for prototyping and building commercial IoT products.)

Integrate this board with Blynk by following the pre-configured example for Platformio or Arduino. This example offers a complete package, including connectivity setup, WIFI provisioning, FOTA updates, and it will take you mere minutes. Once you establish the connection, you’ll only have to work on the precise business functionality you envision for your product. Moreover, extending this capability to other boards in the Seeed series requires just slight adjustments.

The bottom line

When building commercial IoT products, selecting the right hardware is crucial for success. This article shows possible shortcuts in building the IoT software infrastructure by leveraging the synergy of powerful WiFi-enabled boards and Blynk.Edgent with all the functionality that’s built into it, such as WiFi provisioning and OTA firmware updates available from the start, making it easier to deploy and maintain IoT products at scale.

May 8, 2023
Co-Founder & Systems Architect at Blynk

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