Wilderness Labs, which pushes for .NET developers to branch out into hardware, has announced a new system-on-module (SOM) based on its Meadow family: the Meadow F7 Core-Compute Module.
"Our customers tend to be building industrial and commercial IoT solutions, in many cases they’re modernizing industrial processes and integrating into SCADA architectures," says Bryan Costanich, Wilderness Labs' co-founder and CEO, of the launch. "Much of the existing infrastructure they're working with is woefully insecure, so it’s gratifying to be able to provide them a rapid-development platform that allows them to use their existing skills to unlock hardware development, while also providing security by default.
"And by offering the Core-Compute module," Costanich adds, "we're able to significantly reduce our customers' time to market, as well as ease a lot of their supply-chain challenges, given how hard it is to get a hold of these microcontrollers, since we're on direct allocation from the manufacturer."
The SOM itself is based on the same core design as the company's gumstick-like Meadow F7, which was updated late last year as the Meadow F7v2. There's an STMicroelectronics STM32F7 microcontroller with an Espressif ESP32 coprocessor for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) connectivity, 32MB of RAM, 64MB of non-volatile flash, and a reduced footprint that packs everything into something "about the size of a US quarter dollar," the company boasts.
Those eager to get started will have the option of a developer's kit, which bundles the Core-Compute module with a carrier board breaking out the part's general-purpose input/output (GPIO) pins while offering USB ports, dual Ethernet ports, and SD card storage. Both the carrier board and the Core-Compute module itself are open source, the company points out, under the permissive Apache 2.0 license.
"The Core-Compute module dev kit is meant as an accelerator, as it provides a known good reference design for the various advanced features of the module, so folks can basically copy and paste the schematic into their own designs," explains Costanich of the company's decision to release the design permissively. "And if they have specific needs, they can also take the module reference design and build it right into their circuits too."
The Meadow F7 Core-Compute is now available to pre-order at $45, ahead of July shipping, as an engineering sample with a maximum per-customer order of 25 parts via the Wilderness Labs store, while the Developer's Kit is priced at $100 with a limit of five per customer. Volume pricing for the module alone will drop as low as $30 on general release, the company has promised. Design files, meanwhile, are available on the company's GitHub repository.