Wilderness Labs has announced the launch of an upgraded Meadow F7, its breadboard-friendly microcontroller development board designed for .NET programmers, with a range of upgrades — and it's now being made open source to boot.
Launched on Kickstarter three years ago alongside the Meadow development platform, the Meadow F7 promised to make programming for the Internet of Things accessible to a new audience by offering full compatibility with the .NET Standard 2.0. Now, the Meadow F7v2 is here — and it's quite the upgrade.
Designed to use the same pinout as the original board for drop-in compatibility with existing designs, the Meadow F7v2 makes the increasingly-common move to castellated pin headers for compatibility with both breadboard and surface-mount installation. An upgraded antenna boosts wireless performance by a claimed 10x — "In fact," Wilderness Labs' co-founder Bryan Costanich claims, "we get better Wi-Fi performance out of the board than our iPhones" — and a revised silkscreen makes pin identification easier.
On the specification front, the Meadow F7v2 is still based around an STMicroelectronics STM32F7 microcontroller running at 216MHz and with 32MB of RAM but with an upgrade to 64MB of flash storage — of which only 4MB is reserved, making 60MB user-accessible. The new design also adds an I2S bus for microphone input and audio output, with software support "coming soon" to the Meadow.Core API, and a low-power timer. The power components have also been overhauled, allowing a full 3.3V from a connected battery, and the buttons have been improved.
The biggest change, though: The design will soon be open sourced. "This will allow folks to use it with other platform technologies," Costanich explains of his company's decision, "or even build their own boards based on our design."
The board has been listed on the Wilderness Labs store for sale at $50 — or $55 with pre-soldered female GPIO pin headers — but at the time of writing was showing as sold out. A "group pack" bundle of five boards is also available at $225, while a "Hack Kit Pro" includes a single board and a range of accessories for $150.