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AW-NH387 for low cost wifi and bluetooth on i.MX6

October 5th, 2015

I had earlier published a post on the wifi and bluetooth options for freescale i.MX6. I had included the USB option, Broadcom and TI based modules. None of these were ultra low cost.

Today I started looking at the parts used in Google Chromecast, and my special interest was the wifi module used in it. Since the Chromecast is very inexpensive ( $35), and it does support wifi and bluetooth, it was bound to use low cost option. The Chromecast teardown revealed that the chip used for the Wifi and Bluetooth is Azurewave AW-NH387. This part is available at $5.2800 in quantity of 500 from Arrow.

AW-NH387 uses Marvell 88W8787 chipset. The block diagram shows the inner details of AW-NH387.

AW-NH387L-block-diagram

The AW-NH387 is also sold at Embedded Works and has its own part number as EW7830CB.

Attempting to check if this low cost Wifi is also supported on i.MX6, led to compulab module that does not mention the Azure wave but does lists out the Marvell 88W8787 as the chipset supported for Wifi.

The features of the 88W8787 includes

1. Wifi 802.11a/g/b but NOT 802.11ac. The 802.11ac has the potential to provide faster data rate using 5 GHz band that uses more bandwidth.

2. Bluetooth 3.0 + High Speed (HS) . This is also compliant with Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR.

3. FM Receiver

Marvell has since then upgraded 88W8787 to 88W8887 which now supports 802.11ac. It also supports BT 4.0. The newer 88W8887 aslo has integrated NFC.

Google has used the 88W8887 in place of Azure Wave module, in the newer 2015 Chromecast.

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