…but we’re not quite sure what.
This morning I received an update from Seeed Studio with, among others, news of a new product in their “Wio” range, the “Wio Lite RISC-V (GD32VF103) – With ESP8266”.
It is attractively priced, at only $6.90 (plus shipping), but whether it’s actually worth ordering is a bit of a mystery. Unusually for Seeed, there are no documents of any sort on the product page and the available description leaves a lot to be desired. Basically we know that it’s a “GD32VF103CBT6 Bumblebee core” main processor with power consumption of “only 1/3 of that of traditional Cortex-M3”.
The ESP8266 appears to be a standard, Espressif-produced WROOM-02 model, so nothing too exciting there, but there’s no obvious indication on either the front, or the back of the PCB of any interconnects between it and the GD32VF103 (the vias visible on the back of the board appear to connect the pull-up/down resistors on the front side to the ESP GPIOs).
Update — It turns out that a zip file in the “res” sub-dir on GitHub contains the Eagle PCB files for the board and a quick look at those confirm that the WiFi_TX, WiFi_RX and WiFi_RST pins are all directly connected between the ESP8266 and the GD32VF103. It’ll be interesting to see what firmware the board ships with; the availability of full GPIO headers for the ESP hint that it won’t be using just the standard AT command set.
The GD32VF103 side of the board has a USB-C connector and an SD-card slot (the latter on the back of the board), as well as a LIPO battery connector and on-board charging circuitry, so it’s a useful looking board on it’s own. It still remains to be seen whether the ESP adds any value to the package, though.