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Modules Realtek RTL8722DM Arduino Compatible WiFi + BLE IoT development board

crabbyhead

Just Hatched
Jun 23, 2020
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Realtek's RTL8722DM development board has recently added support for the Arduino IDE. It is an IoT-ready MCU powered by an ARM Cortex-M4 core at up to 200MHz coupled with a Cortex-M0 core at up to 20MHz. It is specially designed to be pin-compatible with the Arduino UNO, can be programmed using the Arduino IDE and supports most of the Arduino base examples and expansion boards.

In addition to the standard MCU features such as UART / I2C / SPI / ADC / PWM / GPIO interfaces, the key feature of the RTL8722DM development board is the integrated wireless connection support.

The RTL8722DM SOC supports dual band WiFi connections at both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies, and BLE 5.0 connections as well. This allows for more innovative and interactive IoT projects to make full use of the WiFi and BLE capabilities, such as smart BLE beacons that send data to smartphone apps.

More details on the Realtek RTL8722DM development board, including sample code, user manuals and SDKs can be found at
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crabbyhead

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Continuing from my previous introduction of the Realtek RTL8722DM development board, I would like to inform everyone of a service provided along with the board.

Realtek AmebaIoT development board users are now able to register for a free cloud-based MQTT broker service at
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. MQTT is a message passing protocol commonly used in connecting internet of things (IoT) devices together, allowing the devices to send and receive data to achieve the desired actions. Follow the guide
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to register for your own MQTT broker service to test your applications.

To get started with using MQTT, you can follow the basic example guide
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for the RTL8722DM development board. This example uses the MQTT protocol to send short messages over the internet. Source code for the example can be found at
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.

Thanks for reading.
 
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crabbyhead

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  • #3
With WiFi enabled microcontrollers such as the Realtek RTL8195, RTL8722, it is easy to access time and date information even without a battery backed real-time clock (RTC).
Network Time Protocol (NTP) is a protocol that enables the retrieval of accurate time and date information over the internet, with a wide selection of NTP servers located worldwide. It is easy to use, and only requires minimal processing to extract the required information. As long as an internet connection is available, you can be sure that your projects will run on time.

A tutorial for using NTP can be found at:
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Purchase links for the various Realtek development boards can be found at:
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crabbyhead

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When using WiFi capable microcontrollers, a common task is typing the credentials required to connect to a wireless network into the code, then compiling and uploading the code onto the development board.
This can become troublesome and repetitive when deploying many systems to operate in different environments, and it is not possible to hard code in the credentials for every possible wireless network connection.

With Realtek's RTL8722 development board, it is easy to configure WiFi network settings using any Bluetooth capable phone. The RTL8722 scans for wireless networks, sends the results over to the phone, and allows users to choose a network to connect to.

More details on using BLE to configure WiFi connections on the RTL8722 development board can be found at:
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Purchase links for the various Realtek development boards can be found at:
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crabbyhead

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  • #5
For IoT applications that are powered by a battery, remote battery monitoring is often critical in ensuring that empty batteries can be spotted and replaced in time. Realtek's RTL8722 development board supports BLE 5.0, and can use the BLE battery service to alert connected devices of the current battery level.

More details on using the BLE battery service can be found at:
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Purchase links for the various Realtek development boards can be found at:
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crabbyhead

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E-Paper displays offer a unique advantage in that maintaining the displayed image does not require any power, unlike LCDs and OLEDs. Power is only actively consumed when updating the display, However, the downside is that display updates can be somewhat slow, depending on the display area to be updated.

The unique features of E-Paper displays makes them a good match for low-power IoT projects, since the microcontroller can set the display and go into sleep mode, only waking up to read sensor values and update the display. This demo project shows how a RTL8722 microcontroller can be used to show the temperature and humidity with a E-Paper display.

Video demo:

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crabbyhead

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  • #7
Combining a RTL8195AM WiFi development board with a ALC5680 audio codec shield and two microphones, it is possible to build your own version of Amazon's Alexa assistant that can listen to your voice commands and provide you with audio based answers.

More details on the Amazon Alexa demo project can be found at:
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Purchase links for the various Realtek development boards can be found at:
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crabbyhead

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IoT applications powered by a battery often need to gather and upload sensor data wirelessly, while also reducing unnecessary wireless connections to minimize power consumption. With Realtek's RTL8195AM development board, users are able to enter sleep mode while remaining connected to a WiFi access point, waking up occasionally only to gather and transmit new data. This allows the board to significantly reduce power consumption.

More details on using sleep mode with a WiFi connection can be found at:
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Purchase links for the various Realtek development boards can be found at:
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crabbyhead

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  • #9
For more power savings, you can use BLE for transmitting small amounts of data. BLE is a more power saving focused wireless protocol compared to WiFi or standard BT, trading off bandwidth and range for greatly reduce power consumption. By adjusting connection parameters such as BLE connection intervals and slave latency, users can choose to further reduce bandwidth to minimize power consumption, which can be useful in IoT projects which do not need to transmit large amounts of data.

Realtek's RTL8722 microcontroller supports BLE 5.0, can be programmed using the Arduino IDE and includes examples on how to use the BLE library to define your own services and characteristics to fit the project requirements.

A example for using a basic BLEUART service to control a LED can be found at:

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Purchase links for the various Realtek development boards can be found at:
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crabbyhead

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Jun 23, 2020
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  • #10
Realtek's RTL8722DM development board now supports running Python code through the MicroPython firmware. You can now control the GPIO and other peripherals using the Python syntax through the REPL interface in MicroPython, or by writing it as a script on the device.

A basic example using WiFi to control a LED can be seen at:

More details on getting started with MicroPython on the RTL8722DM can be found at:
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Purchase links for the various Realtek development boards can be found at:
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