EYE on NPI – Würth Elektronik’s FeatherWing Development Boards #EYEonNPI @we_online @digikey @adafruit

This week’s EYE ON NPI (video) is ready to take flight, its Würth Elektronik’s FeatherWing Development Boards, a quadruplet set of red boards that can add Würth technology and innovation to your favorite Feather mainboards, no matter what platform you are using.

Adafruit Feather is a complete line of development boards from Adafruit and other developers that can be stacked or used individually. They can be powered by LiPo batteries for on-the-go projects or by micro-USB plugs for stationary use. Feathers are lightweight, portable, and flexible.

FeatherWings are stacking boards that add functionality and space for prototyping. Adafruit Feather is a complete ecosystem of products and an excellent starting point for user projects.

When we designed the Feather format oh-so-many years ago at Maker Faire 2015, we purposefully made the shape and pinout an open standard so that other companies could contribute and create their own license-free design. Heck, they can even use the words Feather and FeatherWing as long as they make it compatible. Digi-Key has been a great partner for us in stocking Feather boards with hundreds of Feathers, ‘Wings, adapters and evaluation (eval) boards.

What we think makes Feather so great is that it is not platform-specific. Energia boards are only MSP430 and Nucleo are only STM32. Arduino shields are more universal, but they can be a tad large. We’ve seen Feathers with chips from Atmel, Microchip, ST, Maxim, TI, etc. – which means that Würth’s ‘Wings can be used with whatever platform you prefer.

There are four FeatherWings in this collection:

Sensor FeatherWing

  • Temperature (2521020222501), humidity (2525020210001 and 25250202100011), acceleration (2533020201601 and 25330202016011), and absolute pressure sensors (2511020213301 and 25110202133011)
  • All the four sensors are connected over the shared I²C bus
  • Compatible with QWIIC-connect from SparkFun
  • Easy to expand with WE FeatherWings and hundreds of already existing boards with the Feather and QWIIC form-factor
  • Arduino (C/C++) drivers and code examples available on GitHub

Thyone-I wireless FeatherWing

  • Thyone-I proprietary 2.4 GHz RF module (2611011021000)
  • Encryption (AES128)
  • Mesh network capable
  • Integrated security/authentication IC
  • Connection to Thyone-I module (2611011021000) or Thyone-I USB stick (2611036021001)

Calypso Wi-Fi FeatherWing

  • Calypso, 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi connection IEEE 802.11 b/g/n (2610011025000)
  • Easy connect to smart devices and servers
  • Handling multiple nodes simultaneously
  • Energy saving mode to support battery powered applications
  • Supports IPv4 and IPv6
  • Out of the box implementation of several commonly used network applications like SNTP, DHPv4, DHCPv6, mDNS, HTTP(S), and MQTT
  • Direct communication to the cloud

MagI³C power FeatherWing

  • Operating input voltage of 9 V, 12 V, 15 V, 18 V, and 24 V industrial rails
  • Maximum 36 V input voltage
  • Additional USB connector for 5 V input voltage to select by switch
  • Transformation of industrial input voltage to 5 V
  • Transformation of 5 V to 3.3 V
  • Enable functionality and mode selection available to control and tune performance of MagI³C micromodule

All together they allow construction of advanced wireless sensor nodes: a ‘Wing with plenty of environmental sensors, a ‘Wing that can be used to create 2.4GHz mesh networks, a WiFi ‘Wing to send data to the cloud, and a power adapter ‘Wing that will allow powering from industrial power supplies such as 24VDC. Combine these with your favorite microcontroller like a Feather M0 and you’ve got a full demo of the latest Würth technologies! There’s a demo of combining WiFi + sensor + Feather to create a wireless sensor node on the Würth YouTube here.

Code for all of the ‘Wings is available on GitHub, the libraries and examples are setup for platform.io, but should work just fine in any Arduino or C/C++ embedded environment.

If you want to jam out your Feather boards with some fancy Würth  technology, all four of the Würth Elektronik’s FeatherWings are in stock for immediate purchase at Digi-Key. We recommend starting with the Würth Sensor FeatherWing and then checking out the rest of the Würth FeatherWings on the feature page as your project needs grow!

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