Espressif got new competitor RDA5981 dedicated for IoT and audio apps

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Few years ago Espressif released their first low cost WiFi chip ESP8266 and turned upside down the WiFi connectivity for small MCU. They have been left relatively to no competition from the big Western chip makers who couldn’t match their aggressive pricing, but later there was semi successful competition from Realtek and now there is another competitor who is focused on low cost IoT audio applications but their chip is quite good for general purpose WiFi stuff also. The RDA5981 is based on Cortex-M4 inside

  • running at 160Mhz
  •  160KB SRAM
  • 8MB PSRAM
  • 4MB Flash
  • build in USB 2.0 host interface allow USB devices to be connected to the module directly which is advantage toward Espressif chips
  • Support Bluetooth 2.1 EDR + BLE4.2
  • SDMMC interface
  • 2x 10bit ADCs
  • SIDO x1, I2C x1, I2S x2, PWM x8, IR, SPI x4, UART x2, GPIO with interrupts x14
  • operating temperature -30+80C

According to the PR message their focus is voice recognition / audio play and they shipped already 200 Millions of these chips ин 2016. Looking at the features above they can be used for other IoT applications as well if their SDK is easy enough to use by maker community. The question is will be they smart enough to be more user friendly as ESP.

I check their web and even to download their datasheet they require registration :). I understand this as – we hide our product info from our potential customers as we do not want they to evaluate our chips. These registrations beside pissing off potential customers do not hide anything from their competitors as they would easily register with fake info and get them anyway, but obvious this is the way most Chinese companies work.

via Twitter (Thanks to Rudi!)

EDIT 10-01-2018: There is actually GitHub repo with the datsheet, so their web may be not updated!