Getting started with W806 - 240MHz 32 bit MCU

imarcinsznimarcinszn wrote 02/14/2022 at 13:44 • 3 min read • Like

Nowadays, because of the global chip shortage, finding an alternative MCU is more essential than ever. One of such alternative could be W806 MCU.

W800 line-up include 3 microcontrollers:

These chips are made by WinnerMicro and are based on one 240 Mhz XT804 core. The core itself is made on top of the C-SKY architecture, so it is completely different from well known ARM, or new RISC-V cores.

W801 and W806 are available as devboards, what makes them easy to start with. When it comes to W800 it is possible to get one on devboard, but rebranded as Air101.

Today we will focus on the base model W806. Let's start with the specification:

Power supply:

Moreover the chip includes hardware encryption unit.

Getting started:

To start programming the MCU we need several things:

Official documentation and SDK:

Unfortunately the documentation is available only in Chinese so Google Translate comes in handy. 

Since W806 is not base on ARM, we need to install the whole toolchain for C-SKY. The process was described extensively by IOsetting on Github:

Some of you might not like working from command prompt and there is such possibility: CDK (C-Sky Development Kit) which is an IDE from T-Head (company behind C-Sky architecture)

Unfortunately to download it you have to register on another Chinese site and follow these steps: After downloading and installing the CDK things are getting a little bit simpler. Whole software is in English (there even is no option for Chinese language).

The next step is to open project that is located in SDK:

Overall the SDK is very similar to HAL available in STM32 package

Is it worth starting a project with W806? It depends. For professional usage - rather not. There is no English documentation, support or even popularity among users. For hobby usage things looks quite different. For less than 4 dollars you can get quite powerful board with many interesting features.


Ken Yap wrote 02/21/2022 at 21:43 point

Thanks for the writeup. I was just looking at this family yesterday and encountered some of the same links. At the moment the documentation seems to be a major drawback. But I'll certainly keep an eye on this series of MCUs.

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