Javier Sanchez edited this page Feb 6, 2018 · 14 revisions

Zolertia Firefly platform

The Firefly is a breakout board designed to inspire, build and develop from scratch any Internet of Things application.

It exposes the most basic Zoul features, sporting only the most down-to-core features to work with the Zoul, providing the following:

  • ARM Cortex-M3 with 512KB flash and 32KB RAM (16KB retention), 32MHz.
  • ISM 2.4-GHz IEEE 802.15.4 & Zigbee compliant.
  • ISM 868-, 915-, 920-, 950-MHz ISM/SRD Band.
  • On-board printed PCB sub-1GHz antenna, ceramic antenna for 2.4GHz interface. Alternatively u.FL for sub-1GHz external antenna.
  • AES-128/256, SHA2 Hardware Encryption Engine.
  • ECC-128/256, RSA Hardware Acceleration Engine for Secure Key Exchange.
  • Compatible with breadboards and protoboards.
  • On-board CP2104/PIC to flash over PCB USB.
  • User and reset buttons.
  • RGB LED to allow more than 7 colour combinations.
  • Small form factor (68x25mm) including USB.
  • The Firefly can be seen as the "small brother" of the RE-Mote, with a slick design and a lower cost.

To work out of the box, the firefly includes a PCB antenna for the Sub-1GHz interface, as well as 2 x u.Fl connectors for 2.4GHz and sub-1GHz external antennas.

The firefly can be programmed and debugged over JTAG and USB. The board has a CP2104 USB to serial converter with a PIC, it allows to program the CC2538 without having to manually to put the device in bootloader mode.

Other features

  • Two radios to use both residential/indoor and long-range applications. The maximum range is between 100 meters and 20 km, with highly configurable radio parameters such as modulation, data rate, transmission power, etc.

  • Two radios (short and long range), compatible with existing and trending protocols such as Thread, but you can also develop your own applications on top of very well supported protocols like 6LoWPAN and IEEE 802.15.4, without vendor restrictions or licenses

  • Increased security with on-board hardware security (SHA2, AES-128/256, ECC-128/256 and RSA for secure key exchange)

  • Available interfaces and connectors to plug-in directly any different sensors (analogue and digital)

  • Supports 3.3VDC, 2xAA/AAA batteries or Coin Cell if using a battery holder

What do I need to start working with the Firefly?

Only a few steps are required to start working:

Firefly pin-out

The new Firefly in this current version A1 has the following pin-out

Firefly on-board connectors pin-out

The Zolertia platforms uses the Molex 5-pin WM4903-ND male header connector to connect digital sensors based on I2C and SPI protocols, as well as other sensors or actuators you may need to connect. The pins are 2.54 mm spaced and the connector has the following pin-out:

The Firefly also has available an ADC1 (3,3V) port that can be used with the Molex 3-pin WM4901-ND male header connector, providing the normally used GND and VCC pins to connect analogue sensors. The pins are 2.54 mm spaced and the connector has the following pin-out:

Note that some sensors and devices (like the ones from Grove) have a different pin spacing. You can either solder your own wiring, or purchase ready to use cables compatible with Grove digital and analogue cables.


The datasheet is available for download Here

Specific guides

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