What are the needed steps to add an on-board Wi-Fi chip to the Jetson Nano?

I am in the last phase of my PCB design for a Jetson Nano custom carrier board.

The final steps for my company requirements is Wi-Fi capability to the board. After searching and reading through the documents, I stumbled upon many topics such as:

  • Drivers compatibility of the Wi-Fi chip
  • SDIO interface with the Wi-Fi module
  • Wi-Fi bring up and integration
  • Others…

My plan is to use the SDIO interface with an on-board Wi-Fi module, I will then download the Wi-Fi chip’s driver to be able to use it. I will make sure that the chip is compatible with Linux Kernel 4.9 and that there are available drivers. This plan requires the use of chip such as AP6255 or one of the NXP 88W8987 based chips or other chips.
Plan B is to replicate the exact same M.2 Key-E slot that is on the official DevKit and use a supported Wi-Fi card.

I think in the second case I shouldn’t be worried about integration or bring up. What about the first plan, what are the steps and things that are required for such design and how to proceed?

You shouldn’t rely on SDIO. Remember that I told you that Jetson Nano is basically dead from a software perspective and only has got three years of product life? Even if you decide to use Jetson Nano for now you really should design your hardware so you can just drop in Orin Nano. This is absolutely possible, but you really have to care only using features and pins both Nano and Orin Nano has. And SDIO is not one of them. One way would be an M.2 Type E Slot, the other would be just using an USB 2.0 and one of the Wifi dongles available.

Hi, from hardware perspective, first you need to read the Design Guide doc in DLC for the interface design on your own board. Also you can refer to the devkit carrier reference schematic (in DLC too) for more detail useful info to your own design.


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