ITead Sonoff Zigbee 3.0 USB Dongle Plus based on Texas Instruments CC2652P coming soon

FYI, ITead has about a week ago announced on Facebook that their CC2652P based “Sonoff Zigbee 3.0 USB Dongle Plus” will be released soon.

Update: Initial batch release but already sold out, however pre-orders is available at Itead official store:

According to their marketing material, it will come pre-flashed with Texas Instruments Z-Stack 3.x.0 coordinator firmware and it should work out-of-the-box with either Zigbee2MQTT (which uses zigbee-herdsman so will probably work with IoBroker too) and Home Assistant ZHA integration (which uses zigpy so will probably work with Jeedom too), but is will however not yet work with OpenHAB’s Zigbee-Binding since the zstack driver for zsmartsystems’s com.zsmartsystems.zigbee library which it relies on does not yet support the new/updated TI Z-Stack 3 (Z-Stack 3.0.x and Z-Stack 3.x.x) serial API commands:

Interested developers should note cdjackson did start work on initial Z-Stack 3 driver 2-years ago here:

In addition, ITead specifically mentions that this TI dongle can alternatively function as a Zigbee router (presumably by flashing Zigbee router firmware instead and open access buttons as pressing a button to enable pairing/joining mode is usually required).

I also read that this time they have also added proper electromagnetic shielding to the radio chip and antenna parts onboard the board itself, meaning they must have learned from some of their design flaws in regards to electromagnetic interference and radio signal reception.

It is based on Texas Instruments CC2652P (CC2652 with integrated +20 dBm amplifier) Zigbee radio and features a metal casing + an SMA connector with an external antenna. It looks a little on the large side for USB 2.0 Type-A but still recommend using a USB extension cable.

Interestingly it uses a Silabs CP2102N UART-to-USB chip so wonder if it will have unique ITead VID and/or PID strings specific for this adapter so could be added via automatic USB discovery, like in HA:

PS: I understand ITead went with CC2652P instead of Silicon Labs EFR32MG21 for this “Plus” dongle version because of the current silicon chip shortage (which Silabs parts suffered for more than most).

Hopefully, we will also see ITead release a new fixed revision of their cheaper Zigbee 3.0 USB dongle with proper RF shielding and either corrected PCB antenna design or better yet a ceramic chip antenna.

As we know, ITead’s existing ‘non-Plus Zigbee 3.0 USB dongle’ is based on Silabs EFR32MG21 SoC which is just as powerful but sadly was proven that ITead’s first Zigbee 3.0 USB Dongle PCB board revision had a badly designed integrated PCB antenna and no electromagnetic shielding which caused huge issues, and to this date, it has been listed as “out-of-stock” since after the initial batch was sold.

Wondering if this CC2652P serial port will have pins connected for RTS / CTS Hardware Flow Control?

They now posted some documentation which states that the hardware does support Hardware Flow Control but default firmware does not:

The dongle is pre-flashed with the official Zigbee 3.0 coordinator firmware, which does not support software flow control. The dongle supports hardware flow control, if you want to enable it, please set the dip switch to on, and generate the firmware that supports hardware flow control before running, see the following document for details on how to generate the corresponding firmware.

Enable hardware flow control and generate firmware (optional) If you need to enable the hardware flow control of the CC2652P USB Dongle, you need to use CCS to import the ZNP project to configure and compile the firmware that supports the hardware flow control.

Initial batch already sold out, however pre-orders for next batch is now available at Itead’s official store.

Koenkk from Zigbee2MQTT got info from ITead/Sonoff that this dongle comes pre-flasded with older “CC1352P2_CC2652P_launchpad_coordinator_20210120” firmware from but specifications around 50 direct children, 100/200 routes, and a maximum of 200 Zigbee 3.0 devices that is listed here should still apply →

FYI, Mat from NotEnoughTech has posted both written and video reviews about this new USB dongle:

Summery is that there appear to be some bugs in the firmware, at least when used with Zigbee2MQTT