If you have anything to do with electronics engineering, I am sure you must have already read about ESP Wireless SoC Chips.
What is ESP?
Espressif Shanghai, China based company launched their first WiFi chip ESP8266 and modules in year 2014 and then ESP32 (2016) popularly known for its dual core MCU and WiFi + Bluetooth combo on chip features.
Hundreds and thousands of engineers have already created several IoT products using ESP Chips. The biggest reason for such a wide adoption has been, its cost and the feature this wireless SoC provides. One can build a complete embedded system using the SoC or the module. The microcontroller inside is quite powerful, ESP8266 has 80Mhz MCU and ESP32 even has dual core MCU running at 240Mhz.
Do you know other option available in the market which offers such a high performance WiFi MCU with so many feature and at such an affordable price point? Please do share with me also.
What is new in ESP32 S2?
Espressif announced its new ESP32-S2 version chips a few months back and is now in mass production. For easy development, it comes with a few development board options. You can see on their website.
The spec is quite interesting, some parts are quite similar to what we have seen in the earlier ESP32 chip but a few new features are also introduced with this ESP32-S2 version chip.
Some of the notable differences are the following:
What is new or improved?
- It has a new and improved Xtensa single-core 32-bit LX7 processor which can run at max clock frequency of 240Mhz.
- It has LCD interface for high resolution display
- It also has got camera interface in-built
- With a few more IOs compared to ESP32 (38 IOs), ESP32 S2 has 43 IOs.
- One Full speed USB OTG port is very new to the ESP platform, none of the earlier chips had the USB interface. Now we can easily connect external devices like USB Keyboard, Mouse, Pen drive, etc.
- Improved power consumption. Main processor is more efficient. and has auto off RF transceiver power when not in use. It claims 5uA current consumption in idle mode and about 24uA at 1% duty cycle. As per their website fine-grained clock gating, dynamic voltage and frequency scaling makes the low power consumption possible.
- This chip has RISC-V core based ultra low power co-processor.
- Focused on Security keeping IoT products in mind, some of the features which ESP32 S2 Chip has are:
- Secure boot based on the RSA algorithm, which ensures that only trusted software is executed on the chip.
- Flash encryption based on the AES-XTS algorithm, which ensures that user-sensitive configuration data and application code on the external Flash and PSRAM of ESP32-S2 are always encrypted.
- The TLS stack can take advantage of the cryptographic accelerator hardware to improve the cloud connectivity performance.
- The security of ESP32-S2 is especially reinforced, as it resists fault injection attacks from hardware and software, while it also prevents key leakage in voltage failure.
What is knocked off?
- ESP32-S2 is single Core only 🙂
- There no Bluetooth in this version
- No SD Card/SDMMC Interface
- CAN is also dropped
- No Ethernet MAC (looks like they heard from the community and took the decision to chop of this feature as not many people used this feature)
Pricing & from where to buy?
Other than local stores, Espressif chips, modules and kits are available on Mouser and Digikey. ESP32-S2 should be available in 1-2$ per unit on portals like LCSC, Aliexpress but will be a little higher on Mouser and Digikey.
ESP32-S2 will take some more time to come on these portals.
Hope you have enjoyed reading this article. I am very excited to try my hand on ESP32-S2 SoC based module and build an interesting project. What do you think?
You can read my other articles on embedded system design here.
If you need any help in embedded product development please reach out to me here. I help embedded design engineers and startups build reliable and successful products.