This post briefly explains what is the ESP32, a very powerful and cheap IoT enabled System on Chip.
The ESP32 integrates both WiFi and Bluetooth support in the same chip , offering a wide range of possibilites for both makers and commercial IoT applications. The manufacturers of the chip are Espressif Systems, the same company who brought us the ESP8266, currently one of the most well known IoT devices in the market.
- 240 MHz dual core Tensilica LX6 microcontroller with 600 DMIPS
- 520 KB SRAM
- 16 MByte flash
- WiFi support
- Bluetooth support (classic and Low Energy)
- 3 UARTs (for serial connection)
- 3 SPI
- 2 I2C
- 12 ADC input channels
- 2 DAC
- 2 I2S
One of the best things that accompanied the ESP8266 was the support for the Arduino IDE environment, making the programming and uploading of code to the device very easy for everyone.
Fortunately, the ESP32 already has Arduino support, as can be seen here. Although at the time of writing there isn’t yet installation support via Arduino IDE board’s manager, the installation method available is very simple and well explained, as can be seen here. So, starting to use the ESP32 should be pretty straightforward, specially for those with a prior knowledge on the ESP8266.
As usual, we can find a lot of development boards at eBay. At the time of writing, a very good alternative are these modules, which are being sold by around 11 euros. Although they are cheap, they are more expensive than, for example, the famous ESP8266 NodeMCU modules.
Nevertheless, this is understandable due to the fact that the ESP32 is a new product, with very impressive specifications.
The same way the ESP8266 were a landmark for the IoT development, I believe that the ESP32 modules are going to set the mark even higher. For the prices and specifications on the table, we get a very powerful tool, with support for a lot of development environments, making it easy to use by both specialists and beginners.
And the best part is that we are just in the early days of the product. From this point on, the expectation is that the software supports gets even better, and the prices lower.