The objective of this post is to give a quick overview of DFRobot‘s ESP-WROOM-32 module, which is based on the ESP32 microcontroller. The ESP32 is the newest product from Espressif, the company behind the famous ESP8266.
As we said in the introductory section, this module is based on the ESP32 microcontroller. The ESP32 has two 240 MHz Tensilica LX6 cores, 520 KB SRAM and integrated WiFi and Bluetooth (low energy and classical) support , just to name a few of its characteristics. So, this is a device considerably more powerfully than the ESP8266, making it perfect for the demanding IoT applications that are required nowadays.
This module has most of the hardware needed to run the ESP32, including a PCB antena, and has a very compact design. It’s dimensions are only 18mm x 25mm x 3mm . You can check bellow a picture of the module (after some partial soldering).
So, it’s very important to take in consideration that this is not a ready to use development board, but rather a module suitable to be integrated in custom electronic designs.
So, for example, it doesn’t include an USB header or a serial-usb converter for us to be able to program it right out of the box. Consequently, this is not aimed for beginners or people that want to test the ESP32 as a generic development platform, but rather for users that want to integrate it on a custom design and with some experience on how to use these kind of devices.
Nevertheless, as we will see in a future post, with a bit of soldering and a serial-usb converter, we can program the module to make a few tests, even without integrating it in a electronic board.
Following the steps of the ESP8266, one of the easiest ways to program the ESP32 is by using the Arduino platform. You can check here a simple “Hello World” application with the ESP32.
Other interesting choice (also available for the ESP8266) is using MicroPython to program the ESP32. You can check here how to enable the MicroPython support for the ESP32 and start writing some code.