It is a module & development board specifically created to cater to the needs of IoT applications & wearable technology. It has gained immense popularity in the IoT industry and is considered the perfect chip for developers & hobbyists. Due to its affordability, it is a preferred choice for various production systems. This article will primarily focus on Espressif System ESP32 & its extensive capabilities.
ESP32 PCB Design
It is the microcontroller that comes equipped with two-mode Bluetooth & WiFi connectivity, making it an excellent choice for a range of applications. It is specifically designed to cater to the needs of IoT, mobile devices, and wearable devices and boasts a remarkably low energy consumption rate. This makes it an ideal system on SoC for numerous IoT applications.
The ESP32 by Espressif Systems has two-mode Bluetooth & WiFi connectivity. While technically a chip, it is commonly referred to as the production boards & modules that utilize this chip. It is the top choice for both IoT developers & hobbyists alike.
In addition, the ESP32 includes several proprietary software components. The board also boasts advanced capabilities such as multiple power modes, fine-grained gating, and dynamic energy scaling. With its many powerful features, ESP32 is a highly sought-after chip, especially in IoT, which offers numerous advantages.
Although the ESP32 has earned a well-deserved reputation in IoT appliances, its affordability and versatility make it an excellent choice for different production systems. Additionally, its resources & capabilities have continued to expand . It is worth noting that while an ESP32 is technically the bare chip, the term can also be called ESP32 production boards. Some of these boards even include Gerber & BOM files, which can be useful to design reference circuits.
ESP32 PCB Design – Features
Espressif Systems’ ESP32 has gained increasing popularity across various industries owing to its exceptional features.
Compared to other microcontrollers, the ESP32 is a low-energy consumption chip. Moreover, it provides support for low-energy modes.
· Dual-mode Bluetooth
The ESP32 supports both BLE & Bluetooth Classic, making it an ideal choice for different IoT appliances.
Most ESP32 devices feature dual cores, typically two microprocessors that are 32-bit and based on the LX6 architecture of Xtensa.
· Language compatibility
· Wi-Fi capabilities
Connecting the ESP32 to the Wi-Fi network is a simple process that allows you to establish a connection in station mode or make Wi-Fi for other applications to connect. Its feature is essential for IoT and House Automation projects, enabling multiple devices to connect seamlessly.
· MicroPython compatibility
The ESP32 has compatibility with MicroPython, allowing it to code it using the MicroPython software designed for integrated systems .
· High-level integration
· Great peripheral I/O interface
The ESP32 provides support for different input & output peripherals, including but not limited to PWM, UART, and capacitive touch.
ESP32 Design – Specifications
Familiarizing oneself with the technical specifications of the ESP32 is important.
· External Flash Memory & SRAM
The ESP32 supports up to four 16 mebibytes QSPI flashes and supports SRAMs with encryption based on AES to protect developer data & programs. Additionally, the ESP32 can access both SRAM & external QSPI memory through caches.
The ESP32 has a 32-bit microprocessor based on the Tensilica Xtensa LX6 architecture with a clock frequency of up to 240 MHz, capable of executing up to six hundred DMIPS.
· Wireless connectivity
The ESP32 allows for linking to WiFi through 802.11 standards: b/g/n/e/i.
The ESP32 follows 802.11 (specification by IEEE) features such as WFA, WPA/WPA2, & WAPI. Additionally, it features flash encryption & secure boot capabilities.
Difference Between ESP32 PCB Design, Modules, & Development Boards
We previously mentioned, ESP32 refers to the chip. Manufacturers have three options to purchase the chip in different formats.
· ESP32 chip
The ESP32 chip, by Espressif, is not pre-attached to a board/module and requires soldering. Therefore, most device manufacturers do not purchase the chip alone to avoid additional manufacturing complexity.
· ESP32 development board
This production board is the IoT MCU circuit board with preinstalled ESP32 chips. It is for hobbyists, device manufacturers, and engineers before proceeding with mass development. ESP32 development circuit boards are present in various models and brands.
· ESP32 module
It is a compact module that includes the ESP32 chip and can be easily mounted on the MCU during development. The advantages of using it that the integrated circuit is protected, eliminating the need for device manufacturers to take additional steps to get FCC compliance. The chip has already been approved by the FCC, which makes the manufacturing process easier.
· ESP32 PCB Design WROOM
It is a versatile module that supports WiFi, Bluetooth & Bluetooth LE, making it suitable for different applications such as music streaming, speech encoding, and MP3 decoding. It can handle both low-energy sensor networks and high-power projects, making it an ideal choice for a wide range of projects. This SMD module can be easily integrateable into your PCB layout & design. Additionally, an ESP32 WROOM family includes several other modules with similar functionalities.
· ESP32 PCB Design WROOM 32
This module is equipped with Xtensa 32-bit LX6 microprocessors, making it suitable for a wide range of applications that require Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Bluetooth LE connectivity. Wi-Fi integration allows direct internet access through a Wi-Fi router, while Bluetooth enables the broadcasting of low-power beacons.
The ESP32 WROOM 32 module has a total of 38 pins, and it is specifically designed for WiFi & Bluetooth applications. With its performance of a dual-core processor., the ESP32 WROOM offers reliable and efficient processing capabilities. Moreover, the chip’s sleep current is impressively low, measuring below 5 microamperes.This makes it a suitable choice for wearable technology appliances.
This module boasts 150 Mbps data rate, making it an industry-leading performer in terms of power consumption & electronic integration. This module is highly useful for custom circuit board layout designs.
Additionally, this module is the widely useful module in the ESP32 family. It comes complete with Gerber & BOM files, PCB layout & CAD schematic.
ESP32 PCB Design WROOM 32U or ESP32 PCB Design WROOM 32D
ESP32 PCB Design – Types of Development Boards
Development boards are for different purposes, which is in their interfaces, such as USB/JTAG, as well as the available GPIO pins. In addition, these boards feature a range of peripherals, such as card slots, female headers, touchpads, etc.
ESP32 DevKitC V4
It is a compact development circuit board that includes the ESP32 WROOM and a USB serial adapter. interface for power supply. It also features pushbuttons to activate Firmware mode, pin headers & other components. Additionally, this version ocan support the integration of the ESP32 WROVER model.
It is the production board that includes all the elements for a direct USB connection to pin headers & computer for easy integration. So it comes equipped with the ESP32 System-in-Package (SiP) based on the PICO-D4 module, which allows for a board with minimal external elements that match the printed circuit board design.
The ESP32-PICO-KIT V4.1 includes external components like the USB-to-UART bridge, antenna, and LDO. It also features buttons for enabling Download mode( Firmware) and resetting the board. This module comes with the CP2102N bridge (USB-to-UART ) which provides faster data transfer rates of up to 3Mbps compared to the ESP32-KIT V4.
The development board is equipped with a JTAG interface essential for debugging. It also features :
- RGB Light Emitting Diode for diagnostics
- MicroSD card slot
- female headers designed camera module.
- USB serial adapter converter with two ports.
Additionally, it has a 3.2-inch LCD screen & a 32.768 XTAL to facilitate the internal RTC.Power can be supplied to the ESP V4.1 through either a 5mm energy supply jack. A jumper can also select an energy supply source, and a separate switch can turn it on/off.
This ESP-KIT circuit board is equipable with the ESP-B, which includes 8 megabyte pseudo-static random access memory for processing & flexible storage. Moreover, this circuit board follows other variants of ESP.
It has undergone some layout changes compared to the ESP32 WROVER KIT V3. Such changes include a different USB connector substituting certain components with functionally equivalent ones based on sourcing & testing results, such as the Boot & EN buttons.
The ESP WROVER V4.1 has undergone several design changes compared to its previous version, the ESP32 WROVER KIT V3. One of the changes is the replacement of some components with functional equivalents based on sourcing options and test results. For instance, the Boot and EN buttons have been replaced. Another design change is the mixture of JP8, JP13 &JP11.
Functions & Applications of ESP32 PCB Design
The ESP32 serves various functions in the context of IoT applications.
· Data processing
· Web server
The ESP32 enables access to web pages developed in various programming languages.
The module’s dual-core processor and WiFi antenna enable direct connection of embedded devices to routers.
· P2P connectivity
Integrating IoT P2P connectivity in ESP32 enables the communication between ESPs and other devices.
ESP32 PCB Design – Applications
ESP32 are commonly available in IoT equipment, including but not limited to:
· Smart medical devices
ESP32 are commonly useful in medical equipment, including wearable devices and heart rate checkers, to enhance their functionality and performance.
· Smart energy devices
ESP32 modules are commonly available in smart energy equipment such as thermostats & HVAC systems.
· Smart industrial devices
The ESP32 modules are useful in industrial equipment, such as programmable controllers, logic gates, reference circuits & more. Such modules play an essential role in enhancing the performance of such devices.
· Smart security devices
ESP32 modules & development boards are commonly useful in smart security devices, such as smart locks & surveillance cameras. Their low cost and low power consumption, combined with high integration capabilities, make them a suitable choice to use in security systems.
ESP32’s integration of WiFi, Bluetooth LE, & Bluetooth allows it to be useful in a wide range of applications. Additionally, the ESP32 series has a broad operating temperature range of -40°C-105°C. ESP32 production boards provide diverse solutions for various applications.