Everyone hail to the ESP32


Short article this time, I didn’t order the hardware so far, but there is some rumble about the next-gen chip from espressif, the ESP32.

The Hardware

I don’t have much to say on the hardware yet, what I know is that it will be even faster, with more memory, and … a 2nd CPU core ! I hope the SDK will provide some API (even if poorly documented, just evocated in the docs like the sniffer mode right now for ESP8266… /me has to play with the latter !).

Some words about the SDK… Not quite baked yet šŸ™‚

The firmware, esp-idf (IDF like IoT Development Kit) is written in collaboration with the community. I just hope, given some discussions on FreeNode/#ESP32, that the API will still provide real asynchronous methods, and will not drift too much on an Arduino-like side… I can cope with a pinMode() / digital{Read|Write}() API for the GPIOs, but I don’t want an SPI.write() that would wait for the SPI transfert to be finished to return me the ‘OK error code’, whereas the main CPU has nothing to do meanwhile ; after it set up the registers of SPI peripheral and a the DMA’s ones…

I don’t worry much because @bvernoux, which is an active user in #ESP32 and in SDK development (didn’t check, but, I guess so) ; is the one who pointed out there was a DMA facility (at least, when I was reading the chan).

Futhermore, the esp-idf repository is “leaded” by @projectgus which was the main developper of esp-open-rtos ESP8266’s SDK ; and was hired / founded by espressif to “sheppard the community” (but I maybe misunderstood something, forgive any mistake !)

So, even if the hardware was officially released yet (but was hard to order ! Given some testimonials on the IRC), the firmware itself it still in the oven ! It is expected to be served hot in Q1 and probably “safe to eat without burnings” for any serious C coder in Q2.


I knew that at some point in time, chineese ingineers would come to produce something great. Chineese people “led” the world economy for centuries, the two last where an ‘anomaly’ in regard of history, on this particular point. I hope earnings will bring some more freedom to China, and not China will restrict our freedom if we pay them.

Anyway, i’m not here to talk geostrategical economy, but about politics, I have to bow before espressif’s choices, involving OSS community for the esp-idf development !


I know that The Pragmatic Programmer book teach to be an early adopter, but, first, I have to do something with the hardware I already ordered, not only flash some demo ; second, the firmware is definitly not ready now, the hardware is expensive and will drop after christmas/new year with a new — and probably bigger — wave of production from espressif.

So I’ll wait few month before ordering the hardware.

Afterword : the first real IoT chip ?

I forgot something in the “hardware” chapter, its about protocols supported. (Note the ESP familly is served in different flavour support various RF links, by various integrators).

bvernoux stated once on IRC that ESP32 is the “first” IoT chip, really.

His word (I ask him and he kindly answered me) is because of power consuption : ESP32 has BLE, and presumably more efficient power saving modes than previous generations, allowing it to run a looooong while on batteries.

Really šŸ™‚


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