Espressif ESP32 Demo Board – First Impressions!

Is it released?

As of 1 September, 2016 - no, you cannot buy the ESP32 demo board from some of the most popular outlets yet. Neither is there an official site to pre-order the boards from Espressif.

But we know that a revision of the Demo Board has been manufactured already. In fact, the board is a V2!
The board features the ESP32 (and not the experimental ESP31b).

What it looks like

Surprisingly, for a chipset with features as many as the ESP32 sports - the demo board is virtually empty!

The images below were uploaded by ESPert co-founder William Hooi yesterday:

ESP32 demo board packaging box
Starting off with the packaging - this is pretty much the same as that of the ESP-LAUNCHER (for ESP8266), perhaps bigger. Just add the sticker seal!
ESP32 demo board front side
Front view: The touch pads definitely stand out! Apart from that, there is nothing much on the development board. But that is expected of chip manufacturers! Dev board designing is for the other folks...
ESP32 demo board ESP-WROOM-32 module
ESP32 module This does seem like an ESP-WROOM-32 without the shield. There is an empty footprint for (probably) another flash chip. The ESP-LAUNCHER had it as well.
ESP32 demo board LCD interface
The LCD interface The ESP32 has enough resources to drive a COG type serial LCD panel for sure. This board means that Espressif officially recognizes this potential, which is great. We might see some graphics libraries some day soon.

ESP32 Demo Board at first glance

The header leading to the SDIO interface looks suspiciously mismatched in length for a high speed bus. But probably not a concern at all, assuming it is properly terminated. It would probably operate at a maximum of 20 MHz in practice anyway!

The touch pads are something new as well. We have not come across too many SoCs that integrate a touch pad interface along with so many other analog+digital peripherals.

The ESP32 supports debugger interface, probably JTAG - but there is no obvious support for that on this board, from what can be seen in the photos. Will have to wait until the official specs are out!

For now, it seems as if the primary purpose of the ESP32 Demo Board is to serve as a kit for testing the physical interfaces and protocols. Also, because of the simple nature of the demo board, it will be very easy to track power consumption down at the individual pin level. This is very critical for the type of applications ESP32 will be used for.

What IoTBits will do about this

It is great to have the development board provide an explicit LCD interface attachment. This means that the ESP32 is expected to handle graphics in addition to networking tasks. That is justified, considering the rich peripheral set and hardware specifications of the ESP32. Expect a graphics library from IoTBits for the ESP32 (and the ESP8266, if possible) very soon! Also, we at IoTBits expect to receive the modules + development board soon as well. To get ready for the ESP32, you may set up the development environment by following our ESP32 Getting Started tutorials: Getting Started with ESP32 - I Getting Started with ESP32 - II Getting Started with ESP32 - III To stay updated with latest news and articles about the ESP32, please subscribe to the news posts by scrolling down to the bottom of this page!

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2 thoughts on “Espressif ESP32 Demo Board – First Impressions!

  1. Pingback: New ESP32 Development Board - what is new this time?

  2. Pingback: Espressif ESP32 received!

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