Espressif ESP32

A high-performance microcontroller board that offers a potent mix of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, processing power, and flexibility

Cover image for board - Espressif ESP32 esp32 espressif microcontroller

19 June 2023 by Kevin McAleer | Share this article on


The ESP32 is a high-performance microcontroller board that offers a potent mix of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, processing power, and flexibility. Developed by Espressif Systems, the ESP32 has emerged as a go-to board for IoT applications and projects requiring a blend of connectivity and performance.

About the Manufacturer

Espressif Systems is a Chinese-based company known for its innovative and budget-friendly IoT devices. They have become renowned in the maker community due to the success of their ESP8266 and ESP32 chips, which offer powerful features for their price and size.

Target Audience

The ESP32 is a versatile board, suitable for a wide range of users. Whether you’re a hobbyist, a student, an educator, or a professional developer, the ESP32 is a valuable tool. It provides a perfect learning platform for beginners and an efficient prototyping tool for advanced users.

Onboard Features and Specifications

The ESP32 is a dual-core board featuring an Xtensa LX6 microprocessor with two cores, running at up to 240MHz. It includes integrated Wi-Fi and dual-mode Bluetooth, making it a fantastic choice for IoT projects.

The board also comes with up to 4MB of Flash memory and 520KB of SRAM. Other features include a variety of peripherals, such as capacitive touch sensors, Hall sensors, low-noise sensor amplifiers, and SD card interface.

Programming Languages

The ESP32 can be programmed using the Arduino IDE, which offers a simplified programming environment perfect for beginners. The board also supports programming with Espressif’s IoT Development Framework (ESP-IDF), which uses the C/C++ language, and MicroPython, a compact version of Python designed for microcontrollers.

Fun Projects

The ESP32 can power a wide range of fun and engaging projects. Beginners might start with simple tasks such as controlling LEDs or reading data from onboard sensors.

For those interested in IoT applications, projects could include setting up a Wi-Fi controlled smart home system or building a temperature and humidity monitoring system that sends data to a cloud server.

The integrated Bluetooth capability also allows for projects such as creating a music streaming device, or a beacon that sends out data to nearby devices.

GPIO Pinouts

The ESP32 comes with up to 36 GPIO pins, providing a flexible platform for interfacing with a variety of external components. Here’s a quick overview of these pins:

  • GPIO0 - GPIO39: These pins can be used as digital inputs and outputs. Some of these pins also have additional functions such as PWM output, capacitive touch input, ADC (Analog to Digital Converter), and DAC (Digital to Analog Converter). Note that GPIO 34 - 39 are input-only pins.

  • 3V3 and GND: These are power pins that provide a 3.3V power output and ground respectively.

  • EN: A reset pin that restarts the board when grounded.

  • VP and VN: These are tied to the internal ADC, and can be used to measure analog signals.

In conclusion, the ESP32 is an incredibly versatile and powerful microcontroller. Whether you’re an aspiring developer or a seasoned professional, this board is a fantastic platform for a vast array of projects, particularly those requiring wireless connectivity.

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Kevin McAleer

I build robots, bring them to life with code, and have a whole load of fun along the way

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