ESP-210

esp210Getting something new in the post is always fun (unless it’s a tax bill) and today was no exception.  A little parcel arrived from Sweden this morning – an ESP-210.

After carefully removing from the box… I plugged it in to my PC via it’s micro-USB connector. The right noises appeared, no lights…

As it happens I had a fairly complex project on the go in front of me so I changed the port number to the device at hand and pressed the programming button on my PC..immediately a green light came on on the board along with 2 yellow communication lights.

After the usual programming time I was left with a fully programmed board – no problem with a BLUE light on!.  It is nice to get something in the post that just works first time – and looks pretty.

So what’s so special about this – for one thing – it has 0.1” connectors – which is always a plus. Unlike the ESP-12 it runs on 5v. It also has 4Mbyte of FLASH (most of the other boards have 512K Flash). I just cannot imagine filling up that amount of room – but of course, with the ability to store web pages in FLASH you never know what someone might get up to!

esp210[5]There is a user-definable LED on-board attached to GPIO5 (that’s 4 LEDs in total up to now) and the Silabs CP2014 USB to serial device lets you program up to 921600 baud (rather handy if you wanted to use up that 4Mbyte).

As well as USB you can also power the board by either 5v or 3v3 – which is nice. Other features include pull-ups on GPIO16 and GPIO2 so you could use either for temperature sensing without adding anything. TOUT is actually the ADC – so you get that coming out along with the 2 pins for serial I/O which of course can be used for general purpose.

Armed with on-board antenna there is no facility for an external antenna but to be honest I’ve never seen the need for one – the internal ones seem to work just fine.

LEDsSo – just for a bit of fun I dragged out the nodemcu-firmware in my Eclipse environment (important for Windows users because the make file that comes with the original is for Linux) – applied just about the only update that was missing (a couple of lines change for WS2812b LEDs) – set the SPI speed to 80Mhz, set the size of FLASH to 4Mbytes and pressed the FLASH button – lo and behold it compiled first time, dropped into the ESP-210 without issue and after strapping a strip of serial WS2812b LEDs to the board, entered the right LUA instruction…. and VOILA – a strip of brightly coloured WS2812b LEDs. What could be easier.

 

So there it is – another board to ponder! Invector Embedded Systems AB.  Lots of info here. http://wiki.sweetpeas.se/index.php?title=ESP-210 including instructions for putting NodeMCU on it if that’s your thing.

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17 thoughts on “ESP-210

  1. ESP13 - looks good - but.... it will be RAM that becomes the bottleneck before long as more and more FLASH is added.... if only they'd doubled the amount of RAM internally available...

      1. It is possible MJB that this may be nothing MORE than a rumour - I'm unaware of a new chip from Espressif and I can't see how you could add RAM externally - not enough pins to do the job.

        1. Hi Pete,

          You may be interested in adding an external SPI Flash (SOIC-8 package), there are cheap 20 MHz parts from Microchips ranging from 64KB up to 1MB, with Digi-Key (search for "SPI RAM") prices between $0.74 and $2.52.

          Or use FRAM parts from Fujitsu, Rohm or Cypress to get persistence of data.

          Or even get a integrated 1MB SPI RAM + video controller from VLSI, if you can find one (is it vaporware?):
          http://www.vlsi.fi/en/products/vs23s010.html

      1. I third that motion - Not seeing the 210 for sale after a "standard" (cursory) search

  2. Hi Guys,

    My name is Pontus and I am the creator of the ESP-210 module. I'd like to start by saying that it is great to be here and to see all the interest in the ESP8266 chip and the different modules that are available, including ours.

    The ESP-210 will be launched officially with a Kickstarter campaign early in August with an extensive infrastructure concept containing +One modules (think Arduino shield) and Workstation boards that will aid in making you projects successful.

    The +One modules are modules that stacks on top (or below if you want that) of the ESP-210 with a stacking height of only 5mm's. Currently there are 4 +One modules in the pipeline with one more in the working. Workstation boards are boards that the ESP-210 plugs into bringing additional connectivity and flexibility to your projects.

    To get the latest detailed information you can follow the progress at our wiki (http://wiki.sweetpeas.se/index.php?title=ESP-210). If you want to mail me you can reach me at pontus@sweetpeas.se. I also regularly update our Instagram feed @el_sweetpeas and twitter feed @__sweetpeas__ with information about the progress.

    We look forward to hearing from you.
    /Pontus

  3. I came across some documentation on the ESP-WROOM-02 which appears to be built by Espressif, with 2MB SPI memory, rather than the 4Mb SPI, "2. External SPI Flash
    This module is mounted with an 2 MB external SPI flash to store user programs. If larger definable
    storage space is required, a SPI flash with larger memory size is preferred. Theoretically speaking, up
    to 16 MB memory capacity can be supported.
    Suggested SPI Flash memory capacity:
    • OTA is disabled: the minimum flash memory that can be supported is 512 kB;
    • OTA is enabled: the minimum flash memory that can be supported is 1 MB.
    Several SPI modes can be supported, including Standard SPI, Dual SPI, and Quad SPI.
    Therefore, please choose the correct SPI mode when you are downloading into the flash, otherwise
    firmwares/programs that you downloaded may not work in the right way"

    http://www.ultran.ru/sites/default/files/0c-esp8266__wroom_wifi_module_datasheet__en_v0.3.pdf

    OTA mention is also interesting. It will be interesting to see how far they take this.
    http://www.ultran.ru/sites/default/files/0c-esp8266__wroom_wifi_module_datasheet__en_v0.3.pdf

    By the way, OLIMEX also makes a 2MB version, MOD-WIFI-ESP8266 in 3 flavors, the cheapest appears to have no antenna or connector, just pads. they also have a larger evaluation board with a 220V/10A relay. However the MOD-WIFI-ESP8266-DEV appears to be pretty close to a ESP-12E but not the same, 2MB and pads on the end rather than pins, and there may be other differences. In any case either the Espressif ESP-WROOM-02 (I can't find specs on the Ai-thinker version) or the OLIMEX MOD should be able to do OTA, which might be useful for updating remote devices, at least worth playing with, I think. It might also be easier to get MESH networking with more memory.

    https://www.olimex.com/Products/IoT/MOD-WIFI-ESP8266-DEV/open-source-hardware

    1. Yes Espressif sent me some of their own modules. At the endf of the day these are all the same other than the number of buttons they expose or the amount of FLASH. Up to now I've not come across the need to go beyond the 512K if using the RBOOT program and not leaving great big gaps. But the more the merrier.

      1. The 2MB flash allows for OTA, which is a nice feature for multiple remote devices. Perhaps even more memory storage for remote sensors, allowing for less frequent connections for upload via wifi, which might decrease power usage. More things to think about.

  4. I was poking around and found an ESP-14 from Ai-thinker, but the only information I can find is below, which is interesting because i don't remember seeing STM8003 before, but I could be wrong.

    From AI-Thinker
    ESP8266-14 is a low cost WIFI-MCU communication / control module, built ESP8266 WIFI communication IC and STM8003 microcontrollers, the industry's highly competitive package size and ultra-low power technology can be widely used in smart home network and the Internet of Things field, for connecting the device to the user's physical Wi-Fi wireless network for Internet or LAN communications, networked control functions.
    The module is built into a powerful STM8003 chips, pick out all the pins all connected to the serial port and its ESP8266, the user can write STM8 program, ESP8266 implementation of most of the smart lamp home and WIFI things through AT command control Features.

    From https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=2013.1.0.0.YunzhM&id=520993702592 - I am guessing it has at least 2MB as OTA is available.

    Built STM8003 MCU and ESP8266 WIFI chip
    WIFI Characteristics

    l WIFI support wireless 802.11 b / g / n standards
    l Support STA / AP / STA + AP three operating modes
    l Built-in TCP / IP protocol stack to support multiple TCP Client connections
    l Built STM8003 microcontroller and serial communications ESP8266
    l Support UART / GPIO data communication interface
    l support Smart Link Smart Networking
    l Support remote firmware upgrade (OTA)
    l Built-in 32-bit MCU, it can double as an application processor
    l ultra-low power for battery powered applications
    l voltage range of 2.8V ~ 3.6VDC, recommend using 3.3V single power supply
    l STM8 MCU can be operated via AT commands most of IOT
    l STM8003F3P6 function can refer to the relevant information ST Company.

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