Adafruit Confirms ESP32-S3 Feather Plans, Orders Drop-In Module Replacements for Older ESP32-S2

Espressif's modules prove a drop-in upgrade for the ESP32-S2 Feather board, bringing a dual-core processor and new tinyML features.

Adafruit has confirmed plans to release a new version of its ESP32-S2 Feather based around the dual-core Bluetooth Low Energy-capable ESP32-S3 — having found drop-in replacement modules.

"We just picked up some ESP32-S3 Mini modules from Digi-Key and, surprise! They are pin compatible with the S2 Mini modules," Adafruit's Limor "LadyAda" Fried writes of the impending hardware refresh. That means we were able to upgrade our ESP32-S2 Feather to use the newest dual-core+BLE chipset. All the pins have been tested, NeoPixel works and so does I2C… we can fabricate some of these for the shop as soon as we can get a reel from Espressif."

Unveiled late last year, the ESP32-S3 is designed as a more capable alternative to the ESP32-S2. It includes a 240MHz dual-core Xtensa LX7 32-bit microprocessor, in place of the single-core processor of its predecessor, and Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth, and Bluetooth Low Energy connectivity. The part also includes a security system, up to 44 programmable general-purpose inputs/outputs (GPIOs), and enhancements designed for tinyML and the Internet of Things (IoT).

The Adafruit ESP32-S2 Feather is getting an upgrade, thanks to a dual-core ESP32-S3 module. (📹: Adafruit)

A Feather based around the new chip, then, is to be welcomed — particularly as it will be completely compatible with projects built around its ESP32-S2-based precursor. Exactly when it will hit shelves, however, remains up in the air: Adafruit has confirmed it is waiting for a shipment of modules from Espressif, but with ongoing component shortages pushing lead times out it's anybody's guess when the quantities required will be available.

More information on the new board will become available once more is known over on the Adafruit blog.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire:
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