Arduino and Espressif Partner Up for the Low-Cost IoT-Friendly Nano ESP32 Dev Board

At just $18, this new breadboard-friendly dev board includes a dual-core processor, 8MB of PSRAM, 16MB of flash, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth LE.

Arduino has announced the launch of a new Nano-format development board, this time moving away from Microchip in favor of being powered by an Espressif ESP32-S3 — offering both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) connectivity in a breadboard-friendly layout for just $18.

"Arduino is synonymous with a consistent and well-documented ecosystem, always updated and open to contribution," claims Massimo Banzi, Arduino co-founder, chair, and chief marketing officer. "Given the ESP32 is one of the most popular boards for IoT [Internet of Things] and prototyping, combining with the Nano form factor meets our community's needs and expectations by providing both the best technology and the best experience."

Arduino has refreshed the Nano family with a new ESP32-S3-based model, designed for the IoT. (📹: Arduino)

The Arduino Nano ESP32 is, as the name implies, driven by an ESP32-S3 module — specifically, a u-blox NORA-W106-10B — with 512kB of on-chip static RAM (SRAM) plus 16kB in the real-time clock block, 8MB of on-module pseudo-static RAM (PSRAM), and 16MB of external flash storage, all connected to a dual-core Tensilica Xtensa LX7 processor running at up to 240MHz.

"With the launch of Arduino Nano ESP32, we aim to empower developers, makers, and innovators with a comprehensive platform that seamlessly integrates the power and versatility of Espressif's hardware with the simplicity and accessibility of Arduino's ecosystem," adds Espressif chief executive officer Teo Swee-Ann of the partnership. "We share a common vision of democratizing technology and fostering an open and collaborative ecosystem. We're excited about the opportunities this partnership will unlock and the incredible projects it will fuel."

There's a good reason to believe the new board will do well, too: at $18, it's a cheap way to get into the Arduino ecosystem with full Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and Wi-Fi connectivity. There's no surprise, then, to find Arduino making much of the Arduino Nano ESP32's suitability for the Internet of Things — both at the hobbyist level and, it claims, "for advanced enterprise use cases."

The board also launches with full support for the Arduino Cloud platform and both Arduino IDE 2.0 and MicroPython development, with power and data supplied over a USB Type-C connection. Finally, there's a user-addressable RGB LED and the board layout includes castellated headers — meaning if it's purchased without male pin headers already attached, the development board can be surface-mounted on a carrier as a module.

The Arduino Nano ESP32 will be available on the Arduino Store today at starting at $18 without headers — a considerable discount over its predecessor the Arduino Nano 33 IoT, at $25.50. More information is available on the official product page.

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