Espressif's ESP32-H4 Offers Dual-Core Low-Power Bluetooth 5.3 Low Energy, IEEE 802.15.4 Capabilities

Two 32-bit RISC-V cores running at up to 96MHz are joined by Espressif's first radio block to support Bluetooth 5.4 Low Energy.

Espressif has announced a new model in the ESP32 microcontroller family, the ESP32-H4 — offering two low-power 32-bit RISC-V cores and a Bluetooth 5.4 Low Energy (BLE) and IEEE 802.15.4 radio block with support for Bluetooth Mesh, Thread 1.3, and Zigbee 3.0.

"This next-generation SoC [System on Chip] caters to increasing demands for low-power wireless devices, boasting significant upgrades in power consumption, connectivity features, and memory expansion capabilities," Espressif claims of the newest part in its growing ESP32 family. "The ESP32-H4 represents a significant advancement for Espressif's Bluetooth LE chips, transitioning from Bluetooth 5.0 to Bluetooth 5.4."

At the heart of the ESP32-H4 is a pair of 32-bit microcontroller cores, built around a proprietary implementation of the free and open source RISC-V architecture, running at up to 96MHz and with 320kB of on-chip static RAM (SRAM) and 128kB of flash ROM — with support for extending both through the use of external pseudo-static RAM (PSRAM), up to 4MB, and external flash. There are up to 35 general-purpose input/output (GPIO) pins with peripherals including SPI, I2C, I2S, and UART buses, an analog to digital converter (ADC) and analog voltage comparator, temperature sensor, 14 capacitive touch-sensing pins, and both high- and low-power digital inputs and outputs.

The radio block, meanwhile, eschews Wi-Fi in favor of an energy-efficient Bluetooth 5.4 Low Energy (BLE) implementation supporting Bluetooth Low Energy Audio, isochronous channels, periodic advertising with responses, and both angle of arrival and angle of departure direction-funding. Alongside this is support for IEEE 802.15.4 protocols, including Thread 1.3 and Zigbee 3.0 — and, Espressif promises, the new chip will be supported in its ESP-Matter-SDK, allowing for the development of Matter-compatible smart home designs.

At the time of writing, Espressif had not disclosed pricing and availability for the new ESP32-H4; those interested to learn more are invited to contact the company directly.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire:
Latest articles
Sponsored articles
Related articles
Latest articles
Read more
Related articles