LILYGO Launches Dual-USB ESP32-S2 T-Dongle Dev Board with Full-Color Display On-Board

With two USB ports, a compact display, and a single-core Xtensa LX7 core, this compact dev board offers an unusual mix of features.

Chinese embedded electronics specialist LILYGO has launched another development board, but this one one comes with a somewhat unusual feature: a second USB port, found on the reverse side to a compact 1.14" full-color IPS display.

Following the launch of its sub-$8 T-Zigbee board a week ago, built around the RISC-V-powered ESP32-C3 system-on-chip and a Telink TLSR8258 multi-protocol radio controller, LILYGO has launched another compact development board — but the T-Dongle concentrates on expanded USB connectivity, rather than sub-gigahertz wireless.

The company's latest development board, brought to our attention by CNX Software, comes with an ESP32-S2 microcontroller on board — an older model, from before Espressif announced it would be moving the ESP32 range to RISC-V exclusivity in all future models. As a result, the part features a single 32-buit Xtensa LX7 processing core running at up to 240MHz, though this stands alongside a RISC-V ultra-low power coprocessor located in the chip's real-time clock (RTC) block.

The board also includes 320kB of static RAM (SRAM), 128kB of flash, and Wi-Fi 4 connectivity with an on-board antenna and IPEX connector for an external. Additional storage is available on a microSD slot, while hardware expansion is offered by a single Grove connector. Additionally, the board offers a 1.14" 240×135 full-color IPS LCD panel to the front, for on-board display functionality — but with no user-addressable buttons, you'll need external hardware to make it interactive

What makes the T-Dongle interesting, and what gives it its name, is its USB conectivity. The primary USB port is a Type-A Male — allowing the device to be inserted into a host computer or USB power supply directly, with no intervening cable, for data and power. That's only half the story, however: The board also includes a Type-A Female USB On-The-Go (OTG) port, allowing it to act as a host itself — addressing external drives like flash storage, keyboards, or mice.

The LILYGO T-Dongle is now available to order from the company's AliExpress store at $12.69 per unit; it has not yet appeared on the company's Tindie store, nor has the company released any English documentation or code samples.

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