LILYGO Launches Sub-$8 RISC-V-Based ESP32-C3 T-Zigbee Wireless Development Board

Available for $7.20 while initial stocks last, this board includes an ESP32-C3 alongside a TLSR8258 for multi-radio capabilities.

Chinese embedded electronics specialist LILYGO has launched a low-cost development board boasting Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0 Low Energy, and Zigbee 3.0 connectivity — and has priced the T-Zigbee at under $8.

The new board, brought to our attention by CNX Software, is based on a gumstick form-factor with breadboard-friendly headers and a USB Type-C connector for power and data. Its primary processor is an Espressif ESP32-C3 system-on-chip, which includes a 32-bit RISC-V core running at up to 160MHz alongside 400kB of static RAM (SRAM) plus Wi-Fi 4 and Bluetooth 5.0 Low Energy (BLE) radios.

That's not the only controller on the board, however: Alongside the ESP32-C3 is a Telink TLSR8258 multi-protocol radio controller, which offers support for Zigbee 3.0 connectivity along with RF4CE, Thread, 6LoWPAN, HomeKit, and ANT, plus Bluetooth Mesh capabilities. THe two radios are brought out to two separate PCB antennas, with U.FL connectors for optional external antennas.

In total, the board offers 21 general-purpose input/output (GPIO) pins split between the two processors, with four analog inputs, three UART, two I2C, two SPI, and I2S buses. Three user-controllable LEDs are included in the board, along with reset and a single user-addressable button — while a hardware DIP switch flips the USB UART connection between the ESP32-C3 and the TLSR2858.

This isn't LILYGO's first design to use the Espressif ESP32-C3: Last year the company launched the TTGO T-OI PLUS built around the chip, following it up some months later with the surface-mount T-32C3 module. While using the same system-on-chip, however, the T-Zigbee doesn't use the T-32C3 module — likely for reasons of saving footprint on the surprisingly compact board.

At the time of writing LILYGO had not listed the new board on its Tindie store, but the part is available on AliExpress at just $7.20 plus shipping — based on a discount, the seller warns, which will expire once initial stock is gone.

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