M5Stack's CoreS3 SE Drops the Sensors, Slashes the Price

No camera, no inertial measurement unit, no DIN rail base — but a saving on the standard price for those who can live without.

Gareth Halfacree
1 month agoHW101

M5Stack has launched a new version of its CoreS3 microcontroller module, designed for those looking to trim their budget and who don't need built-in sensors: the CoreS3 SE.

"The M5CoreS3 SE is a lightweight version of the third-generation CoreS3 main unit in the M5Stack development kit series," M5Stack explains of the latest entry in its development board line-up. "It is powered by the [Espressif] ESP32-S3 solution, featuring a dual-core [Telsilica] Xtensa LX7 processor with a main frequency of 240MHz, and comes with built-in (2.4G[Hz]) Wi-Fi functionality."

The design of the CoreS3 SE mimics, unsurprisingly, that of the original CoreS3, and it includes the same microcontroller. There's the same expansion header underneath, providing solderless connectivity to add-on modules including an optional battery pack, and there's a 2" IPS capacitive touchscreen to the front. There's audio input and output capabilities, an on-board real-time clock, an integrated 1W speaker, and dual microphones. There's the same USB Type-C On-The-Go (OTG) port for data and power, and the same 8MB of pseudo-static RAM (PSRAM) and 16MB of flash.

What there isn't is anything in the way of on-board sensors. The on-board camera of the original CoreS3 is gone, with the glass screen covering extending above where it would usually be. Also missing are the inertial measurement unit, magnetic compass, and proximity sensor — and the DIN rail mountable base, a bundled accessory with the original CoreS3, has been removed from the kit to keep costs down.

The result is a device that remains compatible with the CoreS3 ecosystem, but cuts the cost: M5Stack has listed the CoreS3 at $38.90, a reasonable discount over the $59.90 of the full CoreS3 kit — which includes the missing sensors and DIN rail mount base.

The CoreS3 SE is now available to order on the M5Stack store, with more information available in the company's documentation.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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