Olimex's New ESP32-POE2 Board Packs 25W of Power over Ethernet for Higher Current Projects

Offering 12V at 2A, 5V at 5A, or 3.3V at 1A, the ESP32-POE2 board aims at higher power projects like door lock solenoids.

Bulgarian open hardware specialist Olimex has unveiled a new Espressif ESP32-based development board with Power over Ethernet (PoE) capabilities — delivering up to 25W of power from compatible PoE switches or injectors: the ESP32-POE2

"[The] current ESP32-POE can deliver only 5V @ 2A," Olimex founder Tsvetan Usunov explains of the reason behind the new board's design, "and this limits some use cases like door opening solenoids for access control. We got number of requests from customers to re-design with possibility to deliver 12V and higher power, this is how ESP32-POE2 idea was born."

The redesigned board, considerably wider than the original, offers three supply outputs: 12V at up to 2A, 5V at up to 5A, and 3.3V at up to 1A. "If your PoE router can’t supply 25W," Usunov adds, "do not worry: ESP32-POE2 has 13W backward compatibility which is enabled via [a] jumper, so it can work with both 13W and 25W PoE routers/switches."

Aside from a change to its power capabilities and a move away from a breadboard-friendly layout to a wider form factor, the ESP32-POE2 matches the original for its specifications — using an Espressif ESP32-WROOM-32E or ESP32-WROVER-E module depending on model chosen, offering a wired Fast Ethernet connection, a built-in charging circuit for a lithium-polymer battery, microSD card storage, and a UEXT connector for use with Olimex' line of break-out boards. The micro-USB port, however, has been upgraded to a more modern USB Type-C.

"Right now we are testing the design," Usunov says of the new board, "[and] production will follow in [the] end of February. Price will be a little bit higher than the classic ESP32-POE." For those who can use the original design, meanwhile, there's a new variant which adds 16MB of SPI flash.

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