Espressif has announced a new entry in its ESP32 family of systems-on-chips (SoCs), and its first to offer Wi-Fi 6 connectivity alongside Bluetooth 5 Low Energy (BLE): the ESP32-C6 RISC-V-based chip.
Designed for devices that require wireless connectivity with integrated security, the ESP32-C6 is built around a single 32-bit core based on the free and open-source RISC-V instruction set architecture (ISA) and running at up to 160MHz. Alongside that is 400kB of static RAM (SRAM), 384kB flash ROM, support for external flash, and 22 programmable general-purpose input/output (GPIO) pins supporting ADC, SPI, UART, I2C, I2S, RMT, TWAI and PWM.
Wireless connectivity, meanwhile, includes Espressif's first 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 block, a major upgrade over the Wi-Fi 4 connectivity of the earlier ESP32-C3, which the company says it has tweaked for Internet of Things (IoT) applications. The chip supports 20MHz bandwidth in 802.11ax or 20/40MHz in 802.11b/g/n mode, supports a station interface, and boosts transmission efficiency and power consumption over Wi-Fi 6 equivalents.
Additional tweaks made to the Wi-Fi connectivity on the part include support for Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) for both uplink and downlink connections, Multi-User Multiple Input Multiple Output (MU-MIMO) for downlinks, and Target Wake Time — allowing 802.11ax-capable Wi-Fi access points to bring the device out of an ultra-low power deep sleep mode.
The new part also includes Bluetooth 5 Low Energy (BLE) connectivity and a security block which includes hardware acceleration for SHA and AES plus a hardware random-number generator, HMAC and digital signature system,, RSA-3072 secure boot, and support for encrypting flash content through XTS-AES-128.
Espressif has not yet published documentation nor pricing for the part, but advises interested parties to contact the company through its sales query form for more information.