The mass production ESP32-S2 parts from Espressif, which mark the first time the family has included a processing core based on the free and open source RISC-V architecture, have begun landing with customers — and Unexpected Maker has taken one through its paces.
Announced by Espressif in May last year with beta parts soon following, the ESP32-S2 — a successor to the popular ESP32-S — was officially launched into mass production earlier this month. The design is a considerable shift from its predecessor: In addition to its main microprocessor, an Xtensa 32-bit LX7, the compact system-on-chip now includes an ultra-low-power coprocessor based on the free and open source RISC-V instruction set architecture.
This RISC-V ULP, Espressif claims, should lead to considerably more energy-efficient designs: In addition to being able to shut off the Wi-Fi and radio-frequency portions of the design, the main CPU can be powered down while the ULP monitors the system for potential wake-up conditions.
While beta silicon has been available for some time, the finalised mass-production version is now landing with Espressif customers. Unexpected Maker Seon Rozenblum is among the first recipients, receiving both bare SOCs and two development boards for testing. In a hands-on YouTube video, Rozenblum takes the two boards — finalized versions of the ESP32-S2-Saola-1 and the larger display-equipped ESP32-S2-Kaluga-1 - through their paces.
Rozenblum is working on his own development board designs, too, after having used beta silicon to design and test the ESP32-S2 ProS2 late last year. These have officially entered production following the release of the finalised ESP32-S2, but Rozenblum warns shipment has been delayed by approximately a week.
More information on the Espressif ESP32-S2 and the two official development board designs can be found on the Espressif website.