Unexpected Maker Seon Rozenblum Refreshes His ESP32 Boards Family with TinyS3, FeatherS3, ProS3

Starting at $20, these dual-core Internet of Things development boards are successors to Rozenblum's popular ESP32-S2-based variants.

Seon Rozenblum, also known as the "Unexpected Maker," has launched a trio of new development boards built around Espressif's ESP32 chips: the TinyS3, the FeatherS3, and the ProS3.

Designed as successors to Rozenblum's earlier ESP32-S2-based designs, the TinyS3, FeatherS3, and ProS3 are all built around the same chip: Espressif's ESP32-S3, which offers two 32-bit Xtensa LX7 cores running at up to 240MHz, a tertiary ultra-low-power core built around the free and open source RISC-V instruction set architecture (ISA), and 512kB of static RAM (SRAM) — plus vector instruction support for acceleration of tinyML workloads.

The ESP32-S3 also offers 2.4GHz 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0 Low Energy (BLE) connectivity with Bluetooth Mesh support — but while all three boards share the same core, they differ in how many extra features they add. The TinyS3, the smallest in the range, breaks out 17 general-purpose input/output (GPIO) pins, has a single 3.3V low drop-out regulator, and 8MB of internal flash plus 8MB of external pseudo-static RAM (SRAM).

The FeatherS3 bulks up to a Feather-compatible form factor, replacing the ESP32-S3FN8 of the TinyS3 with an ESP32-S3 using 16MB of external flash plus the same 8MB of PSRAM. This time there are 21 GPIO pins and two LDO regulators, plus two STEMMA QT/Qwiic connectors — one per LDO. There's also a populated JST connector for a battery, while the TinyS3 leaves the pads unpopulated. There's also an ambient light sensor, as a bonus input.

Finally, the ProS3 switches to an even longer gumstick form factor with castellated pin pads, allowing for use as a surface-mount module, and comes 27 GPIO pins, two LDOs, and a microblade connector for a battery. It does, however, drop to a single STEMMA QT/Qwiic connector — and comes with the promise of full protection from electrostatic discharge (ESD). All the boards use a USB Type-C connector for data and power, with USB JTAG debugging plus a dedicated JTAG header on the ProS3, and include a user-addressable RGB LED.

All three boards are built with CircuitPython in mind, though Rozenblum confirms that they can be programmed using MicroPython, the Arduino IDE, or Espressif's own ESP-IDF as well. All three are also supported by a GitHub repository, which includes full schematics, 3D models, and KiCad footprints, with Fritzing part files to follow in the near future.

More information on the boards is available on Rozenblum's dedicated website; fully-assembled boards are available to purchase on the Unexpected Maker Tindie store at $20 for the TinyS3, $22 for the Feather S3, and $24 for the ProS3.

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