ESP32-WROOM-32D / ESP32-WROOM-32U WiFi & Bluetooth Modules Deliver Better RF Performance

ESP-WROOM-32 is likely the most popular ESP32 WiFi + Bluetooth module on the market, but a few months ago, Espressif Systems unveiled two variants named ESP32-WROOM-32D / ESP32-WROOM-32U, which are based on ESP32-D0WD (5x5mm package) instead of ESP32-D0WDQ6 (6x6mm package), and are said to offer better RF performance

ESP32-WROOM-32D is the most similar to ESP-WROOM-32 since it also comes with a PCB antenna, while ESP32-WROOM-32U is much smaller as it relies on an external WiFi/Bluetooth antenna via a u.FL connector. Both new modules are pin-to-pin compatible with ESP-WROOM-32

Key features:

  • CPU – Espressif ESP32-D0WD dual core Tensilica processor
  • Storage – 32Mbit SPI flash
  • Crystal – 40 MHz
  • Connectivity – Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n up to 150 Mbps, Bluetooth 4.2 LE
  • I/Os – 38- catellagated pin with I/Os + GND plane
  • Antenna
    • ESP32-WROOM-32D – on-board antenna
    • ESP32-WROOM-32U – u.FL connector for external IPEX antenna
  • Dimensions
    • ESP32-WROOM-32D – 18 x 25.5 x 3.1 mm
    • ESP32-WROOM-32U – 18 x 19.2 x 3.2 mm

There looks to be some confusion about the product names, as Espressif Systems names the modules ESP32-WROOM-32D and ESP32-WROOM-32U on the official product page (with datasheet, TRM, etc…), but whoever made the module pictured above, named the former ESP-WROOM-32D.

The modules were first spotted on by Reddit users three months ago, but I’ve just found out about it through Electrodragon which sells the original ESP-WROOM-32 and ESP-WROOM-32D modules for 3.06 Euros, and the ESP32-WROOM-32U module for 3.14 Euros. The D model will however only start shipping around the end of March.

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itchy n scratchy
itchy n scratchy
3 years ago

Im wondering if the ufl version is any better than the usual wifi equipment when it comes to range…

Jon Smirl
3 years ago

You can make an ESP32 PCB with an external PA/LNA chip on it and go right up to the FCC power limit. But doing that eats up a lot of power – probably 5x the normal ESP draw – and that limits the market. Add on a high quality antenna and you can get your range up to a mile or more. It is just a function of how much money you want to spend and how big the antenna is.

A TI CC2591 should work. About $3.50

3 years ago

@Jon Smirl I remember a few YouTube videos on WiFi Range of the older ESP8266 pcb’s by ‘that Swiss guy’ stating he got a mile or more. Problem was, he went to such lengths to maximise the range, like disable the normal return path, and only send ‘pings’, it did not test a real-world practical link where people want a usable bandwidth for sending volumes of data. I think he may have also used a very high gain antenna with narrow beamwidth, which highly limits use cases. Pycom claims 1Km range for their ESM32 modules, but only under ‘special conditions’… Read more »