Espressif ESP32-S2 Secure WiFi MCU Comes with an Xtensa LX7 Core @ 240 MHz

ESP32-S2Espressif Systems has unveiled a new ESP32 WiFi MCU based on Cadence (previously Tensilica) Xtensa LX7 core instead of the usual Xtensa LX6 core(s). ESP32-S2 is powered by a single Xtensa LX7 core clocked at 240 MHz, supports Wi-Fi HT40 @ 2.4 GHz, and provides up to 43 GPIOs.

Espressif ESP32-S2 specifications:

  • CPU – Cadence Xtensa single-core 32-bit LX7 microcontroller @ up to 240 MHz, and ultra-low-power co-processor
  • System Memory – 320 kB SRAM, external SPIRAM support up to 128 MB in total, 16 KB RTC memory
  • Storage –  128 kB ROM, up to 1 GB of external flash support
  • Connectivity
    • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n 1×1 transmit and receive with HT40 support with data rate up to 150 Mbps
    • Support for TCP/IP networking, ESP-MESH networking, TLS 1.0, 1.1 and 1.2 and other networking protocols over Wi-Fi
    • Support Time-of-Flight (TOF) measurements with normal Wi-Fi packets
  • I/O & peripherals
    • 43x programmable GPIOs
    • 14x capacitive touch sensing IOs
    • SPI, I2C, I2S, UART, ADC/DAC, and PWM
    • LCD (8-bit parallel RGB/8080/6800) interface and also support for 16/24-bit parallel
    • Camera interface supports 8 or 16-bit DVP image sensor, with a clock frequency of up to 40 MHz
    • Full speed USB OTG support
  • Security
    • RSA-3072-based trusted application boot
    • AES256-XTS-based flash encryption to protect sensitive data at rest
    • 4096-bit eFUSE memory with 2048 bits available for application
    • Digital signature peripheral for secure storage of private keys and generation of RSA signatures
  • Low Power Consumption
    • Fine resolution power control through a selection of clock frequency, duty cycle, Wi-Fi operating modes and individual power control of internal components.
    • When Wi-Fi is enabled, the chip automatically powers on or off the RF transceiver only when needed
    • ULP co-processor with less than 5 uA idle mode and 24 uA at 1% duty-cycle current consumption.
    • Improved Wi-Fi-connected and MCU-idle-mode power consumption.
  • Package – 7×7 mm QFN package

ESP32-S2 has a larger package and offers more I/O and peripherals options than predecessors including support for RGB LCD displays and a USB OTG interface, but it lacks Bluetooth. I can’t find a clear comparison between Xtensa LX6 and LX7 cores, but you can find more details about the later in LX7 product brief.

ESP32-S2 supports Espressif’s software development framework (ESP-IDF) like their other ESP32 chips. Applications for ESP32-S2 include Smart Home connectivity, battery operated devices, industrial automation, POS machines, and service robots.

The first ESP32-S2 beta engineering samples will be available in June. More details may be found in the press release.

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