ESP32-H2 RISC-V WiSoC announced with Zigbee 3, Thread, and Bluetooth LE 5.2

Just a few days ago, we noted ESP32-H2 802.15.4 & BLE RISC-V SoC had shown up in the source code, and tried to derive specs and a block diagram from the info seeing it was similar to ESP32-C3, but swapping the WiFi radio for an 802.15.4 radio.

We don’t need to guess anymore, as Espressif Systems has just announced ESP32-H2 RISC-V WiSoC with support for Zigbee 3.x, Thread 1.x through the 802.15.4 radio, as well as Bluetooth LE 5.2.

ESP32-H2 with Thread, Zigbee 3, BLE 5.2So overall it’s very close to what we discussed from the information in the source code with ESP32-H2 highlights including:

  • CPU – 32-bit RISC-V core (at up to 96 MHz)
  • RAM – 256 KB SRAM
  • Storage – External flash support
  • Wireless connectivity
    • IEEE 802.15.4 radio with Zigbee 3.x and Thread 1.x support, Matter protocol
    • Bluetooth 5.2 (LE) radio designed in-house, with support for direct connection, Bluetooth Mesh, Bluetooth LE Audio
    • Future support for Matter protocol (previously Project CHIP) using either radio
  • Peripherals – 26x programmable GPIOs with support for ADC, SPI, UART, I2C, I2S, RMT, GDMA, and PWM
  • Security – ECC-based secure boot, AES-128/256-XTS-based flash encryption, digital signature, HMAC peripheral for identity protection, cryptographic accelerators
  • Integrated DC-DC converter for ultra-low-power, energy-efficient operation.

ESP32-H2 will be supported through Espressif’s IoT Development Framework (ESP-IDF), and you can check out the software development progress on Github.

That’s about all we know at this stage, no information about availability, modules, or development boards. ESP32-H2 is the first wireless SoC from the company that does not use WiFI, and it will specifically target low-power Smart Home applications.

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17 Replies to “ESP32-H2 RISC-V WiSoC announced with Zigbee 3, Thread, and Bluetooth LE 5.2”

    1. It could be the same core, but 96 MHz may be more than enough for BLE/Zigbee, and a lower frequency will lower the power consumption.

  1. They could have left the wifi …
    The wifi can be cut, so we do not consume anything …
    It seems to me that it has less memory than the C3.
    What is the performance of the Risk-V core compared to the 8088 of the first IBM PC?

    1. Even when WIFI is disabled, it takes up expensive space on the chip
      (Même lorsque le WIFI est désactivé, il occupe un espace coûteux sur la puce)

      1. Also maybe Espressif has to pay royalties for each WiFi chip sold. I am not sure about the situation concerning this.

    2. FYI, Wi-Fi is known to cause seriously signal interference with Zigbee and Thread even if used on different channels

      1. Go read about how Wifi-BT interference avoidance hardware works. Hmmm… BT and Wifi work together fine in about 10 billion cellphones. Zigbee is in the same class as BT so same techniques will work.

        Now it is true that if you place a Zigbee radio product next to a wifi one, they will interfere. But if the Zigbee radio and the wifi radio are in the same box you can construct circuits to avoid the interference.

  2. Is there anything known about the properties of the RF part? I.e. power output or link budget?

    1. I don’t think they’d be able to lower the price that much because most of the cost of cellular modules is license-related. But we’ll see.

  3. Does anyone know if Espressif just plans on supporting the ZBOSS stack by DSR Cooperation as their Zigbee stack or maintain a separate fork of ZBOSS stack or make their own Zigbee PRO stack from scratch?

    1. They are going to do whatever is needed to be Thread border router in a Matter system. I don’t think they are looking past that.

      1. But their announcement also specifically mention the “Zigbee” protocol as well.

        If that was not a misunderstanding on their part then they need a Zigbee stack.

        1. The Zigbee Alliance is designing the Matter protocol. Matter is mainly ZCL modified to have better security. But that ZCL is running on top of Thread.

          I believe the old Zigbee 1.0-3.0 will retire to legacy status. I would not expect to see support for it in new devices.

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