LilyGO T-HC32 board with the world’s smallest Arm MCU (HC32L110B6) is now available for $9

HC32L110 Arm Cortex-M0+ MCU is found in a minuscule 1.59 x 1.436 mm CSP16 package that should make it the world’s smallest Arm MCU. LilyGO T-HC32 is one of the first boards with the HC32L110B6 microcontroller, and it is now available for $8.98 on Aliexpress including shipping.

The board offers really basic features with two buttons, a WS2812 RGB LED, and two-row of ten pins each for GPIOs and power signals, plus a 4-pin header for SWD programming. There’s nothing really special about the board or its price, except for the MCU’s size that’s barely discernable from a discrete component, and much smaller than the 7x7mm ESP32-PICO-D4 system-in-package shown in the photo below for comparison.

HC32L110B6 vs ESP32-PICO-D4
A huge ESP32-PICO-D4 SiP is shown for reference.

 

LilyGO T-HC32 board specifications:

  • MCU – HDSC HC32L110B6 Arm Cortex-M0+ @ up to 32 MHz with up to 4KB RAM, up to 32KB flash memory
  • Expansion – 2x 10-pin header with GPIO, UART, I2C, SPI, VCC, VBUS, and GND
  • Programming – 4-pin SWD header
  • Misc – Reset button, user button, WS2812 RGB LED
  • Power Supply – 5V via USB Type-C port
  • Dimensions – 3 x 2.2 cm

LilyGO T-HC32 pinout map

They could have probably made the PCB a little smaller, as some pins are duplicated (VCC and GND), and the board itself is bigger than the nRF52840-based Seeed Studio XIAO BLE Sense board, but at least it could serve as a base to develop ultra-compact solutions based on the HC32L110B6 MCU.

The first time we wrote about the microcontroller there was only documentation in Chinese, but now LilyGO has set up a Github repository with Keil MDK and IAR code samples written in C language, and some basic documentation to get started in English. Sadly all detailed documentation about HC32L110 MCU is still in Chinese only.

LilyGO T-HC32 boardWhile the T-HC32 board itself is sold for $8.98, you’ll either need a J-Link debugger connected to the SWD interface, or the T-U2T Kit USB to TTL adapter connected to the USB-C port to program the board. The latter is available in a bundle that goes for $14.98 including shipping.

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15 Comments
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Theguyuk
Theguyuk
1 month ago

That more memory than a Sinclair ZX80 and ZX81 had.

dgp
dgp
1 month ago

Its as if time and progress goes forward or something. Mind blown.

Theguyuk
Theguyuk
1 month ago

Not. People did a lot in 1KB ram 8KB ROM. Also not a Arduino in sight, “The ULA chip, described by the ZX81 manual as the “dogsbody” of the system, has a number of key functions that competing computers share between multiple chips and integrated circuits. These comprise the following: Synchronising the screen display; Generating a 6.5 MHz clock, from which a 3.25 MHz clock is derived for the processor; Outputting an audio signal to a cassette recorder in SAVE mode; Processing the incoming cassette audio signal in LOAD mode; Sensing keystrokes; Using memory addresses provided by the CPU to decide when… Read more »

dgp
dgp
1 month ago

Heads up: I own+read the ULA book by Chris Smith. >Not. People did a lot in 1KB ram 8KB ROM. Yay! I had a spectrum, I also had an Amiga.. I was really glad for having the Amiga because in comparison the spectrum was garbage. And now I have a machine with 64GB of RAM, tons of CPU cores and a RTX 3070TI the Amiga is also garbage in comparison. Tokenised BASIC was awful and you know it. >Also not a Arduino in sight, Not sure what Arduinos have to do with this.. >“The ULA chip, described by the ZX81… Read more »

Theguyuk
Theguyuk
1 month ago

Disagree, I had ZX81, ZX Spectrum, Atari ST, Atari STE, Pentium P100 I overclocked to 120.
Tokenized basic allowed bigger basic programs in 1K, 16K, 48K etc.

I built many my own PC from parts. DOS, Windows 3.11, 95, 98, XP, 7 and 10. Doing things in software is nothing new, some graphics cards only had features written in the drivers in software.

dgp
dgp
1 month ago

Ok, Jerry.

Theguyuk
Theguyuk
1 month ago

OK Jerry

Willy
Willy
1 month ago

Truly impressive. That’s also an amazing success for the PCB maker to etch copper lanes this thin!

andelf
andelf
1 month ago

Csp16 for an MCU at 1.4mm squared isn’t really go groundbreaking. There are a lot of 8051’s around. I’m not sure they using arm would be a “claim to fame” either.. sorry for being a negative Nancy, but it’s just more expensive for no parent gain…

kxygk
1 month ago

It’s discussed here in more detail: https://spritesmods.com/?art=hc32l110

Seems accessing all the pins is the challenge – but you can get at least the essentials without any magic

Willy
Willy
1 month ago

Oh, I remember seeing very similar photos a few years ago of another uC being soldered with enamelled wire like this. that was impressive. Note, I like to play with minuscule devices, I even assembled two working Breadbee boards, but here it’s one step further 🙂

Hassan Daoud
Hassan Daoud
1 month ago

cant compare with esp32, has 500KB memory and 4MB flash, bluetooth, wifi, and a 160MHz clock, …

Willy
Willy
1 month ago

Agreed, it should rather be compared with a small Arduino, it’s closer to an ATTiny87.

Mike
Mike
1 month ago

240MHZ clock

Jon Smirl
1 month ago

How about a BLE module including the antenna for 4x10x1mm?
https://www.allaboutcircuits.com/news/worlds-smallest-ble-module-emerges-from-toshiba-and-nordic-semiconductor-team-up/
Cortex-M4, 192K flash, 24K RAM

This chip has been used in pills you swallow that send out real-time intestinal readings via the radio.

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