Banana Pi BPI-Leaf-S3 ESP32-S3 board launched for $7.5

Banana Pi Leaf BPI-Leaf-S3

Banana Pi is better known for its Arm Linux boards, but the company’s Banana Pi BPI-Leaf-S3 board features Espressif ESP32-S3 dual-core WiFi & BLE AI processor, with compatibility with ESP32-S3-DevKitC-1 minus a built-in USB to TTL chip, and added support for battery and an I2C connector.

Banana Pi Leaf (BPI-Leaf-S3) specifications:

  • Wireless MCU – Espressif Systems ESP32-S3 dual-core Tensilica LX7 @ up to 240 MHz with vector instructions for AI acceleration, 512KB RAM, wireless connectivity
  • Storage/Memory – 8MB flash, 2MB SPRAM
  • Connectivity via ESP32-S3
    • 2.4 GHz 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi 4 with 40 MHz bandwidth support
    • Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) 5.0 and Mesh connectivity with long-range support, up to 2Mbps data rate.
    • PCB antenna
  • USB – 1x USB Type-C OTG port for power and programming
  • Expansion
    • 2x 22-pin headers with up to 36x GPIO, 2x 12-bit ADC, 14x touch sensor inputs, 4x SPI, 2x I2C, 2x I2S, LCD interface, DVP camera interface, 3x UART, 8x PWM, USB serial/JTAG, SD/MMC, etc…
    • 4-pin connector with 3.3V, GND, and I2C
  • Misc – Nexopixel RGB LED
  • Power Supply
    • 5V via USB-C port
    • 2-pin connector for 3.7V LiPo battery with charging circuitry
    • Power consumption as low as 10 uA
  • Dimensions – 65.25 x 26 mm
BPI-Leaf-S3 pinout diagram

The company provides basic instructions to get started with the Banana Pi Leaf-S3 board using the ESP-IDF framework, MicroPython, or the Arduino IDE, as well as more technical including PDF schematics on the Wiki. The development flow will mostly be the same as ESP32-S3-DevKitC-1 (e.g. select ESP32S3 Dev Module in the Arduino IDE), except for the programming step as a USB to TTL chip is not included, and you’d need to press and hold the BOOT button to enter bootloader mode.

Comparison between Banana Pi Leaf and Espressif ESP32-S3-DevKitC-1

The Banana Pi BPI-Leaf-S3 board is sold on Aliexpress for $7.5 plus shipping. That seems a little high for an ESP32 board, but it seems ESP32-S3 hardware commands a higher price, at least for now, if we look at other such boards on Aliexpress.

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12 Replies to “Banana Pi BPI-Leaf-S3 ESP32-S3 board launched for $7.5”

    1. Yes, I rushed writing this post before hitting the road, and that’s a copy/paste mess up.

  1. I would prefer having a properly CE/FCC module on a dev board rather than a bananaware developed unshielded piece of jammer

    1. I get what you mean when it comes to SBC but there is little they can do wrong as all are running the ref design (or at least very little change) and was hoping we might see some cheaper clones.
      I guess having to use a serial console on gpio is not much of a big problem

      1. RF is highly layout dependant, even with ref schematic you can screw up everything with the layout also with tiny ‘harmless’ changes, thus I prefer an espressiv module over home grown single boards

      2. There is hardly any need for ESP32 now that the wireless IoT board RPi Pico W has been released. The venerable RPi community provides amazing support both for the novice and experiences tinkerers.

        1. Pico W has yet to have Bluetooth implemented in the Arduino IDE, ESP32’s do. So guess there is no overall winner at the moment.

  2. Its a great price for what I have seen as most have been double but 4mb psram on the S3 seemed to be a norm.
    S3 with its vector instructions is a pretty powerful microcontroller mainly with DSP due to those vector instructions.
    https://espressif-docs.readthedocs-hosted.com/projects/esp-dsp/en/latest/esp-dsp-benchmarks.html
    Same when it comes to running models and shame there isn’t a few more layers than basic CNNs and stuff.

    Its relatively new though and if it does get economies of sale it should get cheaper it kicks the ass of its ESP32 and totally demolishes as Pico.

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