Smart Bee Designs’ Bee S3 is an ultra-low-power development board based on Espressif ESP32-S3 WiFi & Bluetooth microcontroller that consumes less than 20 uA in deep sleep mode allowing the board to theoretically last over 5 years under specific conditions.
The board provides WiFi 4 and Bluetooth 5 LE connectivity, features a battery voltage monitoring circuitry to check the battery charge level, a USB Type-C port for power and programming, plus 20 through holes for extensions such as connecting sensors, and so on.
Bee S3 specifications:
- Wireless module – Espressif Systems ESP32-S3-MINI-1 module (PDF datasheet) with ESP32-S3 dual-core Xtensa LX7 processor with WiFi 4 and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, 4MB or 8MB QSPI flash, PCB antenna
- USB – 1x USB Type-C port for power and programming
- Expansion – 2x 10-pin headers with up to 15x GPIO, 8x ADC, touch support, I2C, SPI, UART, 5V In/out, 3.3V out, and GND
- Misc – Reset and Boot buttons, RGB LED
- Power Supply
- 5V DC input via USB-C port
- Support for 1S LiPo battery through 2-pin JST connector with battery voltage monitoring
- Power consumption (numbers are averages)
- Deep sleep – < 20 uA
- Wake, no WiFi – 40 mAh
- Wifi Connected, no traffic – 55+ mAh
- Sending/receiving MQTT messages – 100 mAh
- Dimensions – Breadboard compatible
The PDF schematics, 3D models, power consumption charts from Nordic Semi Power Profiler Kit, and code samples for Arduino, MicroPyhon, and CircuitPython can be found on Github. The 5+ years battery life claim is based on the board being powered by a 1,500 mAh LiPo battery, and staying in deep sleep mode most of the time, only waking up on a day to send a sensor reading over MQTT.
It’s not the first time we wrote about the purple boards from Smart Bee Designs, as they previously released two wireless PIR motion boards with the Bee Motion and Bee Motion Mini respectively based on ESP32-S2 Xtensa LX7 and ESP32-C3 RISC-V microcontrollers.
Smart Bee Designs sells the Bee S3 ultra-low-power ESP32-S3 board for $10 on Tindie and Lectronz. Both shops are out of stock at the time of writing, but the company says it will make more of them soon, and invites you to join the mailing list on either store to get notified of availability.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.