LiLyGo T-SIMCAM ESP32-S3 camera development board supports optional 4G LTE connectivity

ESP32-S3 has been in the news recently and we just wrote about the Bee S3 and BPI-PicoW-S3 boards yesterday, but there’s more, and LilyGo T-SIMCAM ESP32-S3 is another interesting ESP32-S3 board with a 2MP camera as well as support for an optional 4G LTE module.

The board can make use of the AI capabilities from the ESP32-S3 microcontroller through the built-in camera and microphone and offers two options for power with 5V through a USB Type-C port, as well as a 2-pin JST connector for connecting a battery.

T-SIMCAM ESP32-S3 CAM board specifications:

  • Wireless MCU – ESP32-S3R8 dual-core Xtensa LX7 microcontroller with WiFi 4 and Bluetooth 5.0 LE and Mesh connectivity with 8MB PSRAM
  • Storage – 16MB QSPI flash, MicroSD card socket
  • Camera – 2MP OV2640 camera with 1622×1200 resolution
  • Audio – I2S digital microphone
  • Connectivity – Optional NB-IoT, 2G GSM, or 3G/4G LTE module via mPCIe socket and SIM card slot
  • USB – 1x USB Type-C port for power and programming
  • Expansion
    • Grove connector
    • mPCIe socket (UART) for optional cellular module
  • Misc – Reset and Boot buttons, external or on-board antenna
  • Power Supply
    • 5V DC input via USB-C port
    • Support for LiPo battery through a 2-pin JST connector
  • Dimensions – 82 x 35.5 x 12 mm
Pinout diagram

The company says it provides code for the Arduino IDE and VS-Code, but if we look at the GitHub repository, we can also see support for ESPHome for all LilyGO camera boards. Sample code includes sketches to upload photos taken by ESP32 to Google Drive, Baidu Cloud, and Bemfa Cloud. The board should also be well suited to the ESP-DL library leveraging the vector instructions on the ESP32-S2 to accelerate AI workloads.

For cellular connectivity, you’ll need to purchase one of the LilyGO mPCIe modules as shown in the photo below.

The T-SIMCAM ESP32-S3 board is sold for $16.99 on Banggood, but you’ll also find it on Aliexpress and surprisingly Walmart. You’ll also find various LilyGO mPCIe modules on Aliexpress if you need cellular connectivity. It’s not the first ESP32-S3 board with a camera, as Espressif launched its own ESP32-S3-EYE board for evaluation, and we previously reported on the Maple Eye ESP32-S3 board that also includes not one, but two displays.

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