Espressif Systems has launched an update to their ESP32-S3-Box development kit for online and offline voice assistants with the ESP32-S3-BOX-3 devkit that still features a 2.4-inch capacitive touchscreen display with 320×240 resolution, two microphones, a built-in speaker, and a USB-C port, but replaces the PMOD connector by a PCIe connector for various expansion modules.
The open-source ESP32-S3 development kit is powered by the ESP32-S3 SoC with AI extensions and can be used to implement all sorts of solutions using the company’s ESP-SR, ESP RainMaker, and Matter solutions such as an offline voice assistant, a chatbot powered by ChatGPT, a handheld gaming console, a tiny robot, a Matter-compatible Smart Home hub, and more.
- WiSoC – ESP32-S3 dual-core Tensilica LX7 up to 240 MHz with Wi-Fi 4 & Bluetooth 5, AI instructions, 512KB SRAM
- Memory and Storage – 16MB octal PSRAM and 16MB QSPI flash
- Display – 2.4-inch capacitive touchscreen display with 320×240 resolution
- Audio – Dual microphone, speaker
- USB – 1x USB Type-C port for power and debugging (JTAG/serial)
- Expansion – PCIe expansion connector
- Power LED, Mute button and LED, boot mode button, reset button
- 6-axis IMU Sensor (IvenSense ICM-42670)
- Infrared “controller”
- Power Supply – 5V via USB Type-C connector or dock
- Dimensions – TBD
The new devkit is basically the same as the older one, except it has more PSRAM (16MB vs 8MB), and the PCIe x1 edge connector enables the connection of one of four expansion modules of all which are sold as part of the kit:
- ESP32-S3-BOX-3-SENSOR with a microSD card slot, a temperature and humidity sensor, an IR receiver and transmitter, a radar sensor, and an 18650 battery holder.
- ESP32-S3-BOX-3-DOCK brings similar features as the original ESP32-S3-BOX with two Pmod headers (16x GPIOs) and power input, plus a USB host port
- ESP32-S3-BOX-3-BREAD brings out two rows of pin headers for an easy connection to a breadboard
- ESP32-S3-BOX-3-BRACKET adapter is said to support integrating ESP32-S3-BOX-3 as a part of any non-smart device, but it’s unclear to me which connectors are exposed…
The design is open-source and you’ll find the schematics and PCB source files, the 3D files to print the enclosures, firmware source code, and various examples on GitHub. Examples include a ChatGPT chatbot, the factory test program using LVGL graphics library, ESP-Rainmaker, and ESP-SR, an image display demo, LVGL official demos, a Matter switch, MP3 music playback, a USB headset example, and a plant watering demo.
It looks to be an even more fun little development kit to play with thanks to its expansion modules and the progress made on the software side since 2021. Espressif sells the ESP32-S3-BOX-3 development kit with the main unit, the four expansion modules, an RGB LED module, and some cables for $49.99 on Aliexpress. You may also find additional details in the official announcement.
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.