ESP32-S2 Hack Chat with Adafruit

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Wednesday, May 6, 2020 12:00 pm PDT Local time zone:
Hack Chat
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Limor "Ladyada" Fried and Scott Shawcroft will host the Hack Chat on Wednesday, May 6, 2020 at noon Pacific Time.

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Join Hack ChatWhen Espressif released the ESP8266 microcontroller back in 2014, nobody could have predicted how successful the chip was to become. While it was aimed squarely at the nascent IoT market and found its way into hundreds of consumer devices like smart light bulbs, hackers latched onto the chip and the development boards it begat with gusto, thanks to its powerful microcontroller, WiFi, and lots of GPIO.

The ESP8266 was not without its problems, though, and security was always one of them. The ESP32, released in 2016, addressed some of these concerns. The new chip added another CPU core, a co-processor, Bluetooth support, more GPIO, Ethernet, CAN, more and better ADCs, a pair of DACs, and a host of other features that made it the darling of the hacker world. 

Now, after being announced in September of 2019, the ESP32-S2 is finally making it into hobbyist's hands. On the face of it, the S2 seems less capable, with a single core and no Bluetooth or Ethernet. But with a much faster CPU, scads more GPIO, more ADCs, a RISC-V co-processor, native USB, and the promise of very low current draw, it could be that the ESP32-S2 proves to be even more popular with hobbyists as it becomes established.

To talk us through the new chip's potential, Limor "Ladyada" Fried and Scott Shawcroft, both of Adafruit Industries, will join us on the Hack Chat. Come along and learn everything you need to know about the ESP32-S2, and how to put it to work for you.

  • Hack Chat Transcript, Part 2

    Dan Maloney05/06/2020 at 19:53 0 comments

    morgan12:30 PM
    can you post a link to that upcoming stream?

    nardev12:30 PM
    @pt thnx.

    morgan12:30 PM
    or where it will be

    tannewt12:31 PM
    @morgan it'll be on

    morgan12:31 PM

    limor12:31 PM
    circuitpython good exprience depends on native usb

    limor12:32 PM
    @morgan for now we're using the USB-UART built in ROM bootloader thats setup on the SAOLA

    limor12:32 PM
    but there is a USB bootloader! so we'll try that out once we've got a more stable build process

    morgan12:32 PM

    todbot12:32 PM
    UF2 is awesome

    limor12:33 PM
    i love ROM bootloaders

    todbot12:33 PM



    UF2 is a file format, developed by Microsoft for PXT (also known as Microsoft MakeCode), that is particularly suitable for flashing microcontrollers over MSC (Mass Storage Class; aka removable flash drive). For a more friendly explanation, check out this blog post. Also, take a look at the list of implementations at the bottom of this document.

    Read this on GitHub

    limor12:33 PM
    we also love UF2

    johnkirk joined  the room.12:33 PM

    Ben Hencke12:34 PM
    whats the deal with web usb? is that going to be a thing, and any ideas for using it with the s2?

    FYI, I'll be posting a transcript and a link to the live stream recording after the Hack Chat

    pt12:34 PM
    Aaron Knox@Adafruit Industries Could you not create a native USB board that the existing ESP 32 or ESP 8266 can plug into to make it a visable as a drive?

    Prof. Fartsparkle12:34 PM
    have you considered tinyuf2 yet? sounds like more maintainable future for uf2

    limor12:35 PM
    @aaron knox nope - no native usb support

    samy kamkar12:35 PM
    Hi all! Thanks for doing the Hackchat! Any work or investigation on the ToF support on the S2? Is the primary goal for indoor positioning or have there been other interesting features available there?

    David Bates joined  the room.12:35 PM

    Salman Faris joined  the room.12:36 PM

    pt12:36 PM
    Jeff KingDoes EspressIF have any data out on TOF?? (3rd request)

    limor12:36 PM
    sounds like there's a way to use the I2S audio peripheral to do 'gpio dma' type activities for cameras, displays etc

    morgan12:36 PM
    as per ToF isn't supported yet

    samy kamkar12:38 PM
    Are all features going to be using IDF or will some things be implemented without it?

    limor12:38 PM
    for ToF you can also check out the AT86RF233

    tannewt12:38 PM


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    samy kamkar12:38 PM
    Ahh cool, thanks!

    Peter Winter12:39 PM
    Thx for this cool chat and all the answers, @limor and @all! Cool to see so many "familiar" / well-known faces here :). Getting excited now for all the cool things to come based on the S2. Greetings from Germany✌️, out now!

    pt12:39 PM
    Aaron Knox@Adafruit Industries Not existing ESP32 /8266 I know they're not supported, rather have a new board that is detected as a device on your pc that accepts the files and relays it onto the ESP32 or 8266.

    Salman Faris12:39 PM
    any suggestion on esp32 pico antenna design, need to know the impedance matching circuitry, can't find more information on datasheet Thanks.

    @tannewt - Can you post a link to your weekly live stream?

    Ben Hencke12:39 PM
    @Salman Faris its 50 ohms.

    pop1312:39 PM
    Would you mind comparing the EESP32 chips on the espressif site?

    limor12:40 PM
    we're planning on making all sorts of devices with the ESP32S2 - feather, metro, CLUE, circuit playground!

    tannewt12:40 PM
    @Dan Maloney

    Salman Faris12:40...

    Read more »

  • Hack Chat Transcript, Part 1

    Dan Maloney05/06/2020 at 19:52 0 comments

    OK everyone, let's get started! My name is Dan Maloney, I'll be your mod today for our Hack Chat with Adafruit on the ESP32-S2. Looks like we have @limor (LadayAda) and @tannewt (Scott) here. We've also got a live stream on YouTube, so tune into that at .

    Welcome Adafruit! Sounds like things are going pretty well over in NYC and everyone is staying healthy, which is great news.

    visualkev joined  the room.12:00 PM

    pt12:00 PM

    Nice flag!

    limor12:01 PM
    hey hackchat!

    John Edison12:01 PM
    Does anybody know if the ESP32-S2 has a larger buffer? I think the variant (not S2) I have is limited to 1600 bytes

    Hi @limor, welcome!

    chaterrony joined  the room.12:01 PM

    Sophi Kravitz12:01 PM
    hi @limor !

    Peter Winter joined  the room.12:01 PM

    AggregatVier12:02 PM
    Category: Entertainment

    AggregatVier12:02 PM
    Well, yes, but...

    Newcomers, make sure you head over to the live stream -

    limor12:02 PM
    @John Edison hi which buffer you talkin about?

    Joshua Young12:02 PM
    Does the ESP32-S2 still have wifi/analog pin conflicts?

    Paul Derbyshire joined  the room.12:02 PM

    Tim White joined  the room.12:02 PM

    Dave12:03 PM
    What's the status of USB OTG support?

    morgan12:03 PM
    I believe is was used by wifi

    mumi12:03 PM

    Paul Subzak joined  the room.12:03 PM

    morgan12:03 PM
    measured signal strength or something?

    limor12:03 PM
    @Joshua Young we havent looked a lot yet - probably has the same restrictions - ask espressif for best info :)

    Dave12:03 PM
    Last time I checked the USB OTG hardware is there but no software support

    Ben Hencke12:04 PM
    how powerful is that riscv coprocessor? what kind of stuff could you do with it?

    tannewt12:04 PM
    @Dave device is working but I don't think host is working

    anecdata joined  the room.12:04 PM

    Peter Winter12:04 PM
    Hi all! Is this thing on *tok tok*? Can I ditch the USB UART chips / programmer boards when using the S2? Aka built in USB UART to program the little rascals without needing?

    Steve12:04 PM
    Hello all

    morgan12:04 PM
    and these USB features have been added to the IDF?

    Sophi Kravitz12:04 PM
    hiya @tannewt !

    David Galloway12:05 PM
    If the EPS32-S2 has 'more ADCs' then maybe it'll adress the problem.

    tannewt12:05 PM
    ESP-IDF support status:

    limor12:05 PM
    @Ben Hencke hi! we haven't tried the risc v yet - but it could be useful for ML/AI projects which need a lto of computation and the ESP32-S2 is not a dual core tensilica

    John Edison12:06 PM
    @limor I was trying to build a packet sniffer a while back but packets over 1600 bytes were getting dropped in the MAC layer

    Prof. Fartsparkle12:06 PM

    Nicolas Tremblay left  the room.12:06 PM

    de∫hipu12:06 PM
    I think the server is melting down

    Adam Demuri12:06 PM
    I'm pretty excited for WiFi Time-of-Flight on the S2. Have you played with it yet? Will it let us do position tracking if we have multiple APs?

    mumi12:06 PM
    So am I incorrect in that this seems more like an upgrade to the 8266 rather than a ESP32V2? It has less ram, no 5GHz.. Is it possible that this is a paired down more realistic feature set than the ESP32 for most applications?

    limor12:06 PM
    @Peter Winter there is a USB bootloader but we don't think its UART - probably DFU or something like that

    james.coleman12:07 PM
    I've had memory leak issues with ESP32 - specifically with mqtt. Is that something that has been addressed in the S2?

    tannewt12:07 PM
    @morgan Yes, I believe the IDF has USB device. In CircuitPython we're using TinyUSB which uses the IDF to init the device.

    limor12:07 PM
    @John Edison that's probably in the IDF setup if its flexible - check that out to see if there's a Kconfig option

    John Edison12:07 PM

    @de∫hipu - Nah, we're all good!

    jim.c.sims joined  the room.12:08 PM

    Peter Winter12:08 PM
    thx @limor !

    Boian Mitov12:09 PM
    What dev board you would recommend for trying the ESP32-S2 with the Arduino IDE ?

    morgan12:09 PM

    Read more »

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