Wednesday, 1 July 2015

AESP One - first generation of fully compatible ESP8266 development board



Getting the most from your ESP8266 with AESP One.

We're going to present our first release of AESP One, fully compatible development board based on ESP8266 module.

It's a project developed to be suitable with the most software and USB UART hardware available on the market, with the minimum of hardware production difficulties.

The core is a WiFi System on Chip called ESP8266. For any of our follower who once again don't know this module, it's a RISC architecture WiFi SoC with:
  • Xtensa LX106 core processor (support 80-160 MHz CPU clock)
  • support 802.11 b/g/n protocol
  • WiFi 2.4 GHz, support WPA/WPA2
  • WIFI TCP-IP stack (ipv4 only at the moment)
  • STBC, 1x1 MIMO, 2x1 MIMO
  • 64 KB of instruction RAM
  • 96K KB of data RAM
  • 64 KB of boot ROM
It integrates lots of other features such as GPIO, PWM, IIC, 1-Wire and 10-bit ADC all in one module board.

The main characteristics of AESP One are a single PCB face that makes simple your PCB printing, fully configurable jumpers for your device integrations and an ease of use combined with a small form factor (useful to make mobile device).

These characteristics describe in short our board:
  • Open-source and Open-Hardware
  • All module pins broken out
  • Interactive
  • Simple and Fully Configurable PCB
  • Programmable
  • Low cost
  • Smart
  • WI-FI enabled
  • Compatible with most commercial USB UART adaptors

The Hardware

More in depth, our device is a 3.3v based board, but you can power it with your preferred UART USB adaptor thanks to the AMS1117 regulator on board. We provide a fully compatibility with the most of commercial UART adaptor such as:
  • CP2102 UART USB
  • CH340G UART Serial USB
Follow the pictures of settings for both UART devices.

(it was modded to add RTS & DTR pins )


Once more, we provide a fully in-programming options to flashing the SoC, through the push buttons on board or through the RTS/DTR pins of your UART USB adaptor. Our external SPI Flash on module could be different from yours, it's depending on the ESP8266 you have purchased, in our case we have a 25Q40BT 4 mbit / 512 kbyte flash memory (it seems to be a standard stock).


As wrote, you can find two push buttons, one to reset the board before (or after) to flash your program and one button to put the board in flash mode. It's available a jumper plug, on the right side, to disconnect the board from power source (UART USB adapter in our case) or to power on the device.


The module chosen provides a WiFi antenna integrated on module (model ESP-07), but you can expand radius of coverage simply connecting an external antenna on MCX plug.

All ESP8266 module's pins are broken out, flash memory pins apart.


The Software

The boost of ESP8266 it's the SDK that Espressif Systems has distributed for free to development community. This has generated an amazing community of developer that every day supports this device in every developing software solution. There are so many API to support you with ESP8266 code's writing, the most commons are:

Arduino-like API

With the Arduino-compatible IDE it was brought support for ESP8266 chip to the Arduino environment. Advanced API for hardware IO, which can dramatically reduce developing times for configuring and manipulating hardware (we developed some libraries just for it).

Nodejs style network API

Event-driven API for network applications, which facilitates developers writing code running on SoC ESP8266 in Nodejs style. Greatly speed up your IOT application developing process.

This concludes our intro to the project, stay tuned for future updates.


Project link on github.

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