NewsLILYGO Enhances Mini E-Paper Core with ESP32-S3 Upgrade

LILYGO Enhances Mini E-Paper Core with ESP32-S3 Upgrade

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LILYGO Upgrades Mini E-Paper Core to ESP32-S3 Microcontroller

LILYGO, a prominent player in IoT technology, has upgraded its Mini E-Paper Core with the ESP32-S3 wireless microcontroller. Initially launched in 2021 with the ESP32-PICO-D4 system-in-package, the new model, named “Mini E-Paper Core S3,” retains the original design including a 1.02-inch E-Paper display and several GPIOs.

Mini E-Paper Core S3: Compact and Versatile IoT Controller

The compact ESP32-S3 IoT controller is designed for integration into a variety of projects. LILYGO also offers shields with nRF24L01 2.4GHz wireless or 433/868 MHz “LoRa” connectivity, enhancing the device’s range and making it suitable for longer-range IoT applications.

Detailed Specifications of Mini E-Paper Core S3

  • Wireless SoC: Espressif Systems ESP32-S3FN4R2 with a dual-core Tensilica LX7 CPU, supporting AI acceleration.
  • Memory and Storage: Equipped with 512KB RAM, 2MB PSRAM, and 4MB flash storage.
  • Wireless Capabilities: Includes 2.4 GHz WiFi 4 and Bluetooth connectivity.
  • Display: Features a 1.02-inch e-paper display with 128×80 resolution.
  • USB Interface: A USB Type-C port for power and programming.
  • Expansion Options: Includes a 7-pin and an 8-pin header for various GPIO and power connections.
  • Miscellaneous: Comes with a three-way toggle button, reset button, and a 3D printed shell.
  • Power Supply: Powered via a USB-Type-C port or an external battery with a charging circuit.
  • Energy Efficiency: Approximately 10uA power consumption in sleep mode.

Programming and Development Support

The Mini E-Paper Core S3 simplifies firmware flashing by utilizing the USB port as the JTAG upload port. LILYGO provides comprehensive support for PlatformIO and Arduino, with extensive resources such as instructions, schematics, firmware, and samples available on their GitHub repository.

Comparing with M5Stack Core2 Development Kit

The Mini E-Paper Core S3 serves as a smaller and more cost-effective alternative to the M5Stack Core2 development kit, which is based on a 2-inch touchscreen color LCD. The device’s compatibility with wireless shields, including a Texas Instruments CC1101-based 433/868 MHz shield, extends its functionality, despite it being mistakenly referred to as a LoRa shield.

LILYGO’s upgrade to the Mini E-Paper Core with the ESP32-S3 wireless microcontroller is a significant enhancement, offering a versatile and efficient solution for a wide range of IoT applications. Its compact size, coupled with its advanced features and extended connectivity options, make it an ideal choice for developers and hobbyists alike.

Michal Pukala
Electronics and Telecommunications engineer with Electro-energetics Master degree graduation. Lightning designer experienced engineer. Currently working in IT industry.