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An ESP32 with an RP2040 in an RPi4 Form Factor is Coming Soon to CrowdSource

Written by Stephen Vicinanza

MDC-Service Wittenburg GmbH is launching the EsPiFF, a board the size of a Raspberry Pi 4, carrying an ESP32 and an RP2040 from the Raspberry Pi Pico, microcontroller. The company claims EsPiFF can use almost all Raspberry Pi 4 enclosures and HAT.

The board also has wireless and wired Ethernet, an SD card socket, and an RP2040 co-processor. It works in place of many Raspberry Pi 4 project developments and is a low-power Pi alternative. In most instances, the microcontroller is packaged to fit into tight spaces and usually, something as big as Raspberry Pi 4 wouldn’t be ideal, but that didn’t deter MDC-Service Wittenburg, who launched on Crowd Supply.

In the heart of the EsPiFF, there is a dual-core ESP32-WROVER and an RP2040 running full tilt. The RP2040 is acting as a co-processor that bridges the gap between Pi-compatible HATs and the ESP32.

There is the challenge of the port layout, which is compatible with Raspberry Pi 4 enclosures, but not all, or maybe not that many. Some of the Raspberry Pi cases, which do number many, work for housing the unique board.

With the 40-pin GPIO array, the board can handle Pi HATs just like a Raspberry Pi 4. The 40-pin GPIO is being claimed as compatible with HATs and connects the RP2040 to the HATs. How effective that is will depend on how the board reacts in the real world.

There is 8MB of PSRAM, 8Mbit of high-speed ISSI flash, and 16 MB of flash, with an unpopulated header for 512Mbit more storage. There is also a Micro SD Card socket which increases capacity even further.

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Connectivity is managed through Wi-Fi (there is a need for an external antenna, unlike the Raspberry Pi Pico W). There is also an Ether port, which 10/100, and a header for POE if a HAT requires that.

The power to the board is delivered through a USB-C port, the same as the Raspberry Pi 4, and there happens to be a USB-A port for data processing and transfer. The Micro SD card socket and the USB-A are on the opposite side than on the RPi 4 and will need to have access through holes in the case. The Ethernet and Type-C ports are the same as on the Pi 4 and there is a reset button that sticks out of the audio output hole. EsPiFF also sports supercaps that sets up power retention, an external real-time clock, a watchdog, a supervisor for the high availability needed for 24/7 applications, and up to three UARTS for serial connections.

For more features and information see the Crowd Source page found here

MDC-Service Wittenburg (GitHub access) | github.com/mdcservice

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For the past 8 years, I have been writing about embedded technologies, added to my technical, academic, and medical editorial experience, with companies like Elsevier and Cambridge University Press. I tell people to read what I write, not try to pronounce my last name. I am always available for comments and suggestions you can reach me at product-editor@circuitcellar.com and I promise I will take the time to reach back out to you. I live in the North East with my wonderful family.

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An ESP32 with an RP2040 in an RPi4 Form Factor is Coming Soon to …

by Stephen Vicinanza time to read: 2 min