It feels like no month is safe from new announcements from M5Stack, one of my favourite ESP32 board manufacturers. An upgrade to M5Stamp doesn’t feel like big news until you look under the hood of the M5Stamp C3. Alongside the new, cool and hip RISC-V platform there are deviations from the M5Stamp Pico form factor that many will welcome!
It’s bigger than the M5Stamp Pico, offering more GPIOs to play with while retaining a small footprint, loved by anyone working on a project where the space comes at a premium. It’s another development board from M5Stack that focuses more on DIY projects than providing a consumer-grade, ESP32-enabled gadget (that’s not a bad thing).
Alongside the new ESP32-C3 microcontroller the board is equipped with RSA-3072-based secure boot and the AES-128-XTS-based flash encryption. This brings a more secure approach to Bluetooth 5.0 development and IoT application. Thanks to LR (long-range) and mesh networking M5Stamp C3 poises to be an interesting choice for anyone willing to experiment in industrial IoT space.
At the heart of the board lays the ESP32-C3 microcontroller which supports an open-source RISC-V architecture. It’s a move to bring the price of development down and bring more independent ideas to the table.
The name of the ESP32-C3 can be confusing, as performance-wise the microcontroller can’t compete with regular ESP32 boards. In the ESP ecosystem ESP32-C3 aims to be an improved version of a dated, but still very much appreciated ESP8266 bringing more GPIOs, and features often seen on ESP32 boards only.
Now that we know what ESP32-C3 is we can look at the specification with a better understanding of where in the world of microprocessors M5Stamp C3 is.
|ESP32-C3||32bit RISC-V single-core processor with up to 160 MHz mains frequency|
|Storage||384KB ROM, 400KB SRAM, 8KB RTC SRAM, 4MB FLASH|
|WiFi||2.4 GHz band supports 20 MHz and 40 MHz bandwidth, IEEE 802.11 b/g/n protocol, data rates up to 150 Mbps|
|Bluetooth||Bluetooth 5, Bluetooth mesh, rate support 125 Kbps, 500 Kbps, 1 Mbps, 2 Mbps|
|Input voltage||5V @ 500mA|
|HMI||Programmable Physical Keypad x 1, Reset Debug Keypad x 1, Programmable RGB LED (SK6812) x 1|
|USB Port||TypeC x1|
|Antenna Type||2.4G 3D Antenna|
|Module Peripheral Interface Resources||ADC, GPIO, SPI, UART, I2C, I2S, PWM, RMT, DMA, USB Serial, TWAI|
|IO Interface x13||G21, G20, G9, G18, G19, G1, G0, G10, G8, G7, G6, G5, G4|
As usual, M5Stack brings the supporting libraries for the most popular IDEs like Arduino IDE or VSC with PlatformIO. You’s be glad to hear that M5Stamp C3 is getting UIFlow support as well (although not at launch) so if you were planning on some Micropyhon action, you will be able to do this in the typical wireless fashion thanks to UIFlow.
M5Stamp C3 is available now on the M5Stack store, and you can get one for $6 with a small discount given when buying 5 units at the same time.
One of the M5Stamp C3 boards is coming my way already so I can play with it a bit more and give you a better take on the board. You can get one yourself from the M5Stack store from 21st October, or take part in the upcoming giveaway, as M5Stack offered a couple of boards for me to distribute to my readers. Look out for the giveaway post soon! As usual, feel free to leave me your comments, thoughts (and prayers for more coffee) in this Reddit thread. Will you be getting one?