The ESP-driven boards are important for IoT devices that run on batteries. There are special ESP controllers that are also crucial in this aspect. These help with IoT device production. The two important boards are ESP8266-01 & ESP8266-12E/12F. These boards have many applications in different domains.
However, there are some drawbacks that come with these circuit boards. These are larger in size and are bulky, plus they eat up more voltage as well. These boards are also not supportive of devices that need a lesser power supply for functioning. To avoid these problems, we can produce our own boards for the same purpose.
For this, there is no need for USB-to-UART chips such as CP2102. Instead, we can rely on an outer device like FTDI. The redundant chips can be removed, and LDOs with lesser power are important to use for the procedure, and it helps in the size reduction of the electronics. There is another alternative present that is ESP8285. These are important for the wifi SoC which is an important factor in different sectors. These are important to offer regulated power, attractive design, and durability. It also offers excellent wifi networks.
ESP8285 can act as the host’s slaves for the MCU. During the hosting of an application, it constantly uses an outer flash for a smooth purpose. The cache is faster and never compromises the performance at all. The latest version of this is Tensilica’s L106 Diamond series 32-bit processor and on-chip SRAM.
It allows easy interface when outer sensors are attached and also other electronics with the help of GPIOs. This regulates the production cost and reduces the chances of developing a footprint. There is a special code kit for the feasibility of the developers when it comes to different applications. ESP8266EX has an antenna that is controlled with the help of switches. The additional components include an amplifier, RF balun, power amplifier, modules, and certain filters. The overall circuitry is useful for the size reduction of printed circuit boards.
ESP8266EX enables sophisticated features, such as:
- Controlling the modes for sleep and wakeup that help in saving up energy.
- Offering easy radio biasing for low-power utilization.
- Advanced signal processing for various purposes.
- Flawless spur cancellation when needed.
- Radio co-existence mechanisms that are important for common cellular, Bluetooth, DDR, and interference mitigation needed by various devices.
Major Applications of ESP8285 PCB
ESP8266EX is an important part of sensors. It follows the approach of the I2C interface for smooth execution. There is a master mode that has the function of connecting multiple sensors with each other. The slave components are also managed with the help of addressing mode, and each component works with its own address. These sensors are for determining the data to this board through the interface discussed above. The data is then transferred to the servers later with no use of wires. The users can easily get the information with the help of a mobile application once they connect their smartphones to the internet to stay updated on all counts.
• Smart Light
ESP8266EX is helpful in smart light production. The interfaces, in this case, are PWM and infrared interfaces for a fine performance. The job of the PWM interface is to monitor the green, red and blue LEDs. It follows a particular duty ratio as well. There are some functions that are under the influence of these interfaces for the flawless performance of smart lights.
• Smart Plug
Smart plugs are another crucial application. Plus, all the products that contain smart plugs indirectly depend on ESP8266EX. The influence comes through the GPIOs, and there is a special power switch for setting the connections and when to disconnect the relay as well. There are three modules in a smart plug. These run on different voltages and don’t disrupt the natural efficiency of the plug.
Chip vs. Modules vs. Development Boards
The chip has three typical variants from which the users and developers can choose as per the requirements of the product.
- ESP8266 PCB Chip: This is the standard type of chip from the company. There is a protective shield to it, and it offers fine soldering to fit in one module. Many users don’t like these chips, but these are a cost-efficient option when it comes to bulk production of several electronics.
- ESP8266 PCB Modules: These SM modules offer quick mounting on the MCU and other printed circuit boards. These are shielded modules and have diversified applications in different sectors.
- ESP8266 PCB Development Boards: These are for IoT development and come with pre-assembled modules in them. These are reliable for prototype development and production, help with designing and offer feasible production of the electronics. These are versatile for engineers and feature a flexible nature.
Best ESP8266 PCB Module for IoT
When it comes to the modules and chip variants, the users can have multiple options. We are going to discuss some of the typical and premium modules in this section.
Trending ESP8266 Modules
• Ai-Thinker ESP-01
The ESP-01 has been widely accepted by different producers for electronics production. It is an integral component of different IoT appliances as well. Different home appliances and smart devices include this module. There is a special AT firmware that connects with Arduino. The module can be easily updated later when needed in some cases. There are some problems with this module. The pin posts can not be easily plugged into the board. The solution is to use an adaptor module to avoid this issue. The different flashes of individual bits are available as two variants of this module.
• Ai-Thinker ESP-05
This module is good for maintaining the wifi connectivity by all means possible. It does not include GPIOS, which can be a serious drawback of this type of module in some cases. It does not complicate fitting into the breadboard at all. But the factory firmware can be a nuisance for some users. This will require rectification as soon as possible.
• Ai-Thinker ESP-12
It features 10-11 GPIO pins and is more advanced than the rest of the modules mentioned above. It has a flash of 4 bits and a resolution of 10 bits. It does not support a breadboard at all, which means an adaptor will be suitable in this case. The module has two further variants as well.