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How to Compare Between ESP32 Models

If you’re a technology enthusiast, you probably know about the ESP32, a low-cost, high-performance microcontroller that has become very popular in the world of robotics, IoT, and prototyping electronics. In our blog, we have frequently talked about the ESP32, presented different boards, and have dedicated its own section.

However, as new versions come out, it is increasingly difficult to keep track of the features and differences of each model.

This is further complicated by the fact that Espressif, the company that develops the ESP32, uses designations that are not particularly clear to identify its products.

In addition, it is common for people to confuse the terms processor, SoC (System on a Chip), SoM (System on a Module), and development board. This is especially problematic in the case of the ESP32, as its product range includes all four typologies.

To help compare and differentiate between the different ESP32 models, Espressif provides us with a series of comparison tools. With these tools, we can see the differences between each of the models and choose the one that best suits our needs.

Summary Comparison Table

One of these is a simple table in which we can check the differences in technical characteristics of their most popular models (ESP32, ESP32-S2, ESP32-S3, and ESP-C3), which we can find in its complete version at this link

FeatureESP32 SeriesESP32-S2 SeriesESP32-C3 SeriesESP32-S3 Series
Launch year2016202020202020
CoreXtensa® dual-/single core 32-bit LX6Xtensa® single-core 32-bit LX732-bit single-core RISC-VXtensa® dual-core 32-bit LX7
Wi-Fi protocols802.11 b/g/n, 2.4 GHz802.11 b/g/n, 2.4 GHz802.11 b/g/n, 2.4 GHz802.11 b/g/n, 2.4 GHz
Bluetooth®Bluetooth v4.2 and BLE✖️Bluetooth 5.0Bluetooth 5.0
Typical frequency240 MHz (160 MHz for ESP32-S0WD)240 MHz160 MHz240 MHz
SRAM520 KB320 KB400 KB512 KB
ROM448 KB128 KB384 KB384 KB
External flashUp to 16 MB deviceUp to 1 GB deviceUp to 16 MB deviceUp to 1 GB device
External RAMUp to 8 MB deviceUp to 1 GB device✖️Up to 1 GB device
ADC2x 12-bit2x 12-bit2x 12-bit2x 12-bit
DAC2x 8-bit2x 8-bit✖️✖️
Timers4x 64-bit, 3x watchdog4x 64-bit, 3x watchdog2x 54-bit, 3x watchdog4x 54-bit, 3x watchdog
Temperature sensor✖️111
Touch sensor1014✖️14
Hall sensor1✖️✖️✖️
LCD interface11✖️1
Camera interface11✖️1
Pulse counter84✖️4
LED PWM16868
SDIO slave controller1✖️✖️✖️
Ethernet MAC1✖️✖️✖️
Deep-sleep100 μA22 μA✖️TBD

Espressif Comparison Tool

On the other hand, Espressif’s main tool for comparing between versions of ESP32 models is the product selection web page available at this link.

There, we can choose from a dropdown menu between all the ESP32 models, being able to choose both SoC and SoM products.


In the results table, we can see the main technical characteristics of each model, including the processor model, RAM, GPIO, ADC, communication buses, among many others.

Thanks to these Espressif tools, we can easily determine the similarities and differences between the different ESP32 models.