The Espressif ESP32 is a versatile microcontroller that can connect your products via WiFi and Bluetooth. Along with common wireless networking interfaces, the ESP32 improves on its predecessor’s (ESP8266) CPU speed, memory, and security capabilities, and all for less than $20. Used to connect electronic products to the web or a mobile app, this device can open up new markets and allow for seamless integration into your customers’ connected lives.
It can also be the source of some serious development heartache.
If you are working with the Espressif ESP32 software development kit (SDK), the ESP-IDF may feel like a bit of a rollercoaster. It’s an incredibly fast-moving SDK. Updates committed by a vast open source userbase have been released by Espressif in rapid succession. This of course means you get new bugs with every new feature possibly forcing you to make breaking changes in your products.
There are also several release branches with various levels of incompatibility between them. This has made updating your copy of the SDK a precarious, but often necessary, task.
In one week, the Espressif team released two important new milestones for the SDK:
1. The first long-term support (LTS) version of the SDK, `v3.3`
2. The first Beta version of `v4.0`
This means that for users who want or need the most stable SDK they can get, there’s finally an option in the LTS version. If I were starting a project today, I’d grab this release of the SDK.
With the release of `v4.0-beta1,` there is also finally a release to that includes all of the latest development, which has previously just been something close to a “bleeding edge” dev branch.
Both are helpful releases for users of the ESP-IDF.
DornerWorks engineering team has used the ESP32 for a number of embedded projects that require wireless connectivity. If you are looking for help building out the technology for your networked embedded or portable devices, call us and schedule a free consultation.