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ESP32-S3-Powered QT Py Dev Board by Adafruit

Reporting from Shanghai, China
Jan 28, 2022

Adafruit unveils an impressive ESP32-S3-based QT Py dev board.

Adafruit has unveiled an ultra-compact QT Py microcontroller development board built around Espressif’s ESP32-S3 SoC, offering a dual-core processor, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth Low Energy, and a native USB.

“This is a swap-out of the ESP32-S2 QT Py for the new ESP32-S3 chip,” Adafruit's Phillip Torrone explains of the company's latest entry in their burgeoning QT Py stable. “The S3 is really a nice piece of kit – the dual core is back, and it also re-adds Bluetooth LE. It’s basically an ESP32 with a native USB, so we’re looking forward to it!”

However, the ESP32-S3-based QT Py was not a drop-in replacement of the ESP32-S2-based one. “Note that the S3 chip looks a lot like the S2, but the chip pinout is NOT the same,” Torrone explains. “The reset and some power pins have been moved, and some GPIO pins have shifted down one. Anyways, just watch out: Don’t think you can use the exact same layout. We had to shift a few parts but it all still looks like it fits!”

Furthermore, as Hackster’s technical writer Gareth Halfacree notes: “The resulting board design is identical on the top to the ESP32-S2 QT Py, while the bottom is similar but with relocated passives to fit the chip’s shifted pinout. The ESP32-S3, meanwhile, brings a dual-core Xtensa LX7 processor running at up to 240MHz, 512kB of static RAM (SRAM), 384kB of flash storage, and vector instructions for tinyML acceleration, plus an ultra-low-power coprocessor built into the real-time clock block. Adafruit has confirmed it is now entering the prototyping stage, but did not indicate when the boards would arrive for sale — nor at what price”.

More information is available on the Adafruit blog.

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