Telecoms, Datacoms, Wireless, IoT


RISC-V SoC for ultra-low-power IoT

25 August 2021 Telecoms, Datacoms, Wireless, IoT

Espressif Systems announced the upcoming release of the ESP32-H2 SoC (system-on-chip) with IEEE 802.15.4 and Bluetooth 5.2 (LE) connectivity, operable in the 2,4 GHz band. It enhances Espressif’s SoC portfolio further beyond Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity by adding IEEE 802.15.4 connectivity as well. This SoC comes with an integrated DC-DC converter that enables ultra-low-power, energy-efficient operation.

The device combines two important connectivity technologies. IEEE 802.15.4 radio connectivity is important to support a mesh architecture with low power consumption. The availability of Thread and Zigbee protocols addresses a variety of application use cases. Bluetooth LE supports point-to-point, broadcast and mesh communication topologies, while it also enables direct communication between a smartphone and the device.

Additionally, the ESP32-H2 takes advantage of Bluetooth 5.2 technology and supports its new features. Bluetooth 5.2 provides LE isochronous channel support that enables building devices for LE Audio, the next generation of Bluetooth Audio. Not only will LE Audio enhance Bluetooth audio performance, but it will also add support for broadcasting audio and enabling audio sharing. The LE power control and enhanced attribute protocol of Bluetooth 5.2 also improve device efficiency even further. The ESP32-H2 also provides full support for the Bluetooth mesh protocol and will support the upcoming Bluetooth mesh 1.1.

The combined availability of IEEE 802.15.4 and Bluetooth LE connectivity enables the building of devices for the upcoming Matter protocol that intends to bring interoperability for smart home devices. With ESP32-H2 and other SoCs in its portfolio, Espressif can offer the full spectrum of Matter protocol solutions for endpoints with Wi-Fi or Thread connectivity, as well as for border router implementations using a combination of SoCs.

The ESP32-H2 has a single-core, 32-bit RISC-V microcontroller that can be clocked up to 96 MHz, a 256 KB SRAM and works with external flash. It has 26 programmable GPIOs with support for ADC, SPI, UART, I2C, I2S, RMT, GDMA and PWM. Hardware security features include ECC-based secure boot, AES-128/256-XTS-based Flash encryption, digital signature and an HMAC peripheral for identity protection, as well as cryptographic accelerators for improved performance.

The ESP32-H2 will support Thread version 1.x and Zigbee 3.x.


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