Espressif Systems Announces ESP32-C61 – Delivering Affordable Wi-Fi 6 Connectivity

by | Jan 25, 2024

Espressif ESP32-C61

Espressif Systems announces the upcoming release of ESP32-C61, a next-generation Wi-Fi 6 + Bluetooth 5 (LE) System-on-Chip (SoC).

Following the success of the ESP32-C2 and ESP32-C3, this new SoC marks a significant demand for Wi-Fi 6 technology, boasting optimised peripherals, improved connectivity, as well as expanded memory options.

Wireless Connectivity

This Wi-Fi 6 support is optimised for IoT devices, and the SoC supports a 20MHz bandwidth for 802.11ax mode and a 20/40MHz bandwidth for 802.11b/g/n mode. The 802.11ax mode supports features like OFDMA, MU-MIMO which help to provide reliable and low latency connection, Target Wake Time function which can enable ultra-low power applications.

Additionally, Bluetooth 5 (LE) radio supports long-range operation through advertisement extension and coded PHY. It also supports 2 Mbps of high throughput PHY. The SoC shall also support the BLE-Mesh 1.1 protocol.

System and Memory

In terms of CPU, ESP32-C61 has a single-core, 32-bit RISC-V microcontroller that can be clocked up to 160 MHz It has a 320KB on-chip SRAM, a 256KB ROM, and works with Quad SPI flash.

Notably, the SoC introduces support for PSRAM with Quad SPI of up to 120MHz, offering developers to focus on application development without worrying about memory optimisations. The larger memory availability also provides better future proofing for upgrades.

Security

In continuation of Espressif’s philosophy, ESP32-C61 places a strong emphasis on affordable security, incorporating features such as secure boot, flash and PSRAM encryption, and cryptographic accelerators. It also has ECDSA based Digital Signature Peripheral in hardware, safeguarding private keys from software access.

The addition of a Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) using an Access Permission Management (APM) hardware block and Physical Memory Protection (PMP) provides flexibility in application security management.

Optimised Peripherals

ESP32-C61 encompasses standard microcontroller peripherals like I2C, I2S, SPI, UART, LED-PWM, ADC, Timers, and DMA. Specialised peripherals include the Event Task Matrix for automation-triggered tasks and the Zero-crossing comparator for easy zero-crossing detection.

ESP32-C61 will be supported through Espressif’s mature IoT Development Framework (ESP-IDF), so that our customers can benefit from their familiarity with our field-proven platform that already powers millions of connected devices. The ESP-Matter-SDK will also include support for ESP32-C61 for creating Matter-enabled products.

With the availability of PSRAM, the ease of development as well as the applications which can be supported on this unique product is unparalleled. For customers who would like to use ESP32-C61 as a communication co-processor with an external host, ESP-Hosted and ESP-AT firmware will also be available.

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