Back in March 2016, Espressif Announced the ESP8285 Wi-Fi Chip, a supposed killer of the favorite ESP8266 chip. The new chip is an ESP8266, but with the flash memory onboard – 1MB flash memory. Espressif’s ESP8285 delivers highly integrated Wi-Fi SoC solution to meet users’ constant demands for efficient power usage, compact design and reliable performance in the Internet of Things industry. With the complete and self-contained Wi-Fi networking capabilities, ESP8285 can perform either as a standalone application or as the slave to a host MCU. When ESP8285 hosts the application, it promptly boots up from the flash. The Chip is also ultra-small as compared to the ESP8266 making it suitable for applications like in wearables.
Taiwan based Blkbox may have designed the world’s smallest WiFi IoT module with their Espressif Systems ESP8285 based BB-E01P module which is pin-compatible with the ESP-01 module, and measuring just 10×14 mm. Several ESP8285 modules have been released, but the Blkbox version is probably the smallest ever. Itead Studio’s PSF-A85, an ESP8285 Wireless Module measures just 14mm*135mm, and even the Electrodragon ESP8285 WiFi module measures 15.5mm x 17.8mm. With this, the Blkbox module might be the smallest we currently have. The BB-E01P is the equivalent of the Blkbox predecessor BB-E01 with reduced dimensions.
The following are the specification of the Blkbox BB-E01P ESP8285 WiFi module:
- WiFi SoC – Espressif ESP8285 WiFi SoC with 1MB internal flash
- Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi with chip antenna
- Expansion – 8-pin (2.54mm pitch) with Tx/Rx, CP, RS, GPIO0, GPIO2, 3V, GND (Same layout as ESP-01)
- Interface – UART
- Misc – Jumper supports Deep Sleep Mode (AT+GSLP)
- Firmware Version: AT v1.6 / SDK v2.2
- Power Supply – 3V -3.6V
- Dimensions – 10 x 14 mm
- Pin Pitch – 2.54mm
The Blkbox board is preloaded with the firmware version AT v1.5/SDK v2.2. Just like every other Blkbox boards, the module can be purchased on Tindie for $6.80 + shipping.