…and another one from AI Thinker

Hard on the heels of the weirdo “Black board T5” development board, CNXSoft just published a news byte on the new “ESP-14” module from AI Thinker.

Guess what?  The ESP-14 is just basically an ESP-12, with an STM8S003F3P6 microcontroller strapped on (and yes, that’s yet another, different microcontroller than the one which is on the “Black board T5”).

AI Thinker ESP-14 Module Pinout
AI Thinker ESP-14 Module Pinout

The pins on the module are basically (with the exception of GPIO-00) the STM8S pins, not the ESP8266 pins.  An interesting point with the module pins is that there’s a separate VDD pin for the ESP8266, so it looks as though there’s provision for external control of the power (which makes sense for battery operated designs).

The slightly-better-than-the-previous-weirdo news is that the microcontroller on this board looks a little more sensible (in most respects) than the off-the-wall STC15L2K32S2 on the BBT5.  It (the STM8S) is a Harvard architecture device with 8KB of Flash, 1KB of RAM and 128B of EEPROM, which should look fairly familiar to AVR and PIC folks.

It still raises the question as to why AI Thinker believe we’re all going to rush out and buy a relatively unknown micro and re-tool (both hardware and software) yet again, after all of the pain we’ve gone through over the past year getting a workable ESP8266 environment in place.  If this had hit the marketplace when we were all pulling our hair out a year ago and if it had been an on-board AVR instead of the STM8S, then they might have had a winner on their hands.  As it stands … Double-Duh!, again.

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