Arduino ESP32

Various tech news sites (see CNX-Software’s coverage here) are reporting Arduino’s release of an ESP32 enabled board in the Nano family.  Named the “Arduino Nano 33 IOT”, the module looks a little underwhelming at first glance (especially given its $18~20 price tag), but it may be worth digging a little deeper into the specs if you have some specific applications in mind.Arduino Nano 33 IOT

The board sports a u-blox “Nina” ESP32 (which we covered here at about this time last year as one of the few FCC certified ESP modules), providing WiFi and Bluetooth capabilities for the onboard Arm Cortex-M0+ SAMD21.  The board also has an LSM6DSL six-axis IMU and an ATECC608A cryptographic support chip, which are both directly accessible from the ESP32 via the I2C bus.  The connection between the SAMD21 and the ESP32 module is via the SPI bus.

That additional crypto chip gives the ESP32 (and the Nano) the ability to securely store up to 16 keys, certificates or encrypted data, as well as providing hardware support for:-

  • Asymmetric sign, verify and key agreement.
  • Symmetric SHA-256 & HMAC hashing and AES-128 encrypt/decrypt.
  • PRF/HKDF for TLS 1.2 and 1.3.
  • Secure boot support.
  • Random number generator.
  • A unique, 72-bit serial number.

At least some of these features are apparently already supported via the Arduino WiFiNINA library.

It may be a little early to pull out your credit card, though, as the module isn’t going to be shipping until July.