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There is an almost limitless fountain of information available for the ESP8266, all of which has been provided by amazing community support. In the Documents section below you will find many resources to aid you in using the ESP8266, even instructions on how to transforming this module into an IoT (Internet of Things) solution!
Note: The ESP8266 Module is not capable of 5-3V logic shifting and will require an external Logic Level Converter. Please do not power it directly from your 5V dev board.
Note: This new version of the ESP8266 WiFi Module has increased the flash disk size from 512k to 1MB.
The ESP8266 is the answer to “I want something with Wifi.” Surprisingly, there are a number of engineers and hobbyists who have not heard of this chip or have heard of it but don’t really understand what it is. It’s basically the answer to everything IoT to so many engineering problems that have plagued the hobbyist and commercial world alike.
The chip is a processor with integrated RAM, some ROM, and a WiFi radio, and the only external components you will need are 4 capacitors, a crystal and an external flash! It’s CHEAP, like $4/ea cheap! Or $5 if you want it on a nice, convenient carrier board that includes all these components. The power consumption is reasonable (~200mA) 1 , the range is insane ~300m 2 without directional equipment, and a PCB trace antenna and ~4km if you want to be ridiculous.
One place thing that more people need to know about is how to program directly for this chip. Too many times projects use it as a crutch via the AT commands. Read on and find out how to hello world with just this chip.
First off, some background. Let’s start with a picture of it (decapped by zeptobars), and marked up by swimmmerdude. 3
The processor by default runs at 80 MHz but can go up to 160 MHz, it has ~80kB DRAM (Data RAM), and ~35kB of high speed IRAM (Instruction RAM). 4 Yes, that means it uses a Harvard architecture. The IRAM is loaded at boot with whatever the user wants to keep on-processor, though the processor can run code directly off of the external flash at a lower speed.
Esp8266 Firmware - 1:05.