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Espressif – ESP32-C61: Wi-Fi 6 & Bluetooth 5 (LE) SoC

Right at the start of 2024, Espressif introduced a new SoC with Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5 (LE): ESP32-C61.

The ESP32-C61 expands the range for the current Wi-Fi standard for embedded electronics at the time of the Wi-Fi Alliance’s announcement that certification of Wi-Fi 7 devices has begun.

Now you might ask yourself why Wi-Fi 6 when the successor is apparently in the starting blocks? Wi-Fi 7 promises more data transmission speed in particular. Normally, this is not the most important criteria for embedded devices. However, Wi-Fi 6 already includes functions such as Target Wake-up Time (TWT), OFDMA for efficient, low-latency transmissions as well as BSS Coloring and WPA3. Read more about this in our article about the ESP32-C6.

ESP32-C61: Wi-Fi 6 & Bluetooth 5 (LE) SoC at a Glance

ESP32-C61: Wi-Fi 6 & Bluetooth Blockdiagram

Like the ESP32-C6, the ESP32-C61 is based on a RISC-V 32Bit core with 160MHz. The LP core of the ESP32-C6 is missing here, but the block diagram already gives an indication of various low-power modes in which parts of the SoC can be switched off to enable efficient operation.

The internal ROM has been reduced to 256kB and the SRAM to 320kB. In addition to Quad SPI NOR Flash, Quad SPI PSRAM with a clock rate of up to 120MHz is now also supported for the first time as an external memory expansion. These can be used in encrypted operation.

The block diagram shows sufficient peripherals such as I2S, I2C, SPI UARTs, ADC, USB, PWM and of course GPIOs.

Wireless Features

For Wi-Fi 6, an 802.11ax mode with 20MHz bandwidth as well as a classic 802.11b/g/n mode with 20/40MHz bandwidth is provided. This ensures compatibility with Wi-Fi 4 solutions. The new Wi-Fi 6 features are of course only available in 802.11ax mode.

The Bluetooth 5 (LE) radio supports long range through advertisement extensions and the Coded PHY feature. 2Mbps is the maximum data throughput of the PHY. The BLE Mesh 1.1 protocol will also be supported.


Functions for Security

In addition to the aforementioned encryption options for the external memory, the ESP32-C61 offers Access Permission Management (APM) in hardware as well as physical memory protection for a secure environment for executing your application (TEE – Trusted Execution Environment).


Ecosystem

As with the other Espressif SoC families, the ESP32-C61 will be supported by the ESP-IDF. The ESP-Matter-SDK will also support the new SoC. If the ESP-32-C61 is to be used as a co-processor, the ESP-Hosted & ESP-AT firmware can be used.


Summary

Espressif continues its commitment to innovation and introduces the ESP32-C61, a new product with wireless connectivity. The slim hardware promises cost-efficient solutions with simultaneous further enhancements regarding security and flexibility in the selection of external storage. You can look forward to the further details that Espressif will provide on the ESP32-C61 in the coming weeks & months.


Would you like to implement a Wi-Fi 6 application and are you interested in the ESP32-C61? Contact us direct for more information. Leave Wi-Fi 4 behind and optimize the power consumption of your devices. Send us your request using the form below. We will get in touch with you as soon as possible.


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