New ESP32-C3 Microcontroller from Espressif with RISC-V Single Core CPU for Ultra-Low Power, Secure IoT Applications

Published  November 30, 2020   0
ESP32-C3 Microcontroller from Espressif

To address the most common needs of security in cost-sensitive IoT devices, Espressif has released a low power, cost-effective, single-core, 32-bit RISC-V-based ESP32-C3   microcontroller. This new ESP32-C3 MCU with 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi and Bluetooth LE 5.0 connectivity can be used for simple and secure IoT applications. It’s 400KB SRAM is capable of running at 160MHz and it has 22 programmable GPIOs with support for ADC, SPI, UART, I2C, I2S, RMT, TWAI, and PWM. 

The ESP32-C3 MCU fulfills the most common needs for connected devices like security, Bluetooth Low Energy, low-cost, and sufficient memory. It addresses key issues for enhanced security against various types of attacks and comes with additional features like:

Secure boot: ESP32-C3’s secure boot implementation adds less than 100ms overhead in the boot process. ESP32-C3 implements the standard RSA-3072-based authentication scheme to make sure only trusted applications can be used on the platform, thereby protecting it from executing a malicious application programmed in the flash.

Flash Encryption: The device uses the AES-128-XTS-based flash encryption scheme so that the application and the configuration data can remain encrypted in the flash.

Digital Signature and HMAC Peripheral: ESP32-C3 has a digital signature peripheral that can generate digital signatures, using a private key that is protected from firmware access. Besides, the HMAC peripheral can generate a cryptographic digest with a secret that is protected from firmware access.

World Controller: It provides two execution environments fully isolated from each other. Depending on the configuration, this can be used to implement a Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) or a privilege separation scheme. If the application firmware has a task that deals with sensitive security data (such as the DRM service), it can take advantage of the world controller and isolate the execution.

Other Features of ESP32-C3 MCU

  • Supports 20 MHz, 40 MHz bandwidth in 2.4 GHz band
  • Wi-Fi Multimedia (WMM)
  • Simultaneous support for Infrastructure BSS in Station, SoftAP, or Station + SoftAP modes Note that when ESP32-C3 family scans in Station mode, the SoftAP channel will change along with the Station channel
  • 22 × programmable GPIOs
  • Remote control peripheral, with 2 transmit channels and 2 receive channels
  • Power Management Unit with five power modes
  • Security: Secure boot, Flash encryption, 4096-bit OTP, up to 1792 bits for users, Random Number Generator (RNG), Digital Signature, etc.
  • Bluetooth LE 5.0 with Long-Range Support
  • Sufficient Memory
  • Mature Software Support

The ESP32-C3-MINI-1 module comes with a small form-factor (13×19mm) and support for a maximum operating temperature of 105°C. For ease of migration, it is ensured that the ESP32-C3-WROOM-1 module is pin-to-pin compatible with the ESP-WROOM-02D and ESP-WROOM-02 modules. ESP32-C3-WROOM-1 also supports a maximum temperature of 105°C. ESP32-C3F is another variant of ESP32-C3 and it comes with an integrated flash for simplified designs.