Difference between ESP32 and ESP8266

Many students who are not familiar with electronics struggle frequently to distinguish between ESP32 and ESP8266 because they have many doubts concerning which microcontroller board can be used in their application. So these two microcontrollers have their specifications, pros, cons, and applications, thus it can be not easy to choose which board is correct. Both ESP32 and ESP8266 microcontrollers are very cheap and WiFi-based SOCs which are suited perfectly for DIY projects in the IoT. These microcontrollers work with 3.3V and are available with GPIOs to support different protocols like I2C, SPI, UART, DAC, PWM & ADC. In this article, we will compare the two microcontrollers namely; ESP32 and ESP8266.

Difference between ESP32 and ESP8266

The main differences between ESP32 and ESP8266 are discussed below.

What is ESP32?

The ESP32 is a low-cost and power-efficient SoC microcontroller that is built with Bluetooth & WiFi capabilities. This is an advanced version of ESP8266 which is designed by Espressif Systems. This is a versatile processor and it can be found in both dual-core variations as well as single cores that offer different abilities depending upon your needs. This board has a dual-core & very low-power co-processor which was developed mainly for the lack of safety.

ESP32 Microcontroller
ESP32 Microcontroller

What is ESP8266?

The ESP8266 is a Wi-Fi-enabled low-cost microchip including TCP/IP stack which was developed by Espressif Systems. This is a self-contained or complete system on a chip circuit that provides the right of entry to any microcontroller with your Wifi connection. The main function of this board is to host any type of application (or) offloading the functions of all Wi-Fi networking This board is very strong & functions constantly in very harsh industrial surroundings.

ESP8266 Wi-Fi Module

ESP32 vs ESP8266

The ESP32 vs ESP8266 are discussed below.



ESP32 is an upgraded version of ESP8266 and it has 34 GPIO pins. ESP8266 board is a Wi-fi SoC with 16 GPIO pins.
It is a microcontroller unit (MCU) and is a complete standalone device, It is a SoC (system-on-chip) that needs an exterior microcontroller to function.
It has a Quad-core Cortex-72 processor. It has a single-core CPU.
Its CLK frequency is 160 or 240mhz. Its CLK frequency is 80 MHz.
Its power consumption is 10uA. Its power consumption is 20uA.
ESP32 boards cost around 6$ to 12$. These boards cost around 4 $ to 6 $.
It has 512 Bytes of SRAM. It has 160 Bytes of SRAM.
It has 12-bit ADC. It has a 10-bit ADC.
It has SPI-4/I2C-2/ I2S-2/UART-2. It has SPI-2/I2C-1/ I2S-2/UART-2.
This module has a touch sensor and a temperature sensor. It doesn’t have these sensors.
Its RAM is 2GB, 4GB, (or) 8GB. Its RAM is 64KB.
It has an in-built Wi-Fi and Ethernet port. It has only an in-built Wi-Fi.
Bluetooth connectivity is present in this module. Bluetooth connectivity is not present in this module.
It has a camera interface. It doesn’t have any dedicated camera interface.
It is more secure. It is less secure.
 It supports simply SSL/TLS encryption, SHA-2 encryption algorithms, AES & a true random number generator. It supports only SSL/TLS encryption.
The ESP32 board includes a USB interface which helps in connecting different peripherals like; keyboards, storage devices & mice. This board doesn’t have a USB interface, so it cannot be used to connect different peripherals.
This board has a crypto engine that helps in performing cryptographic operations. The ESP8266 board doesn’t contain any crypto engine.
This board includes an in-built CAN bus controller. This board does not contain any in-built CAN bus controller.

From the above information, we can conclude that the ESP32 module has special features like reliable & hi-tech security. The ESP32 module has a reliable board, peripherals & firmware. The processing power of this module will create safe socket layer connections & great requirements in the IoT field.


Both the ESP32 and ESP8266 modules have more GPIO for working with more useable as well as complicated projects. These development boards are available with a small camera so it is known as very capable boards. This development board has power that allows better safety & larger RAM mainly for different projects but it cannot run within ESP8266.

Thus, this is an overview of the main difference between ESP32 and ESP8266. These MCU chips belong to 32-bit processors, very cost-effective and suitable for IoT projects. So, the ESP32 board is a dual-core CPU processor with 160MHz to 240MHz operating frequency whereas the ESP8266 board is a single-core processor with 80MHz operating frequency. These two modules are available with GPIO pins & support different protocols like; SPI, UART & I2C. These modules come through a wireless network to differentiate them from other types of microcontrollers like Arduino so that you can control & monitor your equipment remotely through WiFi/Bluetooth technology at an extremely low price. Here is a question for you, what is ESP32 CAM?