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ESP8266 – this chip changed everything

If you take a look at the photo below, a lot of you may recognize the electronic module on the right. If you thought it’s an ESP8266, you are definitely right. But what are the two integrated circuits on the left?

For those of you who don’t know, the chip on the upper left is a programmable Read-Only-Memory. While the chip on the lower left is an 8085 microprocessor — the great, great, great, great grandfather of the modern Intel i9/i7/i5/i3 chip that powers our computer these days.

Back then, the Intel chip on the first Personal Computer made it possible to bring digital computing in our homes. That story is for another time. Let’s focus our attention to the sizes of the electronic components.

The ESP8266 module like the ESP-12 is smaller than the 8085 and EPROM combined. And what’s amazing is that the ESP-12 ┬áhas an ESP8266 processor, Storage, RAM, Input/Outputs, other support chips and Wi-Fi electronics to boot.

The inclusion of an integrated WiFi electronics changed everything — it gave the ability for single chip computers like the ESP8266 to connect with other computers and communicate! For me, I believe that the ESP8266 actually gave birth to the Internet of Things (IoT) in our homes.

Today, the ESP8266 has evolved and continues to evolve. We now have the ESP32 (which has integrated bluetooth) and the ESP32 Pico D4 (an even smaller version of the ESP32).

In my projects that I will be posting on this web site, I will be using these components most of the time. I’m pretty excited to explore the vast possibilities of being able to make electronic projects the size of a cigarette pack…

Gerry Ilagan

Gerry Ilagan is into mobile apps and WordPress development at @speeqs. He loves to write about electronics, the Internet of Things, mobile phones, and #crazyideas.

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