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Analysis and optimization of DC supply range for the ESP32 development board
  • Joshua Kim
Joshua Kim
Daeyang Medical Co., Daeyang Medical Co., Daeyang Medical Co.

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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ESP32 is becoming a popular and potential game-changer in the IoT industry. Once a code completed, to takeoff
out of a USB power, questions rise about powering it. What’s the feasible external voltage range? What’s the
current? Which cell battery? And so on. These questions cannot be easily resolved by only skimming datasheets.
This paper went over to clarify the obscure information about the DC supply range for the ESP32 development
board, especially ESP32-DevKitC V4. The results were disclosed through investigation, calculation, experiments,
and LTspice simulation. Starting from getting relevance facts from datasheets of essential components on the board,
calculated thermal conditions of heated component, experimented to confirm the calculated and get practical data
while code running including GPIO and WiFi, and ended with simulation to confirm the data.
This paper concludes the following result points. The minimum supply voltage is 3.6 V to run an ESP32 module.
The supply voltage should be under 10 V for both input capacitor rated voltage and LDO junction temperature
rating. The thermal restriction was calculated at an ambient temperature of 25 °C and tried and tested. For a more
harsh environment, the upper limit voltage could be derated in this way. An external power should be able to
supply current well over average 100 mA; a good 1 A. In terms of battery, this range reassures that an ESP32 can
run with a single cell LiPo. Regarding the USB, both the high power and low power port can supply sufficiently.
While an external supply being no less than 5.2 V, both the USB and external sources could work simultaneously.