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General Purpose Input/Output Interface (GPIO)

ESP8266EX has 17 GPIO pins which can be assigned to various functions by programming the appropriate registers.
Each GPIO can be configured with internal pull-up or pull-down, or set to high impedance, and when configured as an input, the data are stored in software registers; the input can also be set to edge-trigger or level trigger CPU interrupts. In short, the IO pads are bidirectional,
non-inverting and tristate, which includes input and output buffer with tristate control inputs.
These pins can be multiplexed with other functions such as I2C, I2S, UART, PWM, IR Remote Control, etc.

Secure Digital Input/Output Interface (SDIO)

ESP8266EX has one Slave SDIO, the definitions of which are described below. 4-bit 25 MHz SDIO v1.1 and 4-bit 50 MHz SDIO v2.0 are supported. 

Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI/HSPI)

ESP8266EX has 3 SPIs. One general Slave/Master SPI One Slave SDIO/SPI One general Slave/Master HSPI Functions of all these pins can be implemented via hardware. The pin definitions are described as below.

General SPI (Master/Slave)

SPI mode can be implemented via software programming. The clock frequency is 80 MHz at maximum.


HSPI (Master/Slave)

I2C Interface

ESP8266EX has one I2C used to connect with micro-controller and other peripheral equipments such as sensors. The pin definition of I2C is as below. 

Both I2C Master and I2C Slave are supported. I2C interface functionality can be realized via software programming, the clock frequency reaches 100 kHz at a maximum. It should be noted that I2C clock frequency should be higher than the slowest clock frequency of the slave device. 

I2S Interface

ESP8266EX has one I2S data input interface and one I2S data output interface. I2S interfaces are mainly used in applications such as data collection, processing, and transmission of audio data, as well as the input and output of serial data. For example, LED lights (WS2812 series) are supported. The pin definition of I2S is as below. I2S functionality can be enabled via software programming by using multiplexed GPIOs, and linked list DMA is supported.

Universal Asynchronous Receiver Transmitter (UART)

ESP8266EX has two UART interfaces UART0 and UART, the definitions are as below.

Data transfers to/from UART interfaces can be implemented via hardware. The data transmission speed via UART interfaces reaches 115200 x 40 (4.5 Mbps).
UART0 can be used for communication. It supports fluid control. Since UART1 features only data transmit signal (Tx), it is usually used for printing log.

By default, UART0 outputs some printed information when the device is powered on and booting up. The baud rate of the printed information is relevant to the frequency of the external crystal oscillator. If the frequency of the crystal oscillator is 40 MHz, then the baud rate for printing is 115200; if the frequency of the crystal oscillator is 26 MHz, then the baud rate for printing is 74880. If the printed information exerts any influence on the functionality of the device, it is suggested to block the printing during the power-on period by changing (U0TXD,U0RXD) to (MTDO,MTCK).

Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM)

ESP8266EX has four PWM output interfaces. They can be extended by users themselves. The pin definitions of the PWM interfaces are defined as below.

The functionality of PWM interfaces can be implemented via software programming. For example, in the LED smart light demo, the function of PWM is realized by interruption of the timer, the minimum resolution reaches as much as 44 ns. PWM frequency range is adjustable from 1000 μs to 10000 μs, i.e., between 100Hz and 1 kHz. When the PWM frequency is 1 kHz, the duty ratio will be 1/22727, and over 14 bit resolution will be achieved at 1 kHz refresh rate. 

IR Remote Control

One Infrared remote control interface is defined as below.

The functionality of Infrared remote control interface can be implemented via software programming. NEC coding, modulation, and demodulation are used by this interface. The frequency of modulated carrier signal is 38 kHz, while the duty ratio of the square wave is 1/3. The transmission range is around 1m which is determined by two factors: one is the maximum value of rated current, the other is internal current-limiting resistance value in the infrared receiver. The larger the resistance value, the lower the current, so is the power, and vice versa. The transmission angle is between 15° and 30° which is determined by the radiation direction of the infrared receiver. 


ESP8266 can enter promiscuous mode (sniffer). ESP8266 can capture complete IEEE 802.11 packets in the air or it can obtain the length of the packets. 


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