Metro ESP32-S3

by Adafruit

Image of Board

What’s Metro-shaped and has an ESP32-S3 WiFi module? What has a STEMMA QT connector for I2C devices and a Lipoly charger circuit? What has your favorite Espressif WiFi microcontroller and lots of memory for your next IoT project?

That’s right - it’s the new Adafruit Metro ESP32-*S3*! With native USB and a load of PSRAM, this board is perfect for use with CircuitPython or Arduino to add low-cost WiFi while retaining shield compatibility.

The ESP32-S3 is a highly-integrated, low-power, 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi/BLE System-on-Chip (SoC) solution that has built-in native USB as well as some other interesting new technologies like Time of Flight distance measurements and AI acceleration. With its state-of-the-art power and RF performance, this SoC is an ideal choice for a wide variety of application scenarios relating to the Internet of Things (IoT), wearable electronics, and smart homes.

The Metro ESP32-S3 has a dual-core 240 MHz chip, so it is comparable to ESP32’s dual-core. However, there is no Bluetooth Classic support, only Bluetooth LE. This chip is a great step up from the earlier ESP32-S2! This ESP32-S3 mini-module we are using on the Metro comes with massive 16 MB flash and 8 MB PSRAM, as well as lots of 512KB of SRAM so it’s perfect for use with CircuitPython support or any time massive buffers are needed: for fast memory access use SRAM, for slower-but-roomier access use PSRAM. It’s also great for use in ESP-IDF or with Arduino support.

Features:

  • ESP32-S3 Dual Core 240MHz Tensilica processor - the next generation of ESP32-Sx, with native USB so it can act like a keyboard/mouse, MIDI device, disk drive, etc!
  • Mini module has FCC/CE certification and comes with 16 MByte of Flash, 8 MByte PSRAM
  • Power options - USB type C or Lipoly battery
  • Built-in battery charging when powered over USB-C
  • LiPoly battery monitor - MAX17048 chip actively monitors your battery for voltage and state of charge / percentage reporting over I2C
  • Reset and DFU (BOOT0) buttons to get into the ROM bootloader (which is a USB serial port so you don’t need a separate cable!)
  • JTAG 2x5 Header for more intense debugging
  • Serial debug output pins (optional, for checking the hardware serial debug console)
  • STEMMA QT connector for I2C devices, with switchable power, so you can go into low power mode.
  • On/Charge/User LEDs + status NeoPixel with pin-controlled power for low power usage
  • Low Power friendly! In deep sleep mode we can get down to ~100uA of current draw from the Lipoly connection. Quiescent current is from the power regulator, ESP32-S3 chip, and Lipoly monitor. Turn off the NeoPixel and external I2C power for the lowest quiescent current draw.
  • Works with ESP-IDF, Arduino or CircuitPython

Purchase:

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CircuitPython 9.0.5

This is the latest stable release of CircuitPython that will work with the Metro ESP32-S3.

Use this release if you are new to CircuitPython.

Release Notes for 9.0.5

Built-in modules available: _asyncio, _bleio, _pixelmap, adafruit_bus_device, adafruit_pixelbuf, aesio, alarm, analogbufio, analogio, array, atexit, audiobusio, audiocore, audiomixer, binascii, bitbangio, bitmapfilter, bitmaptools, board, builtins, builtins.pow3, busdisplay, busio, busio.SPI, busio.UART, canio, codeop, collections, countio, digitalio, displayio, dualbank, epaperdisplay, errno, espcamera, espidf, espnow, espulp, fontio, fourwire, framebufferio, frequencyio, getpass, gifio, hashlib, i2cdisplaybus, io, ipaddress, jpegio, json, keypad, keypad.KeyMatrix, keypad.Keys, keypad.ShiftRegisterKeys, locale, math, mdns, memorymap, microcontroller, msgpack, neopixel_write, nvm, onewireio, os, os.getenv, paralleldisplaybus, ps2io, pulseio, pwmio, qrio, rainbowio, random, re, rgbmatrix, rotaryio, rtc, sdcardio, select, sharpdisplay, socketpool, ssl, storage, struct, supervisor, synthio, sys, terminalio, time, touchio, traceback, ulab, usb_cdc, usb_hid, usb_midi, vectorio, warnings, watchdog, wifi, zlib

CircuitPython 9.1.0-beta.3

This is the latest development release of CircuitPython that will work with the Metro ESP32-S3.

Alpha development releases are early releases. They are unfinished, are likely to have bugs, and the features they provide may change. Beta releases may have some bugs and unfinished features, but should be suitable for many uses. A Release Candidate (rc) release is considered done and will become the next stable release, assuming no further issues are found.

Please try alpha, beta, and rc releases if you are able. Your testing is invaluable: it helps us uncover and find issues quickly.

Release Notes for 9.1.0-beta.3

Built-in modules available: _asyncio, _bleio, _pixelmap, adafruit_bus_device, adafruit_pixelbuf, aesio, alarm, analogbufio, analogio, array, atexit, audiobusio, audiocore, audiomixer, audiomp3, binascii, bitbangio, bitmapfilter, bitmaptools, board, builtins, builtins.pow3, busdisplay, busio, busio.SPI, busio.UART, canio, codeop, collections, countio, digitalio, displayio, dualbank, epaperdisplay, errno, espcamera, espidf, espnow, espulp, fontio, fourwire, framebufferio, frequencyio, getpass, gifio, hashlib, i2cdisplaybus, io, ipaddress, jpegio, json, keypad, keypad.KeyMatrix, keypad.Keys, keypad.ShiftRegisterKeys, keypad_demux, keypad_demux.DemuxKeyMatrix, locale, math, max3421e, mdns, memorymap, microcontroller, msgpack, neopixel_write, nvm, onewireio, os, os.getenv, paralleldisplaybus, ps2io, pulseio, pwmio, qrio, rainbowio, random, re, rgbmatrix, rotaryio, rtc, sdcardio, select, sharpdisplay, socketpool, ssl, storage, struct, supervisor, synthio, sys, terminalio, time, touchio, traceback, ulab, usb, usb_cdc, usb_hid, usb_midi, vectorio, warnings, watchdog, wifi, zlib

Absolute Newest

Every time we commit new code to CircuitPython we automatically build binaries for each board and language. The binaries are stored on Amazon S3, organized by board, and then by language. These releases are even newer than the development release listed above. Try them if you want the absolute latest and are feeling daring or want to see if a problem has been fixed.

Previous Versions of CircuitPython

All previous releases of CircuitPython are available for download from Amazon S3 through the button below. For very old releases, look in the OLD/ folder for each board. Release notes for each release are available at GitHub button below.

Older releases are useful for testing if you something appears to be broken in a newer release but used to work, or if you have older code that depends on features only available in an older release. Otherwise we recommend using the latest stable release.

Install, Repair, or Update UF2 Bootloader

Latest version: 0.18.2

The UF2 bootloader allows you to load CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino programs. The bootloader is not CircuitPython. If a UF2 bootloader is installed, you can check its version by looking in the INFO_UF2.TXT file when the BOOT drive is visible (FTHRS2BOOT, MAGTAGBOOT, HOUSEBOOT, etc.)

It is not necessary to reinstall a UF2 bootloader you unless a BOOT drive is not visible when in UF2 bootloader mode, or you know of a problem with your current UF2 bootloader.

If a UF2 bootloader has never been installed on the board, or the UF2 bootloader was removed by erasing or overwriting the flash, the UF2 bootloader must be installed in order to flash .uf2 files onto the board. .bin files can be uploaded without a UF2 bootloader, using the ESP Web Flasher or esptool.py.

Note: update.uf2 files are not currently working on ESP32-S2 or ESP32-S3 boards.

Important: this will erase previously flashed firmware and sketches from the board, but needs to be perfomed only once.

The instructions here are general. We recommend you consult the manufacturer's board documentation for detailed instructions, which may be different.

  • Unzip to find the file combined.bin.
  • Place board in bootloader mode:
    • Plug board into a USB port on your computer using a data/sync cable. Make sure it is the only board plugged in, and that a charge-only cable is not being used.
    • Press and hold down the BOOT or 0 button.
    • Press and release the RESET or RST button.
    • Release the BOOT button.
  • Upload combined.bin (Google Chrome 89 or newer):
    • Open ESP Web Flasher in a new window/tab.
    • Select 460800 Baud from the pull-down menu (top-right).
    • Click Connect (top-right).
    • Select the COM or Serial port from the pop-up window.
    • After successful connection, click Erase.
    • After successful erase, click any Choose a file..., then locate and select the combined.bin file unzipped earlier.
    • After successfully choosing combined.bin, click Program.
    • After the TinyUF2 firmware update is complete, press the RESET button on the board. A new drive BOOT should be visible in your file browser.

After installing the UF2 bootloader, enter the bootloader by double-clicking the reset button. On boards with an RGB status LED, tap reset once, wait for the LED to turn purple, and tap again before the purple goes away. On other boards, consult the board documentation.

After you update, check INFO_UF2.TXT to verify that the bootloader version has been updated. Then you will need to load or reload CircuitPython using the .uf2 file.