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Espressif presents new dual-core ESP32-P4 RISC-V SoC

Jan 5, 2023 — by Giorgio Mendoza 1,217 views

Espressif System shared details about the upcoming Dual-core RISC-V ESP32-P4 SoC. The announcement mentions that this 400MHz ESP32-P4 SoC includes an “AI instruction extension, an advanced memory subsystem, and integrated high-speed peripherals.”

The block diagram below depicts a “big-little” architecture consisting of a High-Performance CPU and a Low-Power Core. According to the announcement, the HP core is equipped with 768KB of on-chip SRAM and 8KB of zero-wait TCM RAM intended for “fast data buffers or time-critical sections of code.”

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The LP RISC-V single core (up to 40MHz) integrated with support for standard protocols such as SPI, I2C, UART and I2S. 


ESP32-P4 block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

The Espressif Systems announcement highlights the improved support for Human-Machine Interfaces. In addition to the capacitive touch inputs and speech recognition capabilities, the new SoC “integrates hardware accelerators for various media-encoding protocols, as well as compression protocols for image processing and video streaming, including H.264 encoding support. The SoC also has an integrated hardware Pixel Processing Accelerator (PPA), which is suitable for GUI development.”


ESP32-S3 & ESP32-P4 comparison
(click image to enlarge)

It appears that the new SoC will provide more GPIOs compared to other Espressif SoCs released in the past, in this case up to 50 GPIOs. Moreover support for high-speed interfaces will include USB OTG 2.0 HS, Ethernet, and SDIO Host 3.0.

For wireless connectivity the company mentions, “the ESP32-P4 can easily connect, as a wireless companion chip, to any product of the ESP32-C/S/H series over SPI/SDIO/UART, by using the ESP-Hosted or ESP-AT solutions. ESP32-P4 can also function as the Host MCU for other connectivity solutions, such as ACK, AWS IoT ExpressLink, etc.”

The ESP32-P4 SoC provides additional security capabilities compared to the ESP32-S3. The new SoC model includes support for Access Permission Management, Key Management Unit, ECDSA, PMA (Physical Memory Attributes)  and PMP (Physical Memory Protection). 


ESP32-P4 SoC
(click image to enlarge)

Further information

As usual, the new ESP32-P4 SoC will be supported by the Espressif-IDF. The announcement also mentioned they will release more information about the ESP32-P4 in the next few weeks. Refer to the Espressif announcement here.

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