ESP32-P4: Espressif’s New High-Performance MCU

By Matt Williams -

Espressif is expanding its current portfolio to address the high-performance computation needs of IO-Rich, HMI, and AIoT applications, announcing the upcoming release of its latest SoC, ESP32-P4.

It is powered by a dual-core RISC-V CPU with an AI instructions extension, an advanced memory subsystem, and integrated high-speed peripherals. ESP32-P4 is designed for high-performance applications that require strong security. In fact, ESP32-P4 aims to cater to the next era of embedded applications which will rely on solid support for rich Human-Machine Interfaces, efficient edge computing, and increased IO-connectivity requirements.

High-Performance CPU and Memory Subsystem

Powered by a dual-core RISC-V CPU running up to 400MHz, ESP32-P4 also supports single-precision FPU and AI extensions, thus providing all the necessary computational resources. In addition, ESP32-P4 integrates an LP-Core which can run up to 40MHz. This ‘big-little’ architecture is critical in terms of supporting ultra-low-power applications which may occasionally require high computing. In such scenarios, the HP cores can be kept down for most of the time, for the purpose of saving power.

The core system has 768KB of on-chip SRAM, which can become accessible as cache when external PSRAM is available. In addition, the ESP32-P4 HP core system has 8KB of zero-wait TCM RAM, which can be used for fast data buffers or time-critical sections of code. This high-performance memory system, along with the support for external PSRAM and Flash, ensures that the memory-access latency and the available size of memory are not limited.


ESP32-P4 Block Diagram

Best-in-Class Security

Strong security is at the heart of ESP32-P4. Features, such as Secure Boot, Flash Encryption, cryptographic accelerators, TRNG, etc., provide all the necessary components for keeping the device secured and trusted. With the help of the Digital Signature Peripheral and a dedicated Key Management Unit, ESP32-P4 ensures that private keys are generated on the SoC itself and are not compromised by any software in plain text or by any physical attacks. The SoC also supports hardware access protection that facilitates Access Permission Management as well as Privilege Separation.

Rich Human-Machine Interface

It includes support for MIPI-CSI with integrated ISP and MIPI-DSI, thus enabling the integration of a high-resolution camera and a display interface. To enable enhanced compatibility, ESP32-P4 has a parallel display and a camera interface, as well. Also included are capacitive touch inputs and speech recognition features making ESP32-P4 the SoC of choice for any HMI-based application.

Furthermore, ESP32-P4 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.

Highly integrated Peripherals

ESP32-P4 has more than 50 programmable GPIOs, which is significantly more than those of any other Espressif SoC to date. ESP32-P4 supports all the commonly used peripherals, such as SPI, I2S, I2C, LED PWM, MCPWM, RMT, ADC, DAC, UART, and TWAITM. Further to this, ESP32-P4 supports USB OTG 2.0 HS, Ethernet, and SDIO Host 3.0 for high-speed connectivity.

If the application requires wireless connectivity, 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.

ESP32-P4 will be supported through Espressif’s mature IoT Development Framework (ESP-IDF), so that our customers can benefit from their familiarity with our field-proven platform that already powers millions of connected devices.

Availability and Pricing

Find out more about Espressif.

Also, stay up to date with the most recent machine vision and image processing news right here on MVPro Media. 

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