Esp32 vs Arduino: Are they both different?


arduino uno vs esp32

If you’ve been researching microcontrollers, you’ve probably come across two names – ESP32 and Arduino. While they are both popular choices for building projects such as robots, IoT devices, and more; it can be difficult to figure out which one is the best option for your project. 

In this blog post, we will answer the burning question: what makes Esp32 vs. Arduino different? We’ll discuss their important similarities as well as any major distinctions between them so that you know exactly what to choose for your next electronics build!

Esp32 vs. Arduino: Are they both different?

The Esp32 and Arduino platforms are both microcontrollers developed for different purposes. The Esp32 is a powerful, low-cost, and low-power system-on-a-chip (SoC) with integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities that make it suitable for embedded applications such as home automation, secure communications, medical monitoring, and more.

The Arduino platform, on the other hand, is based on an open-source electronics prototyping platform designed for beginners and hobbyists. 

Below are some major differences between ESP32 vs. Arduino.

Connectivity

The Esp32 supports dual-mode Bluetooth that enables communication with both classic and BLE devices, while the Arduino does not support Bluetooth at all. 

Processing Power

In terms of processing power, the Esp32 has a dual-core processor with higher clock speeds than the Arduino. It also has more memory and larger support for peripherals such as sensors, displays, motors, and more.

Cost

In terms of cost, the Esp32 is generally cheaper than the Arduino, and the cost of ESP32 and Arduino ranges between $20-$40 and $17-$41 depending on the Arduino respectively.  However, when it comes to coding complexity, the Arduino is much easier to use than the Esp32 due to its simplified programming language.

ESP32 vs. Arduino Speed Comparison

An important consideration when choosing between the Esp32 and Arduino platforms is speed. 

  • The Esp32 is significantly faster than the Arduino platform, with clock speeds up to 240 MHz compared to the Arduino’s 16MHz. This makes it much better suited for data-intensive applications such as streaming audio or video processing
  • The Esp32 also features an advanced DMA architecture which allows for fast data transfer between peripherals and memory, resulting in improved performance overall. 
  • Additionally, its Direct Memory Access (DMA) controller enables high-speed transfers of large amounts of data without compromising performance.

For more detailed answers: https://www.makerguides.com/esp32-vs-arduino-speed-comparison/

Specification of ESP Board and Arduino Board

The Esp32 and Arduino platforms differ in terms of specifications. The Esp32 is equipped with a 32-bit dual-core processor, 4MB of flash memory, 520KB SRAM, 6x 10/100Mb Ethernet MAC interfaces, WiFi, Bluetooth LE 5.0 and BLE Mesh, up to 8 UARTs (universal asynchronous receiver/transmitter), up to 2 SPI (serial peripheral interface) buses, multiple CAN bus controllers and more. 

Meanwhile, the Arduino has a 16MHz AVR microcontroller with 1KB EEPROM (electrically erasable programmable read-only memory), 512KB Flash Memory, and 20 digital input/output pins. However, there are some similarities as well. Read below to learn more!

Recommended Reading: There are so many Arduino options available on the internet that you might get confused in selecting the best fit for your project. Here’s a complete guide about the Arduino family to help you in selecting the right board.

ESP Board Specification in Table Form:

Feature

ESP32
Microcontroller

Dual-core Xtensa LX6

Operating Voltage

3.3V
Input Voltage (recommended)

7V to 12V

Digital I/O Pins

34
Analog Input Pins

12

Clock Speed

up to 240 MHz

Flash Memory

448 KB to 520 KB

SRAM

520 KB

EEPROM

No
Connectivity

Wi-Fi, BLE

USB Interface

Yes, native USB interface
Operating Temperature

-40°C to 85°C

Dimensions

25.4mm x 52.2mm

Comparison of Different Arduino Modules

Feature

Arduino UNO

Arduino Mega

Arduino Due

Microcontroller

ATmega328P

ATmega2560

SAM3X8E

Operating Voltage

5V

5V

3.3V

Input Voltage (recommended)

7V to 12V

7V to 12V

7V to 12V

Digital I/O Pins

14

54

54

Analog Input Pins

6

16

12

Clock Speed

16 MHz 16 MHz

84 MHz

Flash Memory

32 KB 256 KB

512 KB

SRAM

2 KB 8 KB 96 KB
EEPROM 1 KB 4 KB

3 KB

Connectivity

None None

None

USB Interface

No, requires a USB-to-serial adapter No, requires a USB-to-serial adapter Native USB interface
Operating Temperature -40°C to 85°C

-40°C to 85°C

-40°C to 85°C

Dimensions 68.6mm x 53.4mm 101.52mm x 53.3mm

86mm x 55mm

Comparison between ESP32 vs. Arduino

Feature

ESP32

Arduino

Processor

Dual-core Xtensa LX6 microprocessor AVR, SAM3X8E (Due) or SAM3X6E (Uno)
Operating Voltage 3.3V

5V

Digital I/O Pins

34 20 (Uno), 54 (Mega)
Analog Input Pins 12

6 (Uno), 16 (Mega)

Clock Speed

up to 240 MHz 16 MHz
Flash Memory 448 KB to 520 KB

32 KB to 256 KB

SRAM

520 KB 2 KB to 8 KB
Connectivity Wi-Fi, BLE, Ethernet

None (except Ethernet Shield)

Price

$2 to $10 $10 to $30
Power Consumption Lower compared to Arduino boards

Higher compared to ESP32

PWM Pins

16

6 (Uno), 13 (Mega)

UART

2

1

I2C

2

1

SPI

2 1
ADC Resolution 12 bits

10 bits

RTC

Built-in No built-in requires external RTC module
Micro-SD Card Slot Yes

No, requires a micro-SD card shield

USB Interface

Yes, the native USB interface

No, requires a USB-to-serial adapter

The similarity between ESP32 and Arduino

The ESP32 and Arduino boards have many similarities, making them both great options for creative makers.

The similarities between the ESP32 and Arduino boards extend beyond their basic shape and size. 

  • Both feature a microcontroller, support for programming languages such as C/C++, and a set of digital/analog pins used for connecting external hardware. 
  • The ESP32 has more memory than the Arduino UNO, with 520KB SRAM compared to 2KB on the Arduino UNO. 
  • Both devices are open-source platforms that can be easily integrated into IoT projects or used by makers in DIY projects. 
  • They are also compatible with many development tools including the popular Arduino IDE (Integrated Development Environment). 
  • Both boards have an extensive library of code snippets that can be utilized to quickly create complex projects without having to write lots of code from scratch. 
  • Both boards have unique benefits that make them ideal for certain types of projects. While the ESP32 has more memory and I/O pins than the Arduino UNO, it may be the wrong fit for a low-cost or simple project like a basic LED blinker. Ultimately, when choosing between an ESP32 or Arduino board depends on what type of project you are working on, your budget, and the type of application you’re aiming to create.  
  • In terms of connectivity options, the Esp32 offers more options than the Arduino including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, BLE Mesh, and 6x 10/100 Ethernet MAC interfaces. This makes it better suited for more complex applications that require increased connectivity such as smart home automation.

Overall, the Esp32 and Arduino platforms are both powerful microcontrollers with different strengths and weaknesses that make them suitable for different types of applications. 

How to select the right device for your project?

Before you begin selecting the device you should ask questions yourself whether you are a beginner or a hobbyist, or how much understanding you have about these devices. I would recommend you if you are a newbie, or just starting out, then I would advise you to start with Arduino. It is an easy-to-use platform and the community of Arduino is super helpful for your project.

For more advanced projects or applications requiring wireless capabilities, however, the Esp32 may be a better option. Ultimately, it just comes down to what type of application you are building and which platform will best suit your needs. 

However, if you need more digital and analog pins or additional RAM, then an ESP32 could be exactly what you’re looking for. No matter which board you choose, both offer powerful features to support a wide variety of applications.

What is the difference between Arduino UNO and ESP32 from an analog signal point of view?

When comparing the Arduino UNO and the ESP32 from an analog signal point of view, there are some notable differences. The most important difference is that while the Arduino has 6 analog input pins available, the ESP32 has 16 analog input pins.

This could be beneficial if you need to measure multiple signals simultaneously or if you need a higher resolution for analog signals. The ESP32 also has a few more advanced analog features such as an integrated 12-bit DAC and several types of analog filters.

Is ESP32 better than Arduino?

Ultimately, the answer to this question depends on the project at hand and what features are required. If you need more analog input pins or advanced analog features such as DACs and filters, then the ESP32 is likely a better choice.

On the other hand, if you just need an easy-to-use board that won’t break the bank, the Arduino UNO is still a great option. Ultimately, it comes down to what you need for your project and which board has the features you need. 

Recommended Reading: Arduino is one of the greatest platforms for beginners, and hobbyists to control things of their own and it is one of the most fun things to do in our daily lives. If you are still struggling to know what board should I start with then the how to select the right Arduino board guide may help you in choosing the right board.

Mataf Khan

An electronics enthusiasts from childhood became an electrical engineer, I've been playing with Arduino and other electronics gadgets like raspberry pi since when I was 14. and have a passion of troubleshooting Arduino problems.

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