From Wikipedia:

ESP32 is a series of low cost, low power system on a chip microcontrollers
with integrated Wi-Fi & dual-mode Bluetooth.  The ESP32 series employs a
Tensilica Xtensa LX6 microprocessor in both dual-core and single-core
variations.  ESP32 is created and developed by Espressif Systems, a
Shanghai-based Chinese company, and is manufactured by TSMC using their 40nm
process. [1]_

The features include the following:

  • Dual core Xtensa microprocessor (LX6), running at 160 or 240MHz
  • 520KB of SRAM
  • 802.11b/g/n/e/i
  • Bluetooth v4.2 BR/EDR and BLE
  • Various peripherals:
    • 12-bit ADC with up to 18 channels
    • 2x 8-bit DACs
    • 10x touch sensors
    • Temperature sensor
    • 4x SPI
    • 2x I2S
    • 2x I2C
    • 3x UART
    • SD/SDIO/MMC host
    • Slave (SDIO/SPI)
    • Ethernet MAC
    • CAN bus 2.0
    • IR (RX/TX)
    • Motor PWM
    • LED PWM with up to 16 channels
    • Hall effect sensor
  • Cryptographic hardware acceleration (RNG, ECC, RSA, SHA-2, AES)
  • 5uA deep sleep current

System requirements


Two components are required in order to build this port: the toolchain and the SDK. Both are provided by the SoC manufacturer.

The SDK contains headers and a hardware abstraction layer library (provided only as object files) that are required for the port to function.

The toolchain is available for Linux, Windows, and Mac hosts and instructions to obtain and set them up are available in the ESP-IDF repository, using the toolchain and SDK links above.

Set up build environment

With both the toolchain and SDK installed, the Zephyr build system must be instructed to use this particular variant by setting the ZEPHYR_GCC_VARIANT shell variable. Two other environment variables should also be set, pointing to, respectively, the path where ESP-IDF can be located, and where the toolchain has been installed:

export ZEPHYR_GCC_VARIANT="espressif"
export ESP_IDF_PATH="/path/to/esp-idf"
export ESPRESSIF_TOOLCHAIN_PATH="/path/to/xtensa-esp32-elf/"


Issuing make BOARD=esp32 flash should work as usual. Environment variables can be set to set the serial port device, baud rate, and other options. Please refer to the following table for details.

Variable Default value
ESP_TOOL espidf

It’s impossible to determine which serial port the ESP32 board is connected to, as it uses a generic RS232-USB converter. The default of /dev/ttyUSB0 is provided as that’s often the assigned name on a Linux machine without any other such converters.

The baud rate of 921600bps is recommended. If experiencing issues when flashing, try halving the value a few times (460800, 230400, 115200, etc). It might be necessary to change the flash frequency or the flash mode; please refer to the esptool documentation for guidance on these settings.

If ESP_TOOL is set to “espidf”, the script found within ESP-IDF will be used. Otherwise, this variable is handled as a path to the tool.

Using JTAG

In addition to the SoC vendor and SDK, this board also requires a build of OpenOCD with patches supporting the SoC. The source code and build instructions can be obtained from GitHub:

git clone

After building OpenOCD, one should proceed as usual with the setup process. Since JTAG adapters may be different, this will most likely require editing the esp32.cfg file that’s in the openocd-esp32 directory. For instance, to use a Flyswatter 2 JTAG adapter, one would modify the file so that the “source” line would read:

source [find interface/ftdi/flyswatter2.cfg]

It might be a good idea to comment the line setting ESP32_RTOS and increasing adapter_khz to 400. (Or higher, if using another JTAG adapter, but this value is known to be stable with the Flyswatter.)

After the file has been properly edited, connect the JTAG pins according to the table below. Please consult your JTAG adapter manual for the proper pinout. Power to the ESP32 board should be provided by a USB cable.

ESP32 pin JTAG pin
3V3 VTRef

Further documentation can be obtained from the SoC vendor in JTAG debugging for ESP32.