Will ESP32 replace STM32 in the future among the Students?

From a product standpoint, it is not possible. There are many factors to consider in product selection. ESP32 and STM32 are both widely used microcontrollers, and they both have their own advantages and disadvantages. It is not realistic to simply say that one can completely replace the other.

Listed below are a few reasons why ESP32 cannot completely replace STM32:

1. Application Scenarios

STM32 has a much broader application scene and can do more products.

ESP32 is usually used for IoT devices, home automation, and Wi-Fi control, while STM32 is more suitable for consumer, industrial control, robotics, medical devices, automotive and other applications.

Usually, ESP32 is more like a Bluetooth, WiFi relay function. If you consider the subsequent functional upgrade of the product, the better way is STM32 or other MCU + ESP32, so that the later expansion is more flexible.

If the product does not need to consider the subsequent functional upgrade. It will be better to use ESP32 as the main control directly at a low cost.

2. Better toolchain

Although ESP32 can be programmed using Arduino IDE, STM32 provides more development environments, such as Keil, IAR, STM32CubeIDE, etc., which makes development more convenient.

STM32 provides a richer programming interface and API, making it more efficient and convenient for developers to debug and develop programs.

3. Developer Community

STM32 development boards and tutorials can basically be described as ubiquitous. You can search the Internet for answers to almost any question you encounter during the development process with such a large community of developers and users. This makes the learning threshold of STM32 lower and the product development cycle shorter.

4. Reliability and stability

The previous ESP8266 did not give me a good impression. If the communication rate is fast, it is Busy… all the time, and then occasionally restart, resulting in extremely slow OTA upgrade, which drags the whole product down. 

ESP32 performance is much tougher than ESP8266, but in some key application scenarios, I reckon STM32 is more reliable and stable than ESP32. There is one thing to say, the stability of STM32 is really better than many other chips.

5. Peripheral support

STM32 supports more peripherals and communication interfaces, such as CAN, USB, SDIO, Ethernet, etc., making them more suitable for applications that require high-speed data transfer and communication.

6. Compatibility

Although both ESP32 and STM32 have good compatibility, STM32 has broader hardware compatibility and can work with more hardware and peripherals.

7. ADC/DAC Accuracy

In applications requiring accurate analog measurements and outputs, the STM32F4 offers higher ADC/DAC resolutions and sampling rates, making them more suitable for product applications requiring high accuracy.

8. Digital Signal Processing Capability

Since the STM32F4 is based on the ARM Cortex-M4 processor architecture, it provides more powerful digital signal processing capabilities, making them more suitable for applications requiring high-level signal processing.

9. Timers and Counters

The STM32F4 offers more timers and counters, making them more suitable for applications requiring high-precision timing and measurement.

ESP32 and STM32 are both excellent microcontrollers, and their respective strengths and weaknesses make them suitable for different application scenarios and are not in direct competition, so it is not meaningful to talk about comparison and replacement.

FAQs

Which one is better for IoT projects, ESP32 or STM32?

Your IoT project’s particular requirements and limitations will determine this. The ESP32 is renowned for its integrated WiFi and Bluetooth connection, low power usage, and simplicity of use for experimentation and prototyping. A more complicated and demanding application may benefit from STM32’s performance, versatility, and a wide choice of peripherals and interfaces.

What is the difference between ESP32 and STM32?

Espressif Systems makes the ESP32 microcontroller, whereas STMicroelectronics makes the STM32 family of microcontrollers. They are not directly comparable because they have different designs, features, and capabilities.

What are some common development tools for programming ESP32 and STM32?

ESP32 and STM32 provide a wide range of various development environments and tools, depending on your preferences and requirements. Popular ones include PlatformIO, STM32CubeIDE, Visual Studio Code with extensions, Arduino IDE, and Keil Vision. These tools frequently offer a code editor, a compiler, a debugger, and other capabilities to make the process of creating and debugging software easier.

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