ESP8266 Wifi Module

In this article we describe briefly the ESP8266 wifi chip from Espressif


This lower power SOC  contains a 32 bit RISC MCU and a wifi module. At the Espressif web site we can find the detailed informations about the ESP8266

ESP8266 Resources

The device datasheet is available in the following pdf document

ESP8266 Datasheet

The ESP8266 modules are available individually or in a development platform; the last system simplifies its usage as the development kit contains all the hardware to use rapidly the soc device; we are already ready to load the firmware and use the device.

On internet various web sites describe home automation or iot projects using this soc.

A reference site for the ESP8266 is

ESP8266 Forum

In the forum we can find the various systems utilized to develop applications for the ESP8266. The most relevant tools are

  • Arduino Ide

Arduino IDE

ESP8266 Arduino github

  • Espressif SDK

SDK Forum


  • PlatformIO


  • Nodemcu

Nodemcu at forum


Nodemcu github

We can buy the ESP8266 module from various internet online websites, for example ebay, as a single module

ESP8266 on ebay

or as a development kit

ESP8266 Development Kit

Different ESP8266  AI-Thinker modules are available


We’ll use the Nodemcu development kit. This kit contains the AI-Thinker ESP-12/ESP-12E modules. In the ebay search we have as results  ESP8266 ESP-01 modules too and development kits from other vendors.

On the Nodemcu github we can find the development kits we’ll use afterward. There are two versions

  • Nodemcu V1 (ESP-12E) development kit

Nodemcu devkit V1.0

  • Nodemcu  V0.9 (ESP-12) development kit

Nodemcu devkit V0.9

At the following link we can find the description of the different AI-Thinker modules and as obtain informations about the flash inside the device

ESP8266 Modules

From the Nodemcu github

Nodemcu Devkit

the pins available in the devkit 1.0  are the following

In next articles we’ll describe how to obtain the Nodemcu firmware, how to load it on the device, how to compile it and we’ll show some example using the LUA scripting language utilized by the Nodemcu firmware


with the LUA software modules available for the ESP8266

Nodemcu documentation

In the next article we’ll describe the Nodemcu firmware

Nodemcu Firmware