2024-03-30
md
The XIAO ESP32C6 is Unveiled by Seeed Studio
<-First Look at the Seeed Studio XIAO ESP32C3
<-A Wi-Fi Switch for Domoticz using a XIAO ESP32C3

XIAO ESP32C6An addition to the XIAO series of microcontroller development boards by Seeed was officially launched yesterday in a YouTube presentation entitled Dive into Innovation at GTC 2024: rhapsody of TinyML and Local LLM. The title is rather accurate because only about five minutes of the seventy-five-minute presentation was devoted to the XIAO ESP32C6. The video was mostly about artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and large language models (LLM)... what else! Nevertheless, the video description does contain the following sentence: ALSO, Our Xiao family is about to welcome a new member, the XIAO ESP32-C6 [sic]. To see its launch go directly to the 54:30 mark in the video.

Have you listened to it? Let's be honest, that introduction was a damp squib. I am sure that the crew responsible for the new XIAO would have preferred a keener endorsement than "I feel a little bored to introduce that [XIAO] because you might know more than me...". Just reading the bullet points from product page would have been better. In Eric's defence, he was exhausted. That was very unfortunate because there was obvious enthusiasm in the live chat for the XIAO ESP32C6; some even announcing that they had preordered the device.

Of course, I have not had the chance to review the new XIAO. Nevertheless, based on the published information, I think that the XIAO ESP32C6 will be an improved replacement for the XIAO ESP32C3. This opinion is predicated on two factors. First, the ESP32-C6 SoC (system on chip) is for the most part an improved ESP23-C3. This is especially true when looking at wireless connectivity and low-power capabilities associated with a second Risc-V core running at only 20 Mhz. The updated support for Bluetooth and the addition of Zigbee and Thread make the new XIAO very attractive for low-power IoT applications. Also the on-board antenna will make deployment of the XIA0 ESP32C6 simpler than the ESP32C3 with its external antenna. The second factor is the price. Both boards are very affordable: $US 5.20 for the ESP32C6 and $US 4.99 for the ESP32C3. However a $0.21 price difference undercuts the market for the older XIAO. Perhaps the XIAO ESP32C3 will continue to be used in low-margin high volume commercial application where each penny counts, but in all probability makers and hobbyists like me, that only purchase a few units every now and then, will choose the newer board. There is the possibility that the current price for the new XIAO is a strategy to attract interest and that the price difference between the two boards will increase in the future.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating as the saying goes. So a head to head comparison of the two boards will be needed to confirm this opinion. Consequently, I too have preordered a couple of XIAO ESP32C6. Because I am frugal and chose the least costly shipping method, these will not arrive for another 40 or more days. But that's fine because right now I am very much enjoying working with the XIAO ESP32C3. I should be writing an overview of the new member of the XIAO in a couple of months or maybe even sooner.

<-First Look at the Seeed Studio XIAO ESP32C3
<-A Wi-Fi Switch for Domoticz using a XIAO ESP32C3