Thursday, May 5, 2016

ESP-12E vs Teensy-LC for my DIY Smartwatch Project

Today, my Teensy-LC and ESP-12E just arrived and I am so excited to experiment with them over the weekend. I have not decided which of the two MCU's should I use for my DIY Smartwatch Project.So I want to list down their strength and weaknesses to help me which I should choose.

1. Microcontroller(MCU) Speed
Teensy uses MKL26Z64 ARM Based Chip rated at 40Mhz while ESP-12E uses ESP8266 which is rated at 80Mhz but can be overclocked at 160Mhz. Clearly, ESP-12E is the winner.

2. Arduino Compatibility
Recently ESP-12E and its variant can already be programmed using the Arduino IDE and while Teensy-LC is already programmable in the same IDE so both are tied on this. But I still don't know if all commands in Arduino is supported by both MCU's all I know is in the case of Teensy, some are not supported.

3. Power Consumptions in Sleep Mode and Normal Mode
I am totally new to this microcontrollers so I cant compare them based on this category. Probably when I get to program them, that will be the time for me to be able to decide which one is better than the other.

4. GPIO/Ports/Availability of Libraries
Teensy has so many GPIO's(dont know exactly how many), PWM Pins, 3 Serial Ports, 1 SPI Port and No built in RTC and since it can be programmed in the Arduino IDE, I assume the SPI, I2C libraries will work, while ESP-12E has very few exposed GPIO and PWM pins, 1 SPI and 1 I2C port and I also assume that the Arduino SPI and I2C libraries will work. It seems I have a problem here because I need at least 2 SPI ports(the LCD Display and SD Card uses SPI ports) because I have not tried connecting 2 devices in 1 SPI port but I have read somewhere that it is possible for several devices to share 1 SPI port. The smartwatch does not need too much GPIO and PWM pins. I give the credit to Teensy in this category though.

In conclusion, I am still not able to decide which one is better than the other although ES-12E has built-in wifi radio and while the Teensy do needs ESP-12E.

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