An Overview of the ESP32-based Ethernet Module for M5Stack

July 25, 2023

The M5Stack Ethernet Module with ESP32 (M5STACK-U138) represents an innovation in networking technology that offers a blend of functionality, versatility, and power. It can connect to servers by employing simple AT commands, thus allowing data transmission and remote control operations. The module integrates Power over Ethernet (PoE) technology to reduce cabling needs, save on labor costs, and streamline the setup process.


This ethernet esp32 module's unique feature is its use of the ESP32 chip as the primary controller in the Medium Access Control (MAC) layer. Moreover, it incorporates the IP101G PHY from Microchip as the physical layer transceiver, which adheres to the IEEE802.3/802.3u standards. This blend of cutting-edge technology ensures robust and stable performance, making it a reliable choice for various applications.


The default firmware of the module utilizes Espressif's ESP-AT command solution, which provides support for a wide range of protocols. These protocols include TCP, MQTT, HTTP, and potentially more, paving the way for diverse application scenarios. This feature provides an extensive range of use-cases from simple local networking applications to more advanced Internet of Things (IoT) implementations.


The Ethernet module's incorporation of PoE technology is particularly noteworthy. PoE allows the module to receive both data and electrical power from the Ethernet cable, eliminating the need for separate power supplies. This approach dramatically simplifies the wiring process, reduces setup times, and enhances flexibility in device placement, making it a beneficial feature for various networking applications.


Key Features:


- Primary Controller: ESP32

- PHY: IP101G Transceiver, adhering to the IEEE802.3/802.3u standard.

- Ethernet: RJ45 interface supporting 10/100Mbps and PoE (IEEE802.3AF with a maximum load of 6W).

- Communication/Download: Firmware ESP-AT (TCP), HTTP, CoAP, and other protocols' potential implementation.

- Power Supply: HY2.0-4P (5V DC power supply), PoE (IEEE802.3AF)

- AT Commands: UART (default at 9600bps)

- Development Environment: Arduino IDE, ESP-IDF, UIFlow (support pending)


The ESP32-based Ethernet module's versatility makes it an ideal solution for developers aiming to incorporate IoT elements into their projects, automate their homes, or establish a reliable network using PoE. Furthermore, its compatibility with widely used development environments like Arduino IDE and ESP-IDF enables even amateur programmers to explore its potential fully.


The M5Stack Ethernet module with ESP32 exemplifies the continual advancements in the IoT and networking sectors. The utilization of PoE, in combination with the powerful ESP32 lan controller and diverse protocol support, renders the module a valuable addition to any tech-savvy individual's toolkit. This module illustrates how modern technology can simplify and enhance networking applications, whether they relate to home automation or complex industrial IoT solutions. The future of networking undoubtedly lies in devices such as the M5Stack Ethernet module with ESP32, as they offer seamless integration with various protocols, robust performance, and ease of use for a range of applications.



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