The ESP32-H2 marks a significant expansion in Espressif's range of wireless microcontrollers, venturing beyond WiFi capabilities. This versatile module supports both Bluetooth 5 and IEEE 802.15.4 protocols, making it suitable for applications involving Zigbee, Matter, and Thread. 

Support from standardization organizations ensures that developers working on Matter or Thread-based devices receive the necessary certifications. Espressif has taken great care to certify both the chips and accompanying software, providing a solid foundation for reliable operation. 

Architecture and Features:

The ESP32-H2 adopts a new architecture by replacing the XTENSA compute cores with a single RISC-V derived microcontroller. However, thanks to the ESP_IDF SDK's built-in abstraction layer, application code portability is usually unaffected by this change.  

With a maximum core frequency of 96 MHz, the ESP32-H2 can handle most smart home tasks without requiring advanced AI capabilities. It offers 320KB of RAM, while the amount of flash memory depends on the chosen module.  

ESP32-H2 architecture with an non-wifi radio.png

GPIO and Programming:

The ESP32-H2 boasts nineteen programmable GPIO pins, ensuring compatibility with the widely used ESP_IDF APIs. Notably, it features an integrated USB to Serial converter, eliminating the need for a separate FT232 cable when programming, provided that the printed circuit board includes a USB port.  

Module Variants (ESP32-H2-MINI-1 vs ESP32-H2-MINI-1U):

For ESP32-based designs, direct embedding of the chip is usually reserved for high-volume applications due to the costly RF engineering involved. Espressif addresses this concern by offering the ESP32-H2-MINI-1 and ESP32-H2-MINI-1U modules.  

ESP32-H2-MINI-1 vs ESP32-H2-MINI-1U

The key distinction between the two variants lies in the antenna options. The MINI-1 module includes an integral PCB antenna, requiring clearance around it, while the 1U version features a UFL connector for external antennas, providing greater flexibility.  

Availability and Pricing:

Despite the ESP32-H2 being leaked two years ago (see for a detailed analysis), its availability at distributors remains somewhat limited. However, backorders are being accepted with an estimated lead time of 12 weeks. A quick search using our price comparison tool shows 1 module costs approximately 1.9 EUR in quantities of 100 (Accurate on the date of publication). 


Espressif recognizes the smart home market as a significant growth opportunity for its chip portfolio. The ESP32-H2, with its support for Zigbee and Thread, coupled with the flexibility of the ESP_IDF development framework, offers an excellent solution for developers. By leveraging existing programming knowledge and only requiring familiarity with a new networking API, designers can make the most of this powerful microcontroller in their smart home projects.