The M5Stack is ESP32 Arduino by heart. It is a modular, stackable, wearable IoT platform for development which is obviously Open Source. There are many stackable ESP32 or other 32 bit Arduino compatible prototyping boards. The big difference of M5Stack with them is that it has an enclosure, display, pushbuttons, microSD card slot, USB-C, loudspeaker, and extension connectors. Official website :
Common microcontroller development boards has pin headers to use with breadboard. The main module is half inch thick plastic square box of 2.5 inch x 2.5 inch dimension. The circuit board can be seen at undersurface. It has other ICs are for power, USB, and audio. There is an ILI9341-based SPI display which is connected through a flat cable and soldered to the backside of the PCB.
In our March Newsletter we announced the release of M5Stack, a robust, open-source modular toolkit which was built around ESP8266. In the meantime, the M5Stack team visited Espressif’s headquarters in Shanghai and sealed a deal to relaunch their product, this time using ESP32, our 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi and Bluetooth combo chip.
ESP32 can interface with other systems to provide Wi-Fi and Bluetooth functionality through SPI / SDIO or I2C / UART interfaces. The high level of integration that ESP32 offers enhances the versatility of any IoT project it brings to life. It also requires minimal PCB area and achieves ultra-low power consumption, with a combination of several types of proprietary software. As such, ESP32 is suitable for mobile devices, wearable electronics and IoT applications.
The advantages of this ESP32 is the appealing design. Developer team’s goal is to provide a rapid product development platform. It does not need much advanced technical knowledge join and create IoT projects. The M5Stack is practical, compact and easy to use in DIY or educational projects. M5Stack’s bottom plate has the extension connectors which allow access to the I/O pins of the ESP32. Behind it, there is a LiPo battery. There are modules and prototyping boards for M5Stack available to add LoRa, GSM, GPS. M5Stack uses CP2104 as USB-to-UART bridge which probably will need to install driver. Itself it is ready to be used with Arduino IDE.
M5Stack design is better to built own self by 3D printing or CNC milling. Nowhere PCB fabrication costs huge.