Espressif Systems has announced the release of ESP32-C6, its new Wi-Fi 6 + Bluetooth 5 (LE) SoC. After the launch of the ESP32-C3 end of 2020, this successor adds WiFi 6 capabilities to Espressif’s product portfolio.

C6 Essentials

ESP32-C6 is unique in that it packs 2.4 GHz WiFi 6 (802.11ax) radio that also supports the 802.11b/g/n standard for backward compatibility. This WiFi 6 support is optimized for IoT devices, and the SoC supports a 20MHz bandwidth for 802.11ax mode, and a 20/40 MHz bandwidth for 802.11b/g/n mode. The 802.11ax mode supports a station interface, and it offers greater transmission efficiency and lower power consumption. Additionally, Bluetooth 5 (LE) radio supports long-range operation through advertisement extension and coded PHY. It also supports 2 Mbps of high throughput PHY.
In terms of CPU, memory and security features, ESP32-C6 is similar to ESP32-C3. ESP32-C6 has a single-core, 32-bit RISC-V microcontroller that can be clocked up to 160 MHz. It has 384 kB ROM, 400 kB SRAM, and works with external flash. It comes with 22 programmable GPIOs, with support for ADC, SPI, UART, I2C, I2S, RMT, TWAI and PWM.
ESP32-C6 block diagram
The ESP32-C6 Block Diagram


The 802.11ax standard used in ESP32-C6 contains a variety of extra features added to the current WiFi standard, especially those that provide concrete benefits for IoT devices. The ESP23-C6 supports the OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access) mechanism for both uplink and downlink communications. It also supports MU-MIMO capability for downlink. Both these techniques provide the ability to work with high efficiency and low latency in congested wireless environments. One more important feature of the 802.11ax standard is the Target Wake Time (TWT), which allows the devices to sleep for an extended time-period, with assistance from an 802.11ax-capable, WiFi access point. This feature in ESP32-C6 will allow our customers to build battery-operated, connected devices that can last for years on battery, while staying connected throughout.
Espressif continues to safeguard the security of connected devices through hardware and software features. ESP32-C6 comes with RSA-3072-based secure boot, AES-128-XTS-based flash encryption, digital signature and an HMAC peripheral for identity protection, as well as cryptographic accelerators for improved performance. These features ensure that the devices built with ESP32-C6 can provide the desired level of security.
ESP32-C6 will be supported through Espressif’s IoT Development Framework (ESP-IDF). For the customers who would like to use ESP32-C6 as communications co-processor with an external host, ESP-Hosted and ESP-AT firmware will also be available.