If you want to keep the firmware on your ESP32 WiFi-BLE co-processor up-to-date, you'll need to update the firmware on the ESP32. 

You're going to to turn your board into a USB-to-Serial converter to flash new firmware to your ESP32  - no extra hardware required

This process is mostly setup and should take from 10 to 20 minutes.

This guide is not for when you are running Arduino/MicroPython/FreeRTOS/etc *directly* on the ESP32, this is only for using the ESP32 as an AirLift/WiFi co-processor!
To support BLE on the ESP32 AirLift, you'll need NINA_W102-1.7.1.bin or later.

Why would I update my ESP32's firmware?

Using an ESP32 as a WiFi-BLE co-processor is a way to connect your CircuitPython and Arduino projects to the internet. Having WiFi managed by a separate chip means your code is simpler, you don't have to cache socket data, or compile in & debug an SSL library. 

Adafruit ships a variety of products which use the ESP32 as a WiFi-BLE co-processor with a variant of the Arduino nina-fw core. This firmware is programmed to the ESP32 at the Adafruit factory. If you wish to update to a newer version of nina-fw, you'll need to program it to the ESP32.

BLE is supported on the ESP32 co-processor only with version NINA_W102-1.7.1.bin or later of the firmware (released in October 2020). If you want BLE support, it is quite likely you'll need to upgrade

Parts

External ESP32 Co-Processors

If you already have a project which uses a popular microcontroller (like the ATMega328 or ATSAMD51), you can easily add WiFi by using an externally connected ESP32 module.

Give your plain ol' microcontroller project a lift with the Adafruit AirLift - a breakout board that lets you use the powerful ESP32 as a WiFi co-processor. You probably...
$9.95
In Stock
Give your Feather project a lift with the Adafruit AirLift FeatherWing - a FeatherWing that lets you use the powerful ESP32 as a WiFi co-processor. You probably have your...
$12.95
In Stock
Give your Arduino project a lift with the Adafruit AirLift Shield - a shield that lets you use the powerful ESP32 as a WiFi co-processor. You probably have your favorite...
$14.95
In Stock
Give your ItsyBitsy project a lift with the Adafruit AirLift Bitsy Add-On - a daughterboard that lets you use the powerful ESP32 as a WiFi co-processor. You probably have your...
$14.95
In Stock

ESP32 Co-Processor All-in-One Boards

Don't want to add extra hardware to your project? Consider grabbing a board which has an ESP32 WiFi co-processor built-in.

PyPortal, our easy-to-use IoT device that allows you to create all the things for the “Internet of Things” in minutes. Make custom touch screen interface...
$54.95
In Stock
Give your next project a lift with AirLift - our witty name for the ESP32 co-processor that graces this Metro M4. You already know about the Adafruit Metro...
$34.95
In Stock

Materials

1 x USB Cable
USB cable - USB A to Micro-B - 3 foot long

This guide was first published on Sep 30, 2019. It was last updated on Sep 30, 2019.

This page (Overview) was last updated on Nov 06, 2020.