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I have used esp32 in my projects and its easy to use. But I want to try using CC3235SF. But how does it work exactly? It has on-board RAM and 1MB Flash, so does it mean I can program it directly like I can do with ESP32 or do I have to use it with some other host MCU? Also there are many development boards in the market for ESP32 but none for CC3235SF. I also want to know whats different between the development boards and whatever people use in their commercial products?

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  • "I have used esp32 in my projects and its easy to use" ... "But I want to try using CC3235SF`" - just curios - why? Problems with ESP32? Better features on CC3235SF? Cost? Other reasons? – Mawg says reinstate Monica Jan 8 at 6:40
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    @MawgsaysreinstateMonica I want to use SDP to expose my service with a custom UUID such that only my Android app is able to communicate with it. I couldn't find documentation for it. Even if not SDP, then I want to restrict BLE access to only my app and I couldn't find out how do to it. And one better feature on CC3235SF, even though it doesn't have bluetooth, is that it has WiFi direct and DNS-SD support. I love ESP32, its best at everything, but I need these features. – Ryosuke Jan 8 at 8:13
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    What are you using to develop on the ESP32? Many of those points are purely software issues, so it should be possible to add those features yourself even if they are not supported out of the box. You may want to open separate questions for the different points. – jcaron Jan 8 at 8:52
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    I did, here and here, no responses. – Ryosuke Jan 8 at 9:31
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To answer the title of your question, the differences are quite numerous. At the very least, for a very very quick look at the specs:

  • The ESP32 is single-band 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi, the CC3235SF is dual-band 2.4/5 GHz Wi-Fi
  • The ESP32 has Bluetooth, the CC3235SF doesn't appear to include it
  • The ESP32 is Extensa-based, the CC3235SF is ARM-based

But there are probably more differences than similarities, other than the fact they're both MCUs with Wi-Fi.

Since the CC3235SF is an MCU, yes, you can program it directly, though the tools to do that may be quite different.

There is a development board for the CC3235SF: http://www.ti.com/tool/LAUNCHXL-CC3235SF

A development board is targeted for development, so it may have more stuff than you actually need in a final product, as well as be missing parts you need and you add externally during development. Also, a development board is not necessarily certified (FCC, CE, etc.).

When building a commercial product, you'll usually have specifically the components you need on your PCB, removing any unnecessary stuff and incorporating any external components, and you'll have the whole finished product undergo testing and certification. Of course, on very small quantities, you may sometimes use "development boards" directly.

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    My whole reason for looking at it was because I thought it has both WiFi and Bluetooth capabilities. Now after your answer I looked carefully it says support for WiFi and BLE coexistence. So thanks for correcting me there. Also do you know of a good alternative to ESP32 that provides both Bluetooth (LE not really needed) and WiFi capabilities in something under 10-12 USD? It was a little bent towards TI because its a good brand. – Ryosuke Jan 7 at 13:22
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    I haven't been in detail through the specs, but from what I understand is that the "WiFi/BLE coexistence" bit is about the family of chips rather than this specific one. This page seems to indicate that they can implement the co-existence using two chips, one for WiFi and the other for BLE. This is further detailed here. – jcaron Jan 7 at 14:10
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    In one of my spreadsheets I have the MXChip EMW3239, though the module price seems to be closer to $15 than $10 (and that's just the module, not a dev board). You may want to explore options using either a non-wireless MCU + a WiFi/BLE module or WiFi MCU and BLE module or vice-versa. Other options may be chips designed for tablets from MediaTek or RealTek or Rockchip, but I believe they're going to be more expensive as they usually have more powerful cores, video, etc. – jcaron Jan 7 at 14:18
  • No idea what your project requirements are, but if you have the space and power source for that, a Raspberry Pi Zero W could be an option. – jcaron Jan 7 at 14:20
  • I abandoned the Pi in favo(u)r of the ESP32. Despite being an avid Linux user, I just don't need the overhead on basic sensor/controller projects. But, YkMMV – Mawg says reinstate Monica Jan 8 at 6:42

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