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BPI-Leaf-S3 with ESP32-S3
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The Banana Pi BPI-Leaf-S3 is a series of low-powered microcontrollers designed for IoT development and Maker DIY board.It supports 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi and Bluetooth® LE dual-mode wireless communication, the peripheral is compatible with low-power hardware design, and the power consumption is only 10uA in deep sleep mode.

The main controller supports two power supply inputs: USB and external 3.7V lithium battery, both can be interchangable freely. The battery could also be charged while USB is plugged in. Compact size, various interface, easy to use, and can be directly applied to low-power IoT projects.

In terms of programming, the Leaf-S3 supports ESP-IDF, Arduino, micropython and other methods.

The IO pins on BPI-Leaf-S3 are identical to the Espressif ESP32-S3-DevKitC-1, developers can add peripherals that are supported by DevKitC-1 onto the BPI-Leaf-S3, and can also combine it onto a breadboard.

BPI-Leaf-S3 banner.jpg

Key Features

  • ESP32-S3,Xtensa® 32 bit LX7
  • Extereal FLASH 8MB
  • In-packge PSRAM 2MB
  • Ultra-low power 10uA
  • 2.4G WIFI ,Bluetooth 5 ,Bluetooth mesh
  • 1* SH 1mm 4-Pin Socket, support I2C
  • 1 * USB Type-C
  • 1 * MX 1.25mm 2-Pin Socket,support USB charging
  • 1 * Neopixel LED

ESP32-S3-DevKitC-1, BPI-Leaf-S3 Comparison

Dev Board BPI-Leaf-S3 ESP32-S3-DevKitC-1
GPIO Pins 36 36
3.3v Pins 3 3
5v Pins 1 1
GND Pins 4 4
ARGB LEDs 1 on GPIO48 1 on GPIO48
Chip Internal USB USB-C Connector x 1 MicroUSB Connector x 1
UART TTL to USB None CP2102-MicroUSB Connector x 1
External Battery Socket 3.7v Li-ion Battery dock None
Battery Charging 500mA Charging Current None
JST SH 1mm 4-Pin Socket 1 None

The amount, numeric order, and spacing of IO pins on BPI-Leaf-S3 are identical to the Espressif ESP32-S3-DevKitC-1.

The BPI-Leaf-S3 dev board no longer equips traditional UART TTL to USB converter chip and its dedicated USB port. This is due to the ESP32-S3 chip's internal USB function were improved, supporting CDC-ACM virtual serial port and JTAG interface, which is capable of software development and firmware management feature, that makes the external converter chip redundant.

Compared to ESP32-S3-DevKitC-1 dev board, the BPI-Leaf-S3 adds an external battery socket and a charging circuit, capable of charging the battery via USB. When a 3.7v battery is connected, unplugging the USB will not cause the program to break, making it fit for multiple applications.

BPI-Leaf-S3 dev board is equipped with an I²C 4 pin dock, this stabalizes connection to other I²C peripherals. This dock is not only restricted to I²C connection, any module that requires a 3.3v pin, a GND pin, one or two data pin can also be connected to the Leaf-S3 via this 4 pin dock.

Espressif ESP32-S3

ESP32-S3 is a dual-core XTensa LX7 MCU, capable of running at 240 MHz. Apart from its 512 KB of internal SRAM, it also comes with integrated 2.4 GHz, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5 (LE) connectivity that provides long-range support. It has 45 programmable GPIOs and supports a rich set of peripherals. Compared with ESP32, it supports larger, high-speed octal SPI flash, and PSRAM with configurable data and instruction cache.

What follows is a description of the most important features of ESP32-S3.

  • Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 5 (LE) Wireless Connectivity: ESP32-S3 supports a 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n) with 40 MHz of bandwidth support. The Bluetooth Low Energy subsystem supports long range through Coded PHY and advertisement extension. It also supports higher transmission speed and data throughput, with 2 Mbps PHY. Both Wi-Fi and BLE have superior RF performance that is maintained even at high temperatures.
  • AI Acceleration Support: ESP32-S3 has additional support for vector instructions in the MCU, which provides acceleration for neural network computing and signal processing workloads. The software libraries for the above-mentioned optimized functions will become available very soon, in the form of updates to ESP-WHO and ESP-Skainet.
  • Rich Set of IO Peripherals: ESP32-S3 has 44 programmable GPIOs, namely 10 more GPIOs than those of ESP32. ESP32-S3 supports all the commonly-used peripherals, such as SPI, I2S, I2C, PWM, RMT, ADC and UART, SD/MMC host and TWAITM. In total, 14 GPIOs can be configured as capacitive touch input for HMI applications. Apart from all these peripherals, however, ESP32-S3 is also equipped with an ultra-low-power (ULP) core that supports multiple low-power modes in a variety of such use-cases.
  • Security:ESP32-S3 provides all the necessary security requirements for building securely connected devices, without requiring any external components. It supports AES-XTS-based flash encryption and RSA-based secure boot. In addition, ESP32-S3 has a digital signature peripheral and an HMAC module, which provide functionality that is similar to the hardware secure element, thus protecting the private or symmetric key from software attacks and identity theft. ESP32-S3 also has a “World Controller” peripheral that provides two fully-isolated execution environments, which enable the implementation of a trusted-execution environment or a privilege-separation scheme.

Getting Start


Hardware sketch map

Leaf-S3 board.png

Hardware Spec

BPI-Leaf-S3 Spec
SoC ESP32-S3,Xtensa® dual-core 32-bit LX7 microprocessor
Clock Frequency 240MHz MAX
Operating Temperature -40℃~+85℃
Internal ROM 384 KB
Internal SRAM 512 KB
In-packge PSRAM 2MB
WIFI IEEE 802.11 b/g/n ,2.4Ghz,150Mbps
Bluetooth Bluetooth 5 ,Bluetooth mesh
GPIO BPI-Leaf-S3 has led out 36 available gpios
ADC 2 × 12-bit SAR ADCs, up to 20 channels
Touch Sensor 14
I2C 2
I2S 2
LCD 1 × LCD interface (8-bit ~16-bit parallel RGB, I8080 and MOTO6800)
CAMERA 1 × DVP 8-bit ~16-bit camera interface
PWM 8 channels 14 bits
USB 1 × full-speed USB OTG,female Type-C socket
USB Serial/JTAG controller 1,CDC-ACM ,JTAG
Temperature Sensor 1,ranging from -20 °C to 110 °C
SD/MMC 1 × SDIO host controller with 2 slots,SD 3.0,SD 3.01,SDIO 3.0,CE-ATA 1.1,MMC 4.41,eMMC 4.5,eMMC 4.51
TWAI® controller 1 ,compatible with ISO 11898-1 (CAN Specification 2.0)
General DMA controller (GDMA) 5 transmit channels and 5 receive channels
RMT 4 TX channels,4RX channels.Eight channels share a 384 x 32-bit RAM
Pulse Count Controller 4 independent pulse counters (units).Each unit consists of two independent channels
Timers 4 × 54-bit general-purpose timers. 1 × 52-bit system timer. 3 × watchdog timers
External crystal oscillator 40Mhz
RTC and Low­Power Management Power Management Unit (PMU) + Ultra-­Low-­Power Coprocessor(ULP)
Deep-sleep consumption current 10uA
Operating Voltage 3.3V
Input Voltage 3.3V~5.5V
Maximum discharge current [email protected] DC/DC
USB charge Support
Maximum charging current 500mA
Neopixel LED 1

Hardware Dimensions

Leaf-S3 board dimension.png

BPI-Leaf-S3 Dimensions
Pin spacing 2.54mm
Mounting hole spacing 23mm/ 62.25mm
Mounting hole size bore 2mm/outside 3mm
Motherboard size 26 × 65.25(mm)/1.02 x 2.57(inches)
board thickness 1.2mm

The pin spacing is breadboard compatible for easy application debugging.

Peripheral Pin Configurations

BPI-Leaf-S3 GPIO Pin define
Peripheral Interface Signal Pin
ADC ADC1_CH0~9 GPIO 1~10
ADC2_CH0~9 GPIO 11~20
Touch sensor TOUCH1~14 GPIO 1~14
UART The pins are assigned by default, and can be redefined to any GPIO
U0RXD_in GPIO 44
U0CTS_in GPIO 16
U0DSR_in any GPIO
U0TXD_out GPIO43
U0RTS_out GPIO 15
U0DTR_out any GPIO
U1RXD_in GPIO 18
U1CTS_in GPIO 20
U1DSR_in any GPIO
U1TXD_out GPIO 17
U1RTS_out GPIO 19
U1DTR_out any GPIO
U2 any GPIO
I2C any GPIO
I2S any GPIO
SPI0/1 Used for FLASH and PSRAM
SPI2/3 any GPIO
Pulse counter any GPIO
USB OTG D- GPIO 19(on-chip PHY)
D+ GPIO 20(on-chip PHY)
VP GPIO 42(external PHY)
VM GPIO 41(external PHY)
RCV GPIO21(external PHY)
OEN GPIO 40(external PHY)
VPO GPIO 39(external PHY)
VMO GPIO38(external PHY)
USB Serial/JTAG D- GPIO 19(on-chip PHY)
D+ GPIO 20(on-chip PHY)
VP GPIO 42(external PHY)
VM GPIO 41(external PHY)
OEN GPIO 40(external PHY)
VPO GPIO 39(external PHY)
VMO GPIO38(external PHY)
Neopixel LED GPIO 48


Espressif ESP-IDF


ESP-IDF is the development framework for Espressif SoCs supported on Windows, Linux and macOS.

It is recommend that developers install ESP-IDF via IDE.

Or install manually based on operating system:


To enable your BPI-Leaf-S3 device to flash via USB-CDC.

There are two ways to enter Bootloader mode:

  1. Connect it to the computer via USB, hold BOOT button, press RST button once, then release BOOT button.
  2. Hold BOOT button while disconnected to power, connect to PC via USB, then release BOOT button.

The chip controls GPIO0 via BOOT button to choose between reset or cold boot.

Confirm the port of your BPI-Leaf-S3 device via device manager, it might display different port if you are on different modes.



Regardless of the programmer is a beginner or not, MicroPython is considered to be less difficult to develop than other MCU programming languages.

Its code is easy to understand compared to other programming languages, and it has various resources accumulated over the years by the open source community.

Just like Python, it has strong vitality and application value.

BPI-Steam resources

Forum resources


CircuitPython Repo header logo.jpg

CircuitPython is a programming language designed to simplify experimenting and learning to code on low-cost microcontroller boards.

CircuitPython programming with Mu editor is the easiest way to get started. Install the software and connect the device to start using it.

BPI-Leaf-S3 CircuitPython Download Page

Mu Editor

How to install tinyUF2 firmware:

To enable your BPI-Leaf-S3 device to flash via USB-CDC.

Connect it to the computer via USB, hold BOOT button, press RST button once, then release BOOT button.

In the Install, Repair, or Update UF2 Bootloader section at the bottom of the page, follow its instructions to download and install tinyUF2 firmware.

How to install CircuitPython firmware:

Click the DOWNLOAD .UF2 NOW button on the right side of the page to download the firmware to the local, and then copy it to the disk in BPI-Leaf-S3 UF2 Bootloader mode, and it can be used after automatic reset.

Supported by the adafruit/circuitpython GitHub repository


Supported by the adafruit/tinyuf2 GitHub repository



Arduino logo 1200x350.png

Arduino is an open source embedded software and hardware development platform for users to create interactive embedded projects.

Supported by the arduino-esp32 GitHub repository


The board has been merged into the master branch.


Easy to buy sample