Post links and attach files for documentation here, also chat about these docs freely

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By willfly
#24742 Bought two ESP12-E from ebay and it is a 4 MBit flash instead of 32 . PCB trace is identical to that of ESP-07 with some added pins at bottom. It works fine otherwise.

EDIT: I opened up the can and it is a 25Q32 flash chip inside. So it is indeed a 4 Mbyte flash -- which is all I care about. It is working fine. The startup surge current seems higher then ESP-07 which has a power LED on module as well.
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By gregware
#24873 Well, I'm kind of wondering what would be the benefit of going through the trouble of putting 'fake' ESP-12E on the market?
And why invent 'AI Cloud Inside' motto if it is unheard of? Just to usurpate the AI-Thinker brand?

Could it be that the different one (with the slanted corners) are legitimate earlier versions from AI-Thinker? Build quality seems much lower too, from the pictures.

In any case, ESP-12E is not such a big deal in itself to justify copying... I understand the new pins are just useful if you want to extend SRAM, right?

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By Foogod
#25030 This thread is a scam!

Well, ok, maybe not a scam, but the title is, at best, misleading, and the thread seems to be full of unnecessary and unfounded histrionics..

This is a summary of my understanding from this thread, based on everything that's been said so far:

1. The ESP-12E is not a scam, and is a legitimate module produced by AI-Thinker, just like the ESP-12. (that legitimate module is what's pictured as "OK" and compared against in the very first post. If there aren't any real ones, then what are those supposed to be?)

2. HOWEVER, there are at least two different modules being sold as "ESP-12E". Some (with the rounded corners) appear to be of lesser quality, at least superficially (mislabeled pins, etc).

3. Nobody knows whether the "other" ESP-12Es are actually fakes or not. They might be knock-offs made by another company, they might be earlier production runs made by AI Thinker (which then corrected some of the issues in later runs), or they might even be later production runs by AI Thinker (which would be an unfortunate quality trend, but certainly possible).

4. The different versions of the ESP-12E appear to have somewhat different internal designs, but to date nobody has been able to determine whether there is any functional difference between them, or whether one performs better or worse than the other. They both appear to have the same specs "on paper" (i.e. same flash size, same pins brought out, etc)

So in short, there are SOME "ESP-12E" modules which MAY be fakes, or may not, and nobody knows whether it really makes any difference to end users or not.

In any case, ESP-12E is not such a big deal in itself to justify copying... I understand the new pins are just useful if you want to extend SRAM, right?

I'm kinda surprised nobody has pointed this out thus far, but those extra pins on the 12E are not just for SDIO. They're apparently all GPIO pins as well (by the look of things, GPIO6 - GPIO11). This means that while the ESP-12 only has 11 GPIOs, the ESP-12E actually brings out the full 17 GPIOs supported by the ESP8266EX chip! For some applications, this seems extremely worthwhile to me.

(Note that some of the pins can also have additional functions as well, such as MOSI/GPIO8 which is also the previously-un-exposed RX pin for UART1 (meaning that the ESP-12E actually has two fully bidirectional UARTs))
User avatar
By Gailu
#25057 I am wondering why no one from AI Thinker comes on this forum and update all of us how to verify which module is correct. I do not know how to contact AI Thinker as the site is in Chinese. I believe that AI thinker must have some sales team member to address user concerns.
We have done all our prototyping on ESP-12E which is as per this thread is Fake. Now we are entering in to production and not sure how to purchase genuine and we can not contact AI Thinker directly.

BTW all over aliexpress, alibaba and elctrodragon, same module is available which is as per this thread is fake (though I do not believe that)