So the NodeMCU looks like this:

enter image description here

And the ESP12 is this: enter image description here

So I can see that the little ESP12 is riding on the NodeMCU.

my question is: What is included in the ESP12 and what in the NodeMCU, in context of processor, RAM, flash, firmware, etc.? Just trying to understand the individual components of it.

  • \$\begingroup\$ youtube.com/watch?v=IHocU-VqsF0 -- 8 min watch. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mitu Raj
    Commented Jul 29, 2021 at 8:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ NodeMCU is the name of the LUA firmware.and the board is a NodeMCU development board meaning development board for NodeMCU. but the boards got more popular then the firmware \$\endgroup\$
    – Juraj
    Commented Jul 30, 2021 at 5:59

2 Answers 2


The ESP-12 contains the esp8266 MCU, flash memory, antenna and required external components.

The NodeMCU dev board is a breakout board that contains the ESP-12 module, the required boot pin configuration and provides connectors and circuitry to supply the ESP module with power and allow programming via USB including the auto-reset circuit, and otherwise access the pins and features of the ESP and in a form factor that can be easily used by hobbyists such as plugging it onto a breadboard.


The product name is printed on it, and you can put it into Google: https://www.espressif.com/en/products/socs/esp8266

Other places will give a handy summary.

Microcontroller: Tensilica 32-bit RISC CPU Xtensa LX106

Flash Memory: 4 MB


Clock Speed: 80 MHz

The other components on the carrier board are

USB-TTL based on CP2102 is included onboard

The esp8266 doesn't speak USB natively, so the second chip is there to convert.

The three-pins-and-tab component bottom right will be a voltage regulator.

  • \$\begingroup\$ citing the link you provided: "NodeMCU is an open-source Lua based firmware and development board". So the firmware (which I suppose is on the Flash) is said to be of the "NodeMCU", which as far as I understand is the thing holding the ESP12 so.. I'm confused \$\endgroup\$
    – YoavKlein
    Commented Jul 29, 2021 at 8:38

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