Matek posted something interesting today – a demonstration of a possible new ESC protocol, Serialshot! It’s going to completely change how your ESC is wired to the flight controller.
Serialshot is a new ESC protocol developed by Matek, capable of bidirectional communication.
The cool thing about Serialshot is that, instead of using one CPU (micro controller) for each ESC, it only uses one CPU for all four ESC’s in a mini quad. This is going to make wiring simpler, and possibly ESC’s could be made cheaper as well.
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|I compiled the specification of all ESC’s for mini quad in this spreadsheet so you can compare them more closely.|
As you can see in Matek’s Instagram post, with Serial-shot, the cable from FC to 4in1 ESC only has 4 wires.
I am guessing the wires are VBAT, GND, and Serial UART (RX and TX), so really only the last 3 wires are needed for Serialshot to work. Normally, with all other ESC protocols like DShot, Multishot and Oneshot, we need at least 5 wires – one wire per ESC, plus GND.
Cheaper 4in1 ESC
Matek posted a teaser just the day before, showing a possible 4in1 ESC designed for Serialshot. It appears to only have one CPU – an STM32 F4.
The labels next to the header connector confirms my guess about the connection (V, G, R6, T6).
Traditionally, there is a CPU driving each ESC. With Serialshot, one CPU would be able to drive all four ESC’s in a quad.
Hopefully ESC’s running Serialshot could be made cheaper because they only use one CPU instead of four? But that only seems to make sense on 4in1 ESC’s, it’s going to get a bit complicated for single ESC’s.
Do you put the processor in one of the four ESC? Or do you integrate that processor in the flight controller… And you would have to run wires to each individual ESC as well, so it would be the same as non-Serialshot…
Maybe Serialshot is only going to be used on 4in1 ESC?
Update (Dec 2019)
Matek posted a new picture of their latest ESC prototype with Serialshot. They stressed that they have not abanoned this project, but in fact making some great progress, one of the main change is that they’ve upgraded the MCU to F7 (F722).
Good or bad, I am extremely excited to see more innovation in this hobby :) I will keep this post up to date with more info as I learn more.
As far as I know, Matek is still trying to optimize the protocol so it’s not yet ready.