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Pimoroni have taken the ESP8266 (ESP-12F) module and added the necessary circuitry to allow it to interface cleanly with the Raspberry Pi via serial communication.
The ESP8266 pHAT also provides some GPIO and one ADC channel which we've broken out for you to use alongside a small prototyping area where you can add sensors, or other components.
Note: This module is not a replacement for a WiFi dongle! It is designed for people who wish to experiment with the ESP8266 platform - if you just want WiFi connectivity you'd be better off using the Official Raspberry Pi WiFi Dongle instead.
Currently the module comes pre-flashed with the AT firmware but we're working on replacement firmware that will make working with it from Python much simpler! Richard Hayler has written a post on setting up your ESP8266 pHAT and communicating with it.
There is a thriving community building up around the ESP8266 platform with custom firmware, programming tools, and guides. Check out http://www.esp8266.com/ for more information!
Note: Our pHAT boards require you to solder on the headers!