This new open hardware ESP8266 development board with voltage regulator, USB-serial and built-in I2C connector was born on brazilian Campinas Hacker Labs.
Brazilian maker and prolific writer Pedro Minatel told us about the NodeLHC, which is meant to ease development of projects based on the ESP8266, since it includes all needed peripherals, including a 3.3V voltage regulator (LD1117), an USB-serial adapter (FTDI FT232RL) and your choice of an ESP-12 or ESP-07.
The idea and features are very similar to other developmente boards based on the same chip, like the NodeMCU, with the main functional addition being the I2C connector where the user/developer can plug external peripherals and modules like displays, sensors or input devices.
Full compatibility with ESP-12/ESP-07 compatible firmwares is preserved, including nodeMCU, Arduino IDE, natively developed firmwares and any other firmware avaliable.
A first batch was made available to the group's members and associates, but the NodeLHC is not for sale (yet?), being only available for users or groups that want to roll their own. Judging by the community reaction on brazilian maker boards, we should really see new batches soon, as the interest is soaring.
Not bad for a design born on weekly club meetings as a way to get to know this popular component.
I'd buy one. Or three.