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Meet the Raspberry Pi Pico: A $ 4 ARM Microcontroller

The Raspberry Pi Foundation today announced the Raspberry Pi Pico, the company’s first microcontroller. Like other Raspberry Pi products, the new Raspberry Pi Pico is incredibly affordable for only $ 4, but it has the foundation’s first custom chip: the RP2040.

When designing the RP2040, the Raspberry Pi Foundation set itself three goals. They wanted the chip to have high performance to handle integer workloads, have flexible I / O options to support most peripherals, and be inexpensive to lower the access barrier. What they designed measures two square millimeters, is manufactured on a 40nm process node and has a dual-core ARM Cortex-M0 + processor with 264KB RAM on chip. Also included in the 7x7mm QFN-56 package are multiple I / O options, 2 MB flash memory, a power supply chip that supports input voltages from 1

.8-5.5 V, a single push button and a single LED.

RP2040 Specifications

  • Dual-core Arm Cortex-M0 + @ 133MHz
  • 264 KB (do you remember kilobytes?) RAM on chip
  • Supports up to 16 MB of off-chip Flash memory via dedicated QSPI bus
  • DMA controller
  • Interpolator and integer peripherals
  • 30 GPIO pins, 4 of which can be used as analog inputs
  • 2 × UARTs, 2 × SPI controllers and 2 × I2C controllers
  • 16 × PWM channels
  • 1 × USB 1.1 controller and PHY with host and device support
  • 8 × Raspberry Pi Programmable I / O (PIO) state machines
  • USB mass storage boot mode with UF2 support for drag-and-drop programming

Raspberry Pi Pico is programmable in C / C ++ and MicroPython, and the Raspberry Pi Foundation provides a complete C SDK, GCC-based tool chain, and Visual Studio Code integration. Interestingly, there is even a port with TensorFlow Lite available if you are interested in running any machine learning programs on Pico.

For $ 4, the Raspberry Pi Pico with its RP2040 chip has a lot to offer. If you want to build a simple project at home to control your appliances, Pi Pico seems to be a simple and inexpensive way to get into microcontroller programming.

You can see the full specifications of the card, data sheet, pinout diagram, boot ROM on the device and other documentation from the Raspberry Pi Foundation website. The Raspberry Pi Foundation also put together a book to teach beginners how to get started with MicroPython on the new Pi Pico. You can buy Raspberry Pi Pico microcontrollers and the book from today from all Raspberry Pi approved dealers. If you subscribe to HackSpace magazine, you get a Pico for free with the February issue.

    Raspberry Pi Pico

    The Raspberry Pi Pico is a $ 4 microcontroller card with Raspberry’s internal, ARM-based RP2040 chip. It is programmable in C and MicroPython and has I / O settings such as I2C, SPI and PIO.

Alternatively, you can pick up one of the other cheap boards from Adafruit, Arduino, Pimoroni or Sparkfun that make use of the RP2040 silicon platform.

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