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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 just $ 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 volumes, have flexible I / O options to support most peripherals, and be inexpensive to lower the barrier to entry. What they designed, measuring two square millimeters, is produced 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 several I / O options, 2 MB flash memory, a power supply chip that supports input voltages from 1

.8-5.5V, 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
  • Support for up to 16 MB of off-chip Flash memory via dedicated QSPI bus
  • DMA controls
  • Interpolator and integer divider equipment
  • 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 controllers 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 offers a complete C SDK, GCC-based tool chain and Visual Studio Code integration. Interestingly, there is even a port with TensorFlow Lite available, in case you are interested in running some machine learning programs on Pico.

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

You can see the full specifications of the board, data sheets, pinout chart, 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 book from today from all Raspberry Pi approved dealers. If you are a subscriber 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 can be programmed in C and MicroPython and has I / O options such as I2C, SPI and PIO.

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


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