Raspberry Pi Pico – a surprise, yet very exciting, new product from Raspberry Pi

Today, Raspberry Pi has announced the launch of their new board – and what a surprise it is! It is their first micro-controller and is called the Raspberry Pi Pico!

Raspberry Pi Pico has been built around Raspberry Pi’s own silicon, developed in-house by them over the last few years. The chip, the RP2040, is a dual-core ARM Cortex M0+ processor, with a flexible clock running up to 133MHz.

Key features:

  • RP2040 microcontroller chip designed by Raspberry Pi in the United Kingdom
  • Dual-core ARM Cortex M0+ processor, flexible clock running up to 133 MHz
  • 264kB of SRAM, and 2MB of on-board Flash memory
  • Castellated module allows soldering direct to carrier boards
  • USB 1.1 Host and Device support
  • Low-power sleep and dormant modes
  • Drag & drop programming using mass storage over USB
  • 26 multi-function GPIO pins
  • 2×SPI, 2×I2C, 2×UART, 3×12-bit ADC, 16×controllable PWM channels
  • Real-time clock (RTC)
  • Temperature sensor
  • Accelerated floating point libraries on-chip
  • 8×Programmable IO (PIO) state machines for custom peripheral support

Here’s the full datasheet with a lot more technical detail.

It runs both C/C++ and MicroPython and you can see a pinout of this very capable little board below:

One of the most impressive things about the Pico is the price – just $4/£3.60 or thereabouts.

You can read the full Raspberry Pi announcement here.

You can buy the Pico from The Pi Hut, and of course from the pirates at Pimoroni and other official resellers. Pimoroni, in particular, have gone all-out to release a set of extras – check them out here.

Pimoroni have also been working on the tinyest 2040-based board called the Tiny 2040 – it’s coming soon and is the size of the end of your finger!

If you subscribe to Hackspace magazine, or you’re lucky enough to find a copy in a newsagent/supermarket, there is a FREE one on the cover this month!

There’s even a book to help get you started – which you can buy here or download for free here.

Thinking to yourself “oh, it’s just a microcontroller”? Take a look at Dave Akerman’s post in which he uses the Pico as a high altitude balloon tracker! Take a look also at Russell’s experiments with Pimoroni breakout garden displays!

For a review of the Pico, take a look at Les Pounder’s piece over at Tom’s Hardware.

Take a look also at Jeff Geerling’s blog for his review. He highlights one of the flaws with the Pico – a lack of pin labelling on the top of the board which means that once it’s plugged into a breadboard, or even a carrier board, you have to consult a pin-out to find out which pin’s which. You can check out his review video below:

Here’s a lovely close-up picture of the new silicon, courtesy of The Pi Hut.

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