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Raspberry Pi’s New $4 “Pico” Is an Arduino-Like Microcontroller


Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi kicked off a revolution in inexpensive single-board computer systems, however tinkerers regularly paired Pi gadgets with microcontrollers to perform duties a Raspberry Pi can’t by itself. The Raspberry Pi Foundation took its first steps to deal with that factor with its newest product, the (*2*)$4 Raspberry Pi Pico.

If you assume that the Pico sounds so much like an Arduino board, you’re now not incorrect. Like the Arduino Nano, it’s small, low-powered, and helps analog enter. The Pico makes use of customized silicone from the Raspberry Pi Foundation, dubbed RP2040, making it the primary tool from the root to make use of in-house silicone.


According to Raspberry Pi leader working officer James Adams:

RP2040 builds at the classes we’ve realized from the usage of different microcontrollers in our merchandise, from the Sense HAT to Raspberry Pi 400. It’s the results of a few years of arduous paintings by means of our in-house chip workforce.

Since it’s a microcontroller, it’s underpowered from processor to RAM. It runs a dual-core Arm Cortex-M0+ operating at 133MHz, 26 kilobytes of on-chip RAM, and it could actually enhance as much as 16MB of off-chip Flash reminiscence by the use of a devoted QSPI bus DMA controller. That’s minuscule in comparison to a normal Raspberry Pi however in keeping with microcontrollers.

To enhance the Pico, the Raspberry Pi Foundation unveiled two new device building kits, a C SDK and a Pico Python SDK with MicroPython. Naturally, you’ll to find quite a few documentation on the usage of each. You may assume that Arduino could be nervous about Raspberry Pi getting into its area, however that’s now not the case.

The basis partnered with Arduino, (*16*), and others to create new forums in accordance with the RP2040 processor. In Arduino’s case, that suggests we’ll quickly see an Arduino Nano RP2040 Connect, which mixes the brand new processor’s energy with Arduino’s sensor expertise. (*16*) presented its personal Feather RP 2040 and the ItsyBitsy RP 2040.

If you’re curious, the RP2040 specifications are as follows:

  • Dual-core Arm Cortex-M0+ @ 133MHz
  • 264KB (take into accout kilobytes?) of on-chip RAM
  • Support for as much as 16MB of off-chip Flash reminiscence by the use of devoted QSPI bus
  • DMA controller
  • Interpolator and integer divider peripherals
  • 30 GPIO pins, 4 of which can be utilized as analogue inputs
  • 2 × UARTs, 2 × SPI controllers, and 2 × I2C controllers
  • 16 × PWM channels
  • 1 × USB 1.1 controller and PHY, with host and tool enhance
  • 8 × Raspberry Pi Programmable I/O (PIO) state machines
  • USB mass-storage boot mode with UF2 enhance, for drag-and-drop programming

The Raspberry Pi Foundation says the $4 Pico is (*2*)to be had nowadays from its resellers. And it’ll make the RP2040 processor to be had to shoppers in the second one quarter of 2021.

Source: Raspberry Pi Blog