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Meet the Raspberry Pi Pico: ARM microcontroller for $ 4

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 extremely affordable for only $ 4, but features the Foundation’s first custom chip: the RP2040.


When designing the RP2040, the Raspberry Pi Foundation has three goals. They wanted the chip to be high performance for integer loads, to have flexible I / O options to support most external devices, and to be low cost to reduce the barrier to entry. Designed by them, it measures two square millimeters, is manufactured on a 40-nanometer process unit and has a dual-core ARM Cortex-M0 + processor with 264KB of built-in RAM. The 7x7mm QFN-56 package also contains multiple I / O options, 2MB of flash memory, a power chip that supports an input voltage of 1

.8-5.5V, one button and one LED.

RP2040 Specifications

  • Dual-core Arm Cortex-M0 + @ 133MHz
  • 264KB (remember kilobytes?) Built-in RAM
  • Support for up to 16MB off-chip flash memory via a special QSPI bus
  • DMA controller
  • Interpolator and integer separation peripherals
  • 30 GPIO pins, 4 of which can be used as analog inputs
  • 2 × UART, 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 mode with UF2 support, for drag-and-drop programming

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

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 view the full specifications of the board, datasheet, pin diagram, device charging ROM and other documentation from the Raspberry Pi Foundation website. The Raspberry Pi Foundation has also put together a book to teach beginners how to get started with the new Pi Pico’s MicroPython. You can purchase the Raspberry Pi Pico microcontroller and the book starting today from all Raspberry Pi approved distributors. If you are a subscriber of HackSpace magazine, you will receive a free Pico with the February issue.

    Raspberry Pi Pico

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

Alternatively, you can get one of the other cheap boards from Adafruit, Arduino, Pimoroni or Sparkfun, which use the RP2040 silicon platform.

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