Raspberry Pi has launched its first microcontroller, Raspberry Pi Pico. The $4 microcontroller is powered by the company’s own chip RP2040. The 7x7mm chip has 40nm silicon with a dual-core Arm Cortex-M0 processor.
Microcontrollers let you control other parts or other devices; they are specifically designed to interact with other things.
The Raspberry Pi Pico is a standalone board that can be used as a companion to a Raspberry Pi computer. It can also be used to run code or make projects by having it interact with other devices. There are dozens of input and output pins on the sides of the Raspberry Pi Pico. These pins act as the interface with other components. For example, you can make your microcontroller interact with an LED light, get data from various sensors, show some information on a display, etc, reports TechCrunch.
There are also 8 programmable I/O state machines allowing for custom peripherals, an accurate on-chip clock, temperature sensor, and low-power sleep and dormant modes. You can solder the module to another board if you want to.
The Pico is designed to offer a low barrier to entry for hobbyists and beginners alike. There’s full support for programming in MicroPython or C/C++, with the ability to drag and drop code over to the Pico using the USB port.
List of specs for the Raspberry Pi Pico:
- Dual-core Arm Cortex-M0+ @ 133MHz
- 264KB of on-chip RAM
- Support for up to 16MB of off-chip flash memory via dedicated QSPI bus
- DMA controller
- Interpolator and integer divider 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
The Raspberry Pi Pico is available now from approved resellers for $4.