Raspberry Pi Pico released and available at $4 only

Last year, the Raspberry Foundation also released a brand new version of the Raspberry PI PC (personal computer), and it is directly built into a small-sized keyboard. Now there is more good news for hackers and hardware developers. They just announced their first microcontroller-based product named Raspberry Pi Pico. This small device is priced at only US $4. Unbelievable price. Let us find out about Raspberry Pi Pico hardware specs and software support.

Many hobbyists and industrial applications or IoT use a Raspberry Pi with a microcontroller. A microcontroller is different than a microprocessor, which only contains a CPU. Raspberry Pi Pico includes an integrated processor, a small amount of memory, and other stuff for your application. From the blog post:

Today, we’re launching our first microcontroller-class product: Raspberry Pi Pico. Priced at just $4, it is built on RP2040, a brand-new chip developed right here at Raspberry Pi. Whether you’re looking for a standalone board for deep-embedded development or a companion to your Raspberry Pi computer, or you’re taking your first steps with a microcontroller, this is the board for you.

Raspberry Pi Pico hardware specs

  1. CPU – RP2040 microcontroller chip. Dual-core Arm Cortex-M0+ processor, flexible clock running up to 133 MHz
  2. SRAM – 264KB on-chip
  3. Form factor – 21 mm × 51 mm
  4. QSPI Flash – 2MB on-board
  5. Interfacing – 26 multifunction GPIO pins, including 3 analogue inputs
  6. 2 × UART, 2 × SPI controllers, 2 × I2C controllers, 16 × PWM channels
  7. 1 × USB 1.1 controller and PHY, with host and device support
  8. 8 × Programmable I/O (PIO) state machines for custom peripheral support
  9. Supported input power 1.8–5.5V DC
  10. Operating temperature – -20°C to +85°C
  11. Castellated module allows soldering direct to carrier boards
  12. Drag-and-drop programming using mass storage over USB
  13. Low-power sleep and dormant modes
  14. Accurate on-chip clock
  15. Temperature sensor
  16. Accelerated integer and floating-point libraries on-chip

Raspberry Pi Pico will remain in production until at least January 2028. You need to download and use Pico Python or C/C++ SDK to program and control this device. Detailed instructions are provided in the getting started guide. For power users, they are giving out a complete C SDK, a GCC-based toolchain, and Visual Studio Code integration too.

Raspberry Pi Pico hardware price

You can buy directly buy this tiny device by visiting this page and it priced at just $4, it is built on RP2040 chip.

Summing up

We can build a cool application with Raspberry Pi Pico. I can think of stuff like:

  • Light and temperature sensing and controlling those devices
  • Fire detection and building safety devices
  • Remote controls
  • Toys
  • Embedded systems and more

The RPi got an excellent ecosystem, and if you don’t need wireless connectivity, this device is for you. It has tons of gpio. The VSCode environment is going to be a massive win for the developer. MicroPython is surprisingly awesome as compared to C, especially for new developers. What would you build with such a device?

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1 comment… add one
  • Campbell Feb 12, 2021 @ 20:19

    I went back to using pi last month as I’m getting old and not so clever, so wanted the community support that’s lacking with other boards, what a mistake, if they’ll add a Microsoft repo openly whats hidden, it also means I have to throw out my new pi’s and back to friendlyarm/pine for me

    10 years ago adding microsoft would’ve destroyed the foundation but now they’re happy to throw away people that believe in ‘free’. The GPL world is shrinking far too many use permissive licenses which has coincided with the shift to ‘makers’/IoT and android, the digital divide is growing again along with poverty in the ‘west’ ironically aided by those that wanted to make a difference.

    I’m so sick of being political but the Overton window just keeps shifting.

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