Ghostboard pixel Skip to content

Meet Pico: Raspberry Pi's First Microcontroller Device [Available for $4]

Raspberry Pi is popularly known for its single board computers. Not just limited to its impressive technology, but it also makes DIY projects affordable.

Now, with its first microcontroller-class product “Raspberry Pi Pico” for just $4, they have introduced yet another low-cost board that is potentially going to be super popular.

Here, I’ll mention some key highlights about it and how you can get one for yourself.

Raspberry Pi Pico: Overview

If something was holding you back for DIY projects, Raspberry Pi Pico could be the easy answer to get started without breaking your bank. You can watch the official video above for more information.

In their official announcement, they mentioned:

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.

So, even if it is a tiny board, it can come in handy for a lot of use-cases. You just have to explore them once you start.

Not just limited to that, but if you already have a Raspberry Pi or planning to get one, you no longer need to look elsewhere for a microcontroller. Simply, get the Pi Pico, and you’re done.

The RP2040 silicon that sits in this board is tailored and built by Raspberry Pi for performance while allowing flexible I/O. The chip is extremely impressive with the specifications offered, here they are:

  • Dual-core Arm Cortex-M0+ @ 133MHz
  • 264KB (remember kilobytes?) 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 analogue 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 board with RP2040 is coupled with 2 MB of Flash memory, and a power supply chip supporting input voltages from 1.8-5.5V. It is safe to say that you can connect it to various sources, even with two-three AA cells.

Raspberry Pi Pico offers a single button which activates USB mass storage, or works as a general input, and a single LED. And, with 26-30 GPIO pins exposed, you get room to do many things.

Documentation & Availability

For all the enthusiasts and tinkerers, they offer a well-organized documentation with SDK and toolchain for Raspberry Pi Pico and RP2040.

Feel free to go through the documentation to see all the technical details about Raspberry Pi Pico.

You can order one for yourself for just $4 through their approved re-sellers. To find the approved re-sellers for your country, you can head to the product page of Raspberry Pi Pico.

A microcontroller that you can use with Raspberry Pi boards built by Raspberry Pi. Isn’t that exciting? What do you think about it? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

More from It's FOSS...