top of page

US$4 Raspberry Pi Pico Microcontroller Announced

Raspberry Pi has announced the Raspberry Pi Pico, its first microcontroller-class product. The Pico costs a mere US$4 (~RM16) and utilises Raspberry’s new RP2040 chip, which the two-layer PCB layout was “co-designed with”.

“We had three principal design goals for RP2040: high performance, particularly for integer workloads; flexible I/O, to allow us to talk to almost any external device; and of course, low cost, to eliminate barriers to entry,” says a post on the Raspberry Pi blog. “We ended up with an incredibly powerful little chip, cramming all this into a 7 × 7 mm QFN-56 package containing just two square millimeters of 40nm silicon.”

Here are the specs of the RP2040:

  • 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

As for the other elements of the Pico, there is 2MB of Flash memory and a power supply chip that supports input voltages 1.8 to 5.5V. The Pico has a single LED and a two-layer PCB with a solid ground plane and GPIO breakout. It also has a single push button, for entering USB mass-storage mode during boot time or to be used as a general input.

The Raspberry Pi Blog adds that the design of the Pico “exposes 26 of the 30 GPIO pins on RP2040, including three of the four analogue inputs, to 0.1”-pitch pad”. Headers can be soldered to the pads, or the Pico can be soldered to a carrier board by making use of the pads’ castellated edges.

The Pico is now available at Raspberry Pi’s Approved Resellers and is also being included with this month’s Hackspace magazine. The RP2040 itself is planned to be made available in Q2 2021. Aside from the Pico, it has also been used for other products like the SparkFun Pro Micro, Adafruit ItsyBitsy, and the Pimoroni PicoSystem portable gaming system.


bottom of page