As we discussed in a previous article Raspberry Pi Foundation’s released a new microcontroller the RP2040 and associated board, the Raspberry Pi Pico. The exciting news is that other vendors are picking up the microcontroller and designing their own boards.
Here are the specs of the microcontroller
An ARM Cortex M0+ processor, with a flexible clock running up to 133MHz.
- RP2040 microcontroller chip designed by Raspberry Pi
- Dual-core ARM Cortex M0+ processor, flexible clock running up to 133 MHz
- 264kB of SRAM, and 2MB of onboard Flash memory
- Castellated module allows soldering directly to carrier boards
- USB 1.1 Host and Device support
- Low-power sleep and dormant modes
- Drag & drop programming using mass storage over USB
- 26 multi-function GPIO pins
- 2×SPI, 2×I2C, 2×UART, 3×12-bit ADC, 16×controllable PWM channels
- Real-time clock
- Temperature sensor
- Accelerated floating-point libraries on-chip
- 8×Programmable IO state machines for custom peripheral support
3rd Party boards
The first one may surprise a few people who though that the Pico was solely a competitor to the Arduino
Arduino Nano RP2040 Connect Board
Arduino actually announced that they would have a board that would use an RP2040 microcontroller. The Arduino Nano RP2040 Connect includes 16MB external SPI flash, a u-blox NINA WiFi & Bluetooth module, an STMicro MEMS sensor with 9-axis IMU and microphone, and the ECC608 crypto chip.
For anyone who is a fan of the Arduino development environment that means that the RP2040 will be added as a board package in the near future. At the moment you get a Micropython and C++ SDK that are very good.
The addition of the Wifi and Bluetooth module makes this an exciting development.
Adafruit Feather RP2040
Adafruit is about to launch the Adafruit Feather RP 2040 board with a USB-C port, LiPo battery charging support, 4MB of QSPI flash anda STEMMA QT I2C connector. Since its the feather format then all the featherwing boards should work and you will also get their circuitpython support.
Adafruit ItsyBitsy RP2040
This board is also equipped with 4MB of QSPI flash, plus boot and reset buttons and an RGB NeoPixel LED. It si ssmaller in size than the feather board above.
SparkFun have three boards in development.
SparkFun Pro Micro – RP2040
a WS2812B addressable LED, boot & reset buttons, Qwiic connector, and a USB-C port.
SparkFun Thing Plus – RP2040
a Feather compatible board with a MicroSD card slot, 16MB flash memory, a JST battery connector, a USB-C port, a WS2812 RGB LED, Qwicc I2C connector and 4 leds with th efollowing functions
PWR – Red 3.3V power indicator
CHG – Yellow battery charging indicator
25 – Blue status/test LED (GPIO 25)
WS2812 – Addressable RGB LED (GPIO 08)
SparkFun MicroMod RP2040 Processor
This board will be compatible with all the MicroMod carrier boards for data logging, weather, machine learning, etc
The folks are working on the Pimoroni Tiny 2040 as well as the Raspberry Pi PIco, they also have several add-ons and expansions already available.