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Cheaper than dirt - The Raspberry Pi foundation announces and releases the Raspberry Pi Pico priced at just 4$

Summary

The Raspberry Pi foundation has just announced and released the Raspberry Pi Pico, a micro controller priced at 4$, programmable using microPython and C

 

Quotes

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Specifications:

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

 

 

Raspberry Pi Pico – Pimoroni

My thoughts

This is really exciting, it costs just 4$, it runs microPython and it'll be a lot of fun for projects, especially working within the hardware constraints of the controller. I can't wait to see what kind of things can be made using this. I was wondering how long it will take for them to make one. I'm also interested to know how it compares to an arduino and how compatible they are.

 

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 RaspberryPi

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7 minutes ago, AndreiArgeanu said:

an arduino and how compatible they are

Micropython is micropython so most programs should "just work", C will certainly require at least recompiling.

 

Other than that the GPIO layout is not exactly the same as an arduino nano so depending on which you want to use you'll have to adapt your code accordingly.

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1 hour ago, Sauron said:

Other than that the GPIO layout is not exactly the same as an arduino nano so depending on which you want to use you'll have to adapt your code accordingly.

Since this is partly a micro controller silicon launch (RP2040) with a bunch 3rd party models Arduino will be launching their own copy with this silicon. I wouldn't be surprised if their model has an Arduino compatible pinout.

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But there’s more! We are going to port the Arduino core to this new architecture in order to enable everyone to use the RP2040 chip with the Arduino ecosystem (IDE, command line tool, and thousands of libraries). Although the RP2040 chip is fresh from the plant, our team is already working on the porting effort… stay tuned.

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Arduino Nano RP2040 Connect

Arduino joins the RP2040 family with one of its most popular formats: the Arduino Nano. The Arduino Nano RP2040 Connect combines the power of RP2040 with high-quality MEMS sensors (a 9-axis IMU and microphone), a highly efficient power section, a powerful WiFi/Bluetooth module, and the ECC608 crypto chip, enabling anybody to create secure IoT applications with this new microcontroller. The Arduino Nano RP2040 Connect will be available for pre-order in the next few weeks.

 

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while $4 may be low, i could get "arduino nano" (china knockoffs that works similar to one) for $2 for where i live, since forever

 

maybe this have more compute power, but idk if much of anyone that uses this would need uber compute power, it's more for simple input output tasks i think?

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@MoonzyIt's not just about computing power, it's also about I/O. The Chinese knock-off Arduino Nano have 20 I/O pins, the RPi Pico has 30. So, in larger projects you'd need only one controller board instead of 2 and having to deal with their interactions/communications in the code as well.

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On 1/21/2021 at 1:26 PM, ScratchCat said:

Since this is partly a micro controller silicon launch (RP2040) with a bunch 3rd party models Arduino will be launching their own copy with this silicon. I wouldn't be surprised if their model has an Arduino compatible pinout.

 

it doesn't have enough analog pins to achieve a similar layout to the nano.

 

 

couldn't they have made it use mini usb B instead, i hate micro usb, specially in these cases, i have never had a connection issue with mini usb i almost always have issues with micro.

outside of that it seems to be pretty damn powerful for the price it sits at.

the closest thing arduino has is the nano every (my favorite board)which costs 9 bucks (7.5 on kits of multiple ones), i will probably buy 2 of them to try them out.

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Not something i have a lot of interest in so pardon me dropping in to make a purly lulzy comment the title suddenly inspired.

 

OP, thats some expensive dirt your comparing to.

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My company had recieved the Pico before launch. Got to play around with it for a week. Pretty neat device actually. Definitely better than Nano, but the lack of WiFi or BT is bit of a bummer, especially since the ESP32 is a very neat little device, albeit more expensive

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3 minutes ago, RedRound2 said:

My company had recieved the Pico before launch. Got to play around with it for a week. Pretty neat device actually. Definitely better than Nano, but the lack of WiFi or BT is bit of a bummer, especially since the ESP32 is a very neat little device, albeit more expensive

shouldn't be hard to make a version with wireless capabilities if there is enough demand, it should have enough space in the board for it, kinda like nano every vs nano every ble 

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7 minutes ago, RedRound2 said:

My company had recieved the Pico before launch. Got to play around with it for a week. Pretty neat device actually. Definitely better than Nano, but the lack of WiFi or BT is bit of a bummer, especially since the ESP32 is a very neat little device, albeit more expensive

btw, since you played around with it, can it handle interrupts?, i saw no mention of it in the datasheet, unless you can do it with the state machines (never worked with them)

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17 minutes ago, RedRound2 said:

My company had recieved the Pico before launch. Got to play around with it for a week. Pretty neat device actually. Definitely better than Nano, but the lack of WiFi or BT is bit of a bummer, especially since the ESP32 is a very neat little device, albeit more expensive

Well Arduino is planning to make their own thing using the same silicon with Wi-FI and BT.

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Since we have been experimenting quite a bit with multi-core processors with our Pro product, the “Portenta,” we decided to build an Arduino board based on this new silicon.

We started from the Nano format with its own tiny footprint, leveraging on some of the existing key features of other Nanos like the versatile u-blox NINA WiFi and Bluetooth module. The goal being to enable people to develop connected products leveraging our hardware powered by Raspberry silicon, a solid radio module with exceptional performance, and the Arduino Create IoT Cloud.

 

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11 minutes ago, cj09beira said:

btw, since you played around with it, can it handle interrupts?

It's an ARM Cortex M0+, of course it can do interrupts.

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26 minutes ago, cj09beira said:

shouldn't be hard to make a version with wireless capabilities if there is enough demand, it should have enough space in the board for it, kinda like nano every vs nano every ble 

Yeah I know there will be other boards based on this, but would've been nice to have gotten it from the get go, especially when IoT is the big thing right now

22 minutes ago, cj09beira said:

btw, since you played around with it, can it handle interrupts?, i saw no mention of it in the datasheet, unless you can do it with the state machines (never worked with them)

I haven't gone too deep into it. I was actually quite busy making the launch video for the Pico for my company. And the whole SDKs weren't available to us prior launch, so I could only work with the uf2 files they provided us with. But theoretically it should, since its ARM Cortex M0 based

14 minutes ago, AndreiArgeanu said:

Well Arduino is planning to make their own thing using the same silicon with Wi-FI and BT.

Yeah, I saw the annoucement yesterday. Pretty nice actually

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I think the microcontroller space is too big for Pi to compete with.

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Personally I am planning to get one just for fun. But if I wanted something that I would put into production I would go with Microchip Atmel stuff or ESP32 if I need Wifi and bluetooth. Microchip PICs are also great, but I personally prefer to develop on Atmel.

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I find it kinda expensive tbh, specially when you can purchase an esp8266 for less than $2, or even an esp32 for less than $3. However, I see this µC better suited to tasks with many sensors/actuators running in parallel, those PIOs will be able to manage them quite nicely, along with the dual core cpu on it.

 

Let's see how the knockoff boards based on their µC will fare.

 

12 hours ago, williamcll said:

I think the microcontroller space is too big for Pi to compete with.

Given their whole brand name, I believe that they'll be able to reach many hobbyists, and we know how that worked out with the esp8266/32, now imagine the same thing, but with actual good docs and tons of open source stuff :old-smile:

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22 minutes ago, igormp said:

I find it kinda expensive tbh, specially when you can purchase an esp8266 for less than $2, or even an esp32 for less than $3.

The ESP8266 is a single core running at 80 mhz with only 80kb of ram and the esp32 and raspberry pi pico are priced similarly. I'd say the extra 1$ is definitely worth it, especially if you're a hobbyist or a beginner.  Personally I'm waiting for what arduino will bring out using the RP2040 since it will have wireless connectivity and probably full compatibility with the pico.

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15 minutes ago, AndreiArgeanu said:

The ESP8266 is a single core running at 80 mhz with only 80kb of ram

But it has wifi, so it really depends on your needs.

 

15 minutes ago, AndreiArgeanu said:

esp32 and raspberry pi pico are priced similarly.

In this case one really needs to see if the wifi/bt connectivity is a priority, rather than the PIO capabilities and ease of documentation of the pi pico.

Another thing is that you can't buy the RP2040 by itself to do your own designs as of today, so any projects that you plan to scale later on can't be currently achieved with it. I'm hoping that the unit price of the mcu itself will be far cheaper than an esp32 whenever it becomes available.

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