Raspberry Pi Foundation bakes its own chip

The hacker-friendly Raspberry Pi foundation has cooked up its own, homegrown silicon: the RP2040 SoC. What’s more, the company is selling a tiny, $4 “Raspberry Pi Pico” module based on the new chip, aimed at DIYers and gizmo developers.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has jumped on the DIY SoC bandwagon with the creation of the RP2040 SoC, that integrates a pair Arm’s power-efficient 32-bit Cortex-M0+ cores, clocked at 133MHz. Additionally, the Foundation has created a 51 x 21mm “Pico” module that’s based on its new SoC. The Pico is programmable in C/C++ and MicroPython, and is supported by a complete C SDK, a GCC-based toolchain, and Visual Studio Code.

Raspberry Pi Pico module

Key specs on the Pico module are listed as follows:

  • Dual Cortex M0+ processor cores, up to 133 MHz
  • 264KB of embedded SRAM in 6 banks
  • 30 multifunction GPIO
  • 6 dedicated IO for SPI Flash (supporting XIP)
  • Dedicated hardware for commonly used peripherals
  • Programmable I/O for extended peripheral support
  • 4-channel 12-bit ADC with internal temperature sensor
  • USB 1.1 Host/Device

The Foundation is positioning the new RP2040 SoC as a “low-cost, high-performance microcontroller device with flexible digital interfaces.” A PDF datasheet on the SoC is available for download here. A detailed beginners guide on programming the RP2040 with MicroPython is available for download here.

Here’s a YouTube video on the RP2040 SoC and Pico module, from the Foundation…

Several other board suppliers that have already announced low-cost boards based on the Foundation’s new RP2040 SoC include Adafruit, Arduino, Pimoroni, and Sparkfun.

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