Raspberry Pi Pico – Every Feature You Need in A Budget Friendly Microcontroller
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has launched their first own dual-core ARM Cortex M0+ processor-based smallest-sized and budget-friendly Single Board Computer named as Raspberry Pi Pico.
The Raspberry Pi Model B and its successors put a programmable computer within reach of anyone with $20-35 to spend. Since 2012, millions of people have used a Raspberry Pi to get their first experience of programming, but we still meet people for whom cost remains a barrier to entry. At the start of this year, Raspberry Pi foundation come up with cheaper Raspberry Pi Pico Microcontroller ever to help these people take the plunge.
Today, as a distribution partner in INDIA we are pleased to be able to announce the immediate availability of Raspberry Pi PICO at the price of only ₹ 349.00.
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has launched their first own dual-core ARM Cortex M0+ processor-based smallest-sized [till date] and budget-friendly Single Board Computer named as Raspberry Pi PICO.
Features Of The Raspberry Pi Pico
PICO is a full-fledged member of the Raspberry Pi family, featuring:
- RP2040 microcontroller chip designed by Raspberry Pi in the United Kingdom
- Dual-core Arm Cortex M0+ processor, the flexible clock running up to 133 MHz
- 264KB of SRAM, and 2MB of onboard Flash memory
- The castellated module allows soldering directly to carrier boards
- USB 1.1 with device and host support
- Low-power sleep and dormant modes
- Drag-and-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
- Accurate clock and timer on-chip
- Temperature sensor
- Accelerated floating-point libraries on-chip
- 8 × Programmable I/O (PIO) state machines for custom peripheral support Feat
Unlike the Raspberry Pi Zero version, the Raspberry Pi Pico is less of a DIY project and more of a low-cost controller for beginners and kids as well to learn to code.
The drag-and-drop feature makes the Raspberry Pi Pico controller the easiest to use. If you are a beginner and want to learn Python or C / C ++ programming then this may be the best option to boost your skills.
RP2040 - A Microcontroller By Raspberry Pi Pico
The RP2040 is a low-cost high-performance microcontroller designed by Raspberry Pi. To this date, you must have used Raspberry Pi as an accessible, portable computer and worked on many projects.
Now, using this RP2040 microcontroller, you will be able to design your own products. It has everything you need in developing a new product.
The Raspberry Pi Pico RP2040 controller is supported with both c / c ++ and micro-python, meaning that if you're a beginner and want to learn any of these languages, the Raspberry Pi Pico would be the best product-option to start with.
Pico has been designed to use either soldered 0.1" pin-headers (it is one 0.1" pitch wider than a standard 40-pin DIP package) or can be used as a surface mountable 'module', as the user IO pins are also castellated.
There are SMT pads underneath the USB connector and BOOTSEL button, which allow these signals to be accessed if used as a reflow soldered SMT module.
Raspberry Pi Pico uses an on-board buck-boost SMPS which is able to generate the required 3.3 volts (to power RP2040 and external circuitry) from a wide range of input voltages (~1.8 to 5.5V).
This allows significant flexibility in powering the unit from various sources such as a single Lithium-Ion cell, or 3 AA cells in series. Battery chargers can also be very easily integrated with the Pico powerchain.
Reprogramming the Raspberry Pi Pico Flash can be done using USB (simply drag and drop a file onto the Pico which appears as a mass storage device) or via the Serial Wire Debug (SWD) port. The SWD port can also be used to interactively debug code running on the RP2040.
How To Program Raspberry Pi Pico?
For programming or reprogramming the Raspberry Pi Pico board, we have two options. We can either use the serial wire debug port or we can use the special USB mass storage device mode.
If you ask me about the simplest method of programming the Raspberry Pi Pico board, I would suggest another method which is using special USB mode.
To use the special USB mode for programming the Raspberry Pi Pico board, you can use the following steps.
- Depower the Pico Board
- Press and hold BOOTSEL and then power the Raspberry Pi Pico Board.
- If you have connected the board to your PC, the board will appear as a USB mass storage device.
- Next, you have to drag a special "uf2" file and drop it onto that USB mass storage device.
- The disk will then write that file to flash and restart the Raspberry Pi Pico board.
And as we have discussed, you can use your favorite Python programming language or C / C ++ SDK.
I have listed both the options below and these options will help you with everything you need to get started with a Raspberry Pi Pico board.
Getting Started With C/C++
If you are a C/C ++ programmer and want to know how to use the c / c ++ SDK for Pico board programming then we request you to watch the following short video.
Drag and Drop Micropython
As we have discussed earlier, we can use the micropithon for the Raspberry Pi Pico Board. To use Micropython you can follow the methods shown in the following short video.
Quick Pico Setup For Using With Raspberry Pi
If you are using Raspberry Pi 4B or Raspberry P400 version and want to use Pico version with those boards then the following method will help you.
Step 1: If git is not installed on your system, install git by running the following command in the terminal.
$ sudo apt install git
Step 2: Download Clone
git clone [email protected]:raspberrypi/pico-setup.git
Step 3: Execute the File
This command will create directory called Pico, install the required dependencies and will download the
Step 4: After excuting the above command, define
Pico_SDK_PATH in your
Setp 5: Now build the Hello_world example in Pico-examples/build/hello-world
Step 6: Now install OpenOCD for debugging related stuff
Step 7: After this we will require IDE, For IDE, you can install Visual Studio Code
Step 8: After Installing all the things, configure the Raspberry PI UART to use Raspberry Pi PICO
Step 9: Now Reboot the Raspberry Pi by running the following Command
$ sudo reboot
In this way, you are now able to control the raspberry Pi Pico board through your raspberry Pi.
How To Power Raspberry Pi Pico Board?
There are two ways to power a Raspberry Pi Pico Board and they are as follows.
1) Powering the latest Pico board through USB port
2) Using VBUS and VSYS pins to power the Raspberry Pi Pico.
If you have no knowledge of electronics, you should not go for another option. The second option is not difficult, but one small mistake will harm your product. In the section below, I am going to explain all these options.
Powering The Raspberry Pi Pico Through USB Port
This is the simplest way to power a Raspberry Pi Pico microcontroller. When we connect the USB cable to the board, the VSYS will be powered through a 5v USB VBUS voltage and therefore the system.
But this is the case when we are developing a prototype, so what after the prototype stage? What if we want to make our project portable? In that case, we can use the second option.
But as I've told you before, this method of powering the Raspberry Pi Pico board is a bit complicated and a simple mistake could damage the product. Therefore, you have to be more headful when using this method of powering the Raspberry Pi Pico board.
Powering The Raspberry Pi Pico board through VBUS And VSYS Pins
If you have made up your mind and want to use another method of powering the Raspberry Pi Pico board, the following tips will help you.
To implement the second option to power the latest Raspberry Pi Pico board, you can use Li-ion cells and a P-channel Mosfet.
Please check the following diagram to learn more about using Li-ion batteries to power the latest Raspberry Pi Pico board.
As you can see in the picture above, we have connected the gate terminal of the P-channel to the VBUS pin.
This configuration will automatically turn off the second power source when we connect the USB cable to the Raspberry Pi Pico board.
If you want to know how this configuration will disconnect the second power source then we request you to read the article on the “P-channel Mosfet as a switch”.
As you are now fully aware of how amazing the Raspberry Pi Pico board is, you will be interested in learning more about this new microcontroller.
Keeping your needs in mind, we plan to write more content about Raspberry Pi Pico and Micro python.
If you are interested please let us know your suggestions in the comments section and don't forget to tell us your opinion about this new small size, low-cost Raspberry Pi Pico Board.