A Chip Is Born: RP2040-Based mostly Boards Go From 0 to 60+ With Spectacular Velocity

This text is from Make: Vol. 79, that includes our 2021 Information to Boards. Subscribe now to make sure you get a replica in your mailbox.

The microcontroller market — the place chips designed for real-time embedded use are positioned into growth boards usually known as “microcontrollers” themselves — is never shaken up. If you need one thing pleasant to newcomers, you decide an Arduino with a Microchip ATmega328; if you would like connectivity, an Espressif ESP32-based board; for efficiency, STMicro’s STM32 sequence.

The Raspberry Pi Pico, a $4 growth board with a robust, customized dual-core Arm Cortex-M0+ microcontroller and versatile programmable enter/ output (PIO) blocks, shook issues up with its launch this 12 months — nevertheless it was the information that these new RP2040 chips could be offered individually at simply $1 every that brought on the largest aftershocks.

Accompanying the Pico’s launch, a variety of producers launched boards based mostly on the RP2040: Adafruit, Arduino, Pimoroni, and SparkFun to start out. Within the months since, practically 70 bulletins have adopted with designs spanning the gamut from domain-specific devices just like the Raspberry Fish synth from TINRS to general-purpose tinkering boards like Invector Labs’ Challenger RP2040.

“We’re fairly pleased with how issues are going,” Raspberry Pi co-founder Eben Upton advised us. “Numerous enthusiasm for the neighborhood as individuals actually begin to perceive what the chip can do. We’re nonetheless on observe to clear our Pico backlog, and get RP2040 into high-volume, over 1 million unit availability earlier than the top of the 12 months.”

Adafruit’s Limor Fried amplifies the thrill, saying “It’s among the finest issues to ever occur for electronics.”

At time of writing, we’ve recognized over 60 distinct boards that make the most of this new chip, with extra coming repeatedly.

We discovered extra RP2040 boards on Twitter:

Oak Growth Applied sciences PixelLeaf RP2040 — 10×5 LED matrix with RP2040
(This one is listed above as effectively, however we’re including the tweet for more information)
Bitluni RPoE — RP2040 board with Ethernet and Energy-over-Ethernet.
David Slik AARPP — Tile-based RP2040 “supercomputer”
Phillip Merrick USB-RC Receiver Adapter — Devoted board for decoding, visualizing radio controller alerts.
Suna RP2040 PicoNANO —  Constructed-in piezoelectric buzzer.

There are much more RP2040 boards on GitHub as effectively:

blackjetrock Pak-Gadget — Psion Datapak appropriate board plus breakout. github.com/blackjetrock/pak-gadget

Darko Pancev Microbyte-RP2040 — Pi Zero type issue. github.com/darkopancev517/microbyte-rp2040

Envious Information Dip40-RP2040 — DIP40-footprint Pico clone. github.com/Envious-Information/EnvOpenPico

Envious Information Dip40-RP2040-32A — Atmel ATmega32A footprint and pinout Pico clone. github.com/Envious-Information/EnvOpenPico

Envious Information EnvOpenPico-LiPo — EnvOpenPico variant with again/increase for battery assist. github.com/Envious-Information/EnvOpenPico

Hugo Hu RP2040 Module — SMT module for hand soldering. github.com/Hugoyhu/rp2040module

Tyler Stowell RP2040 SMD Board — SMD-based board with industrial focus. github.com/tyler-stowell/RP2040_SMD_Board

What do you think?


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