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New Raspberry Pi Pico - and My New Book!

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Gareth Halfacree, 21 Jan 2021.

  1. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    If you've not been on the socials this morning - or if your social feed looks very different to mine - there's a new Raspberry Pi in town: the Raspberry Pi Pico microcontroller, powered by the company's first in-house silicon chip the RP2040.

    raspberrypipico-fingers.jpg

    It's exciting stuff - and third party boards based on the same RP2040 are already en-route.

    But better still: I has a new book, Get Started with MicroPython on Raspberry Pi Pico: The Official Guide. As usual, it's free to download under a Creative Commons licence, so maybe have a shufti?
     
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  2. Bloody_Pete

    Bloody_Pete Technophile

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    So its along the like of an Arduino Nano?
     
  3. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    It's a microcontroller, like the Arduino Nano, but considerably more powerful. The Nano's got an eight-bit ATmega328 running at 16MHz with 2kB of SRAM and 32kB of flash memory; the Pico's got a 32-bit dual-core Arm Cortex-M0+ running at 133MHz (or higher, if you don't mind going outside spec) with 264kB of SRAM and 2MB of flash memory. Also, the Nano's €20 (cheaper clones abound, of course); the Pico's £3.60, or free on the cover of this month's HackSpace.

    Better still, the Pico's getting an Arduino core - so you'll be able to program it directly in the Arduino IDE, just like a Nano.
     
  4. Arboreal

    Arboreal Keeper of the Electric Currants

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    I found out about it first thing in an email from Pimoroni.
    Looks brilliant, GH and was delighted to see you had written the guide and get a thank you on the RPi site.
    Another great innovation for the foundation and a new family of boards
     
  5. yuusou

    yuusou Multimodder

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    This looks like a mighty tasty piece of pi.
     
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  6. Bloody_Pete

    Bloody_Pete Technophile

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    Are they planning on selling the processor at all? As we only use these board for prototyping before we make an embedded system, so if I can't get my hands on the MCU its nearly useless to me!
     
  7. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    They certainly are: Adafruit, Arduino, Pimoroni, and SparkFun are already building around it. No word on availability and pricing to those outside the Inner Circle yet, but it's absolutely on the cards - they've even written an entire databook all about building something with the RP2040. The RP2040 databook, meanwhile, is here - and a hefty tome it is too.

    The Pico's designed to be used as a module, too - hence the castellated pins. It arrives with the headers unpopulated, so you can just solder the thing direct to a carrier board with a minimal increase in Z height - basically the height of the micro-USB port.

    Oh, one thing to bear in mind: the RP2040 has no on-board non-volatile memory, so you'll need to include an external flash chip in your BOM.
     
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  8. liratheal

    liratheal Sharing is Caring

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    Huh.

    How very interesting.
     
  9. Bloody_Pete

    Bloody_Pete Technophile

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    Datasheet, not databook :)

    Well, depends on the price of the MCU, that is an interesting prosspect! The SOM is far too big for 99% of my use cases.The only SOM's I use are for RF stuff as it makes CE testing far easier if you're using CE certified RF SOM's :)
     
  10. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    They've been using the terms interchangeably the whole time, and at humpty-tump hundred pages I'd say it qualifies as a book!
     
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  11. Bloody_Pete

    Bloody_Pete Technophile

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    But then does a newspaper count as a book? :p
     
  12. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    If it had 600 pages... maybe?
     
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  13. Xlog

    Xlog Minimodder

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    So like any other CM0+ based MCU, just with less and worse peripherals, worse documentation, no onboard flash and atrocious power consumption in powered down states (~1mA @ 5V in deep-sleep/DORMANT on CM0, srsly?).
    Will it even be available as discrete IC?
     
  14. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    Whuh? It's got a 600-plus-page MCU datasheet, a 270-page C/C++ SDK guide, a 70-page C/C++ quickstart guide, a 28-page datasheet for the Pico, a 43 page Python SDK guide, and a 29 page guide on using the RP2040 in your own hardware designs - and my shiny new book. Oh, and the board designs for the Pico, a VGA carrier, and a minimum viable board are open source. You think that's worse documentation than rival microcontrollers? You be trippin'.
    Have you looked at the eight-state-machine PIO? If it lacks a peripheral you want, write it yourself. I've already seen someone give an RP2040 dual RGB HDMI outputs...
    Yes, as per:
     
  15. Yaka

    Yaka Modder

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    ordered, my 13yr and 11yr olds are taking a big interest in anything pi related. and enjoy using your books
     
    Last edited: 21 Jan 2021
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  16. Arboreal

    Arboreal Keeper of the Electric Currants

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    Always good to support the Halfacree household!
     
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