Instead of a new faster – and more expensive – model of regular Raspberry Pi, the organization of the same name has launched its cheapest and smallest product to date.
Raspberry Pi Pico is a microcontroller based on a new chip called RP2040 and can be programmed to be used in a lot of different scenarios where a small simple computer is needed to control things.
RP2040 has been developed specifically to work well with standard Raspberry Pi and be as flexible as possible. The chip has 30 gpio pins, two of which can be used for analog signals, so that it can control almost any process.
The Raspberry Pi Pico combines the RP2040 with 2 MB of flash memory and a power supply that can handle between 1.8 and 5.5 V, such as two or three series-connected alkaline batteries or a lithium button cell. A small push button activates USB storage mode so you can transfer code from a computer (such as a Raspberry Pi).
Raspberry Pi Foundation has developed a developer package in the programming language C and integration with Microsoft Visual Studio Code. Collaborations with various developers mean that you can use ports from, for example, Google Tensorflow Lite and Micropython from the start.
Experimenting with automation and process control will also be extremely cheap with the Raspberry Pi Pico – the microcontroller costs only around SEK 40.