Raspberry Pi moves into the microcontroller market

Raspberry Pi moves into the microcontroller market

Technology News |
By Jean-Pierre Joosting

Farnell, an Avnet Company, has announced the first product built on Raspberry Pi-designed silicon, the Raspberry Pi Pico. This product brings Raspberry Pi’s signature values of high performance, low cost, and ease of use to the microcontroller market, in a game-changing $4 development kit.

The Raspberry Pi Pico development kit is built around the brand-new Raspberry Pi RP2040 microcontroller, delivering a flexible, highly affordable development platform that can also be directly deployed into end products, reducing time-to-market. RP2040 offers high performance for integer workloads, a large on-chip memory, and a wide range of I/O options, making it a flexible solution for a wide range of microcontroller applications.

Professional design engineers who are already comfortable working with Raspberry Pi will easily adopt the Raspberry Pi Pico and appreciate its ease of use and affordability.

The RP2040 has 264kB of on-chip SRAM, 2MB of on-board QSPI Flash and 26 GPIO pins, of which 3 can be used as analogue inputs. An on-board power supply generates 3.3 V for the RP2040 and external circuitry, while a wide input voltage range, from 1.8 V to 5.5 V, gives designers the flexibility to select their preferred power source. To aid manufacturing, the device has 0.1-inch through-hole pads with castellated edges for SMT assembly.

Developer tools and support includes simple drag and drop programming via micro-USB, 3-pin Serial Wire Debug (SWD) for interactive debugging, a comprehensive C SDK, mature MicroPython port, and extensive examples and documentation.

At the heart of the Raspberry Pi Pico, the RP2040 Raspberry Pi-designed microcontroller features two ARM Cortex-M0+ cores clocked at 133 MHz; 264 kB of on-chip SRAM; 30 multifunction GPIO pins; dedicated hardware for commonly used peripherals alongside a programmable I/O subsystem for extended peripheral support; a four-channel ADC with internal temperature sensor; and built-in USB 1.1 with host and device support.

Lee Turner, Global Head of Semiconductors and SBC at Farnell, said: “Since the launch of the first Raspberry Pi in 2012, this market-leading brand has become synonymous with ease of use and value for money. Raspberry Pi Pico is the newest and smallest addition to the Raspberry Pi family, bringing with it the potential to transform the microcontroller market in the same way that the original Raspberry Pi board did for single board computing. At just $4, Pico provides incredible flexibility and opportunity for design engineers.”

James Adams, Chief Operating Officer, Raspberry Pi Trading, said: “With Raspberry Pi Pico, and RP2040, we have been able to draw on insights drawn from a decade of using other vendors’ microcontrollers, and to create an innovative silicon platform for our customers. People have used Raspberry Pi to create a broader spread of projects and products than we could have imagined a decade ago; we’re sure the same will be true of Raspberry Pi Pico.”

The Raspberry Pi Pico is available for USD $4.00 from Farnell in EMEA, Newark in North America and element14 in Asia Pacific, from Monday, 25 January.

For further information visit


Further reading

Raspberry Pi 400 all-in-one PC
Farnell launches Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4
Raspberry Pi DIN rail PC gets 16 to 128 digital I/Os
New Ubuntu release supports cloud software for Raspberry Pi

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