The Raspberry Pi Foundation kicked off 2021 with the Pi Pico, a microcontroller built on the new RP2040 chip. Now the UK board maker is selling individual units of the RP2040 for just $1
Often referred to as Raspberry Silicon, RP2040 is the first microcontroller chip developed in-house by the Pi Foundation. It features a pair of ARM Cortex-M0+ cores clocked at 133 MHz, 264 KB of RAM, and a switch connecting ARM cores and DMA engines to six independent RAM banks. These specs provide a lot of flexibility for IoT projects, which is part of the reason Arduino uses an RP2040 chip in its new Nano controller.
But that is not everything; the RP2040 has flexible I/O, with interfaces for hardware UARTs, SPI and I2C controllers, USB 1.1 and a four-channel ADC. There is also a programmable I/O subsystem to work with protocols such as SDIO, DPI, I2S and even DVI-D.
Argh. So it looks like we might do a sample program in this thread, right? I just opened my DMs so please give me a shipping address and phone number. You too @rpitechguy.
— Eben Upton (@EbenUpton) January 21, 2021
The Raspberry Pi Foundation had planned to start selling RP2040 chips in about three months, but changed its strategy due to high demand for small, affordable chips. Apparently, the Foundation was impressed by the number of small developers who asked for RP2040 samples on Twitter and chose to take about 40,000 RP2040 chips off the production chain for direct sale through Cytron and RS.
You can now order the RP2040 chip through select resellers. The Pi Foundation plans to sell bulk rolls of the RP2040 later this year, which will likely bring the price down to less than $1 per unit.