All You Need to Know About the Raspberry Pi RP2040

RP2040 - 3D rendering of the minimal design

The Raspberry Pi RP2040 is a little 40-nm silicium beast with high performance, low power consumption, low leakage, ease of use, and low cost. Its impressive technical specifications features a large on-chip memory, a dual-core processor and rich peripherals. Programming languages include MicroPython and C++. It provides a variety of low-power modes to support extended battery-operated durations.

Main features include:

  • Dual ARM Cortex-M0+ @ 133MHz
  • 264KB on-chip SRAM in six independent banks
  • Support for up to 16MB of off-chip Flash memory via dedicated QSPI bus
  • DMA controller & Fully-connected AHB crossbar
  • On-chip programmable LDO to generate core voltage
  • 2 on-chip PLLs to generate USB and core clocks
  • 30 GPIO pins, 4 of which can be used as analogue inputs
  • Peripherals: 2x UARTs, 2x SPI Controllers, 2x I2C Controllers, 16x PWM, USB 1.1 Controller and PHY (Host & Device), 8x PIO State Machines

Programmable I/O (PIO) subsystem is a unique feature of the RP2040, which uses simple state machines to delegate simple but resource-intensive tasks away freeing up the CPU. Feel free to read this amazing post to get further information about PIOs.

The RP2040 is also a good candidate for Machine Learning (ML) since you can use frameworks like Tensorflow Lite and Edge Impulse with it. It’s TinyML, short for Tiny Machine Learning!

The Raspberry team has released the Raspberry Pi Pico as a first available RP2040 board.

Then, Arduino has released the Nano RP2040 Connect (Nano form factor with castellated pads) with extensive connectivity and sensor peripherals to take advantage of the RP2040. It carries a microphone, an AI-enabled 6-axis IMU, an u-blox NINA-W102 radio module for both WiFi and Bluetooth® BLE connectivity. At Voltanode, we especially appreciate secure encryption feature with ATECC608A-MAHDA-T Crypto circuit.

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