Raspberry Pi single board computers have always stood out for their modest dimensions and low price. But the new Raspberry Pi Pico model can be considered the best for these indicators.
To begin with, such a PC costs only $ 4! This is not some kind of promotional price – this is really the case when you can say “buy yourself a PC for the price of a cup of coffee.”
Of course, everything is relative. And it’s not about coffee, which can be much cheaper. The Raspberry Pi Pico certainly isn’t a full-fledged PC, but that goes for all of the company’s products.
The secret of the very low price lies in a number of factors. Firstly, the heart is a self-developed RP2040 single-chip Raspberry Pi system. It includes two Cortex-M0 + cores with a frequency of 133 MHz, 264 KB of its own memory, and a number of controllers. In addition, the solution supports up to 16MB of external flash memory via the QSPI bus. The PC itself contains 2MB of flash memory.
The board has a micro-USB port, which is used for both power supply and control. There are no wireless adapters, but there is a set of GPIO pins. There are 30 of them, and four of them can be used as analog inputs. Also worth highlighting is a UART pair, an SPI pair, and two I2C controllers.
The Raspberry Pi puts a lot of emphasis on its microprocessor in its press release. For example, it is indicated that its body has dimensions of 7 x 7 mm. The dimensions of the PC itself are 21 x 55 mm.
The company also clarifies that since the Cortex-M0 + cores lack a floating point module, the developers ordered the optimized floating point functions from Mark Owen, the author of the popular Qfplib libraries. They are significantly faster than their GCC equivalents and are licensed for use with any RP2040 based product.