Raspberry Silicon update: RP2040 on sale now at $1

Back in January, we launched Raspberry Pi Pico. This was a new kind of product for us: our first microcontroller-class board, and the first to be built on RP2040, a chip designed here at Raspberry Pi. At the same time, we announced RP2040-based products from our friends at Adafruit, Arduino, Sparkfun, and Pimoroni.

Today, we’re announcing the logical next step: RP2040 chips are now available from our Approved Reseller partners in single-unit quantities, allowing you to build your own projects and products on Raspberry Silicon.

RP2040: the microcontroller, perfected

RP2040 is our idea of the perfect mid-range microcontroller, based on years of using other vendors’ devices in our own products and projects. It stands out in three key ways:

  • Two fast CPU cores. A pair of ARM Cortex-M0+ cores, clocked at 133 MHz, provide ample integer performance. Use one core to run application code, and the other to supervise hardware; or run application code on both cores with FreeRTOS or MicroPython.
  • Plenty of RAM. With 264KB of RAM, you can concentrate on implementing features, not optimising your application for size. A fully connected switch connects ARM cores and DMA engines to six independent RAM banks, allowing you to squeeze every last drop of performance out of the system.
  • Flexible I/O. We provide all the usual interfaces: hardware UARTs, SPI and I2C controllers, USB 1.1, and a four-channel ADC. But it’s the programmable I/O (PIO) subsystem that makes RP2040 stand out, enabling software implementations of protocols including SDIO, DPI, I2S, and even DVI-D.

All of this is packed into 2 mm² of 40 nm silicon, in a 7×7 mm QFN56 package.

Early progress

A lot has happened since January. We’ve shipped over 600,000 Raspberry Pi Picos, and have taken orders for 700,000 more. Graham has continued to build out the SDK, most recently adding FreeRTOS support. And hundreds of people have been in touch asking for RP2040 samples, many via our patented “Secret Twitter Samples Program”. Some of these are maker businesses that have found themselves effectively unable to build products this year due to the global semiconductor shortage.

Based on this experience, we’ve decided to pull about 40,000 units of RP2040 out of the supply chain and boot up single-unit sales via our Approved Resellers, roughly three months earlier than we’d intended. This will give people time to develop their projects and products, while we clear out the rest of the Pico backlog and scale up production of RP2040. In the autumn we’ll have some serious volume available for anyone who needs it.

Reely, reely good

The single-unit price of RP2040 is $1, giving you a lot of bang for your (literal) buck. We’re still figuring out what reel-scale pricing will look like in the autumn, but we expect it to be significantly lower than that.

So head on over to the product page to order your first chips. When you’re ready to take your RP2040-based project to scale, we’ll be waiting for you.


rpdom avatar

Pi Hut is sold out.
Pimoroni link gives a 404 and can’t find the chip on their site.
I guessed this would be a popular item :)

Shoe avatar

ThePiHut has them marked as “Coming Soon!” so I’m not sure they’re sold-out as much as they haven’t arrived at all yet. I wonder if Pimoroni haven’t even added them to the site yet. That said, at $1/£0.85 each I’m sure they’re going to move very quickly. I was planning on starting to learn how to properly use ATSAMD chips, maybe the Pico might be a better choice. Being able to order a small handful without having to hit minimum order quantities to avoid big shipping costs like you have to with wholesalers would be a big bonus.

Liz Upton avatar

They’ve definitely arrived at The Pi Hut – just sold through very fast!

Shoe avatar

Oh wow, fair enough then. Some people must have been up early!

Liz Upton avatar

It’s funny – all the comms people at Raspberry Pi were sitting around a big table last week (some video-present only – we miss you guys) and debating just who might be interested in buying a single chip at a time.

The answer appears to have been “A lot of you!” Even I’m slightly shocked at the rate these have been disappearing from stockists.

Shoe avatar

>The answer appears to have been “A lot of you!” Even I’m slightly shocked at the rate these have been disappearing from stockists.

Well, you’ve encouraged a lot of people to learn how to control electronic devices rather than look at them as black-boxes, and one logical step in that is designing your own PCBs. It’s fun to roll your own, even if it really only does something that a commercial product already does. It’s satisfying to look at something and be able to say “I made that, and I (mostly) know what all the bits do!”. Custom PCB art just makes it even more fun.

The QFN format is a little awkward for people who are still learning to solder SMDs, but it isn’t impossible.

Jose avatar

The RPI Pico chip is ideal to add real time I/O capabilities to a Linux/Android board. You save a ton of efforts trying to make a big OS behave “realtime-ish”. And at the price point of $1 it has little competition out there.

W. H. Heydt avatar

I suspect there are going to be a fair number of people who order one–or a few–just so they can pull one out and say, “This is the actual MCU package,” when asked about the Pico.

rpdom avatar

Like the BCM2835 and RAM chip I pulled from a dead Pi Zero? I’m planning to get one (at least) to replace the B0 version on some of my Picos :-)
Then maybe I’ll use the B0 in another project.

Stewart Watkiss avatar

Both are now saying coming soon. It sounds like they may have not yet received them in stock.

Alasdair Allan avatar

Nope. They had stock, it just sold through really quickly. We’re looking down the back of the sofa for more, https://twitter.com/EbenUpton/status/1399670904959950848.

Roger Wolff avatar

The Dutch distributer also gives a 404.

Ben avatar

Okdo was packs of 10, if makers are wanting to make a lot of board for production and don’t have a normal supply , no doubt they’ll buy quite a few packs of 10.
(I’m assuming there was no ‘sample’ restriction like the Zero had)
Leaving simple home makers left out?

Or do we have RP2040 scalers waiting for ebay sales

Rishabh avatar

Pimoroni and Dutch gives 404, looking to try this one out ASAP 😃

Tejas Singh YT avatar

Holy Computers,
So excited, I haven’t actually check where are these available in India. I think PCB WAY is going to get a lot of orders.

But is there minimum limit. Of buying these

Anders avatar

A fun thing, I wonder if somebody will produce a breakout board with just a socket for proto.
Surprised this was not released on the front of a magazine.

Tejas Singh YT avatar

This time it will be released in the front of Custom PC. LOL!!

Andrew Waite avatar

What would be really nice would be a command line OS, similar to Acorn’s Arthur or the BBC Micro’s OS for this chip that could also run ARM BBC BASIC.

Valentin avatar

I have just ordered five chips with The Pi Hut – £7.24 including shipping.

Jack Chaney avatar

Is there an article someplace that covers writing native applications (C/C++) for Pico, including a Code Blocks setup?

Peter avatar

This is big news. My latest project has an Atmega328P and is on extended hold as it’s sold out for a 52 week lead time with a price of $2.20 in single unit. I could see the RP2040 becoming my defacto projects uC when wireless isn’t a project requirement.

Supra avatar

GRINNnnnn!. I received an email 8pm, in my local time. After I clicked thepihut. BOOOmmm……..sold out.

Phill HS avatar

Any chance of producing them in a package that’s more hand solder friendly such as TQFP?

Nic avatar

I expect to see a DIP format carrier board with a pre-soldered RP2040 chip already soldered in place.

Anders avatar

Or a socket that could take a 2040.
Once you solder a 2040 in place you are most of the way to a Pico already.

W. H. Heydt avatar

This best part of this announcement is that it makes on the “RP2040 will be released in the 2nd quarter” statements.

Given the state of semiconductor supplies, getting at least some out the door is encouraging.

Side note…Chicago Electronic Distributors still has some in stock, probably because they’re limiting them to one per order.

Bernhard avatar

Congratulation, i am impressed :-D
Best regards

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