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.
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.
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.