Raspberry Pi launches Pico, its $4 microcontroller with its own chipset

The Raspberry Pi Foundation, the company responsible for the famous microcomputer of the same name, has just launched a very interesting new product: Pico, a microcontroller plate along the lines of the famous Arduino. The difference is that this release is much cheaper: while an Arduino Micro (simpler version) costs US$ 18.40 (about R$ 98 indirect quotation and without fees), the Raspberry Pi Pico was released for a modest US$ 4 (or R$ 21).

The idea is that the maker and DIY community can have fun with the device in their electronics, robotics and IoT projects. Again, Pico is not a computer, but a "brain" designed to control other miscellaneous devices —LED lights, sensors, LCD screens, etc. —from a user-programmed code. In this case, this sign works with the C and MicroPython languages, which are very beginner-friendly.

The most interesting, however, is the fact that Pico has as its heart a proprietary chipset manufactured by the Raspberry Pi Foundation. Dubbed the RP2040, the system-on-chip(SoC)features a two-core ARM Cortex-M0+ processor (133 MHz), 264 KB of SRAM memory and 2 MB of flash storage. There are a micro USB connector and several pins for connecting peripherals.

The foundation is so convinced that Pico is the most affordable microcontroller on the market that it has even published a book —which can be purchased separately—for beginners in this industry. The guide explains how to program the board using MicroPython and even includes some ready-made designers that you can make with other cheap sums to learn in practice.

The Raspberry Pi Pico is already available in several resellers around the world, and in Brazil, unfortunately, we only found the gadget in a supplier for the price of R $ 49 — much more expensive than the original R $ 21 of direct conversion, since we have added taxes and a profit margin from the retailer.

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