Hackaday takes a close look at Raspberry Pi's new $4 microcontroller, the Pico

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2021/01/22/hackaday-takes-a-close-look-at-raspberry-pis-new-4-microcontroller-the-pico.html


That’s a funny demonstration…

1 Like

I like the look of these - cheap enough that you can just buy several and not really be bothered when you leave one embedded in a half-finished project that you may or may not get around to finishing some day.

1 Like

For a side-by-side spec comparison of RPI Pico, Arduino Nano, the upcoming Arduino Nano RP2040, and couple others

I have been using plain AVR microcontrollers up to now, but my programmer isn’t working, possibly due to my USB-serial adapter having failed. So I might take a look at this.

If only I could get this at anything close to $4.

Dunno for sure but I think this same thing would be doable with an ESP32 - which is for sale in the usual Chinese shops for $4 (not including shipping).

That’s not a difficult task for any microcontroller.

Regarding this new microcontroller, neither the hardware nor the price are anything all that interesting–they don’t cost less or do anything else better than other chips. The biggest thing they have going for them is the backing of the Rpi Foundation which can be readily observed by the blitz of media the chip is receiving from all the usual influencers who were seeded with boards.

The people who actually design with microcontrollers are pretty underwhelmed and you can see that if you follow the comments on a lot of the articles. It’s also clear that there’s a ton of astroturfing going of in support of this product.

1 Like

You might do better to look at the Black Pill boards. Much more capable processor and you can get the chip in any quantity if you want to use it in a custom product.

1 Like

My gripe was about the price, which will be lucky to be ~$25 in local stores, and the last time I had a Pi shipped, shipping and tax (including on the shipping) ended up doubling the price.

Like the Zero? The one you could buy one of for the low price of $5, but shipping was $20? Yeah, good times.

The Black Pill type boards are available everywhere for around $4 and usually with free shipping.

Overall, I’m not quite understanding why they’d build this, given the existing Arduino and ESP chips. On the other hand, I’m not going to fault them for exploring new territory, and they certainly have an R&D pipeline coming up with new things.

Speaking of which, after playing around with a 400 a bit, I have to say I’m impressed by the performance you can wring out of seven watts at the wall socket. It won’t replace a Threadripper, but that’s not what it’s for.

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.