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Welcome Raspberry Pi to the world of microcontrollers

Arduino TeamJanuary 20th, 2021

‘Raspberry and chips,’ not something you’d like to eat but in the world of silicon it’s actually a great combination. Eben Upton recently shared with us Raspberry Pi’s exciting vision for a revolutionary product that they were working on: a microcontroller, the RP2040, based on Raspberry Pi silicon.

The news was both disruptive and exciting at the same time. At Arduino, we love to put our hands on innovative technologies, micros, sensors and all the building blocks that allow us to fulfill our mission of making technology simple to use for everyone. The curiosity was growing and a few weeks later we were already tinkering with the initial development tools. The processor is a very intriguing beast — it’s a dual-core Cortex-M0+ microcontroller with fairly sophisticated architecture.

Since we have been experimenting quite a bit with multi-core processors with our Pro product, the “Portenta,” we decided to build an Arduino board based on this new silicon.

We started from the Nano format with its own tiny footprint, leveraging on some of the existing key features of other Nanos like the versatile u-blox NINA WiFi and Bluetooth® module. The goal being to enable people to develop connected products leveraging our hardware powered by Raspberry silicon, a solid radio module with exceptional performance, and the Arduino Create IoT Cloud.

The new board will come packed with some high-quality MEMS sensors from STM (namely a 9-axis IMU and a microphone), a very efficient power section, and a bunch of other innovations that you can already spot from the design. 

Whereas the majority of microcontrollers use embedded flash, the new RP2040 chip uses external flash. To provide plenty of space for all your code and storage we’ve included 16MB flash memory — this is also particularly useful to allow OTA (over-the-air) updates.

But there’s more! We are going to port the Arduino core to this new architecture in order to enable everyone to use the RP2040 chip with the Arduino ecosystem (IDE, command line tool, and thousands of libraries). Although the RP2040 chip is fresh from the plant, our team is already working on the porting effort… stay tuned.

While we consider what other products to develop to leverage the RP2040 architecture, we’d love to hear what you’d like us to build with this exciting new processor.

Join us in welcoming the new Raspberry Pi RP2040 and the newborn Arduino Nano RP2040 Connect, which will be available for pre-order in the next few weeks!

– Massimo Banzi (co-founder & chairman) and Fabio Violante (CEO)


16 Responses to “Welcome Raspberry Pi to the world of microcontrollers”

  1. marcomerlin Says:

    Will RP2040 Arduino support be based on mbed, like for Portenta ?

  2. docweird Says:

    Very glad to hear the Arduino IDE will have support for the RP2040.

    Your version seems *so* much more useful than the base RPI Pico board without WiFi. Looking forward to getting one to try in home automaton and remote sensor type stuff.

  3. zdan73 Says:

    Great initiative from both Raspberry and Arduino!

  4. balta1980 Says:

    You are the best of the best. Technology for everyone thank you.

  5. Shavkat Says:

    Goog evening, Dear, Arduino team.
    First and foremost, I am very thankful for your contribution to electronics domain. With the help of arduino, I have learnt a lot about programming. Adding WiFi to RP2040 would be awesome.
    I hope The price will not much expensive!

  6. aldante Says:

    A weirdly specific question, I know, but does the u-blox NINA WiFi provide channel state information (CSI) or is it a high-level data interface only? The reason I ask is that CSI information can be used as a sort of passive radar to locate people in a room for a mobile robot.

  7. econjack Says:

    How will the availability be made public

  8. Mladen Bruck Says:

    Is going to be pin compatible with Nano family?

  9. Fableman Says:

    WIFI and BLE pretty please.

  10. kaiomatico Says:

    Great news! Will be a good addition to my nano 33 IoT in the Arduino Cloud with it’s integrated temperature sensor. Can’t wait for the release. As a future product I would really like to have a board which includes a mosfet to switch 5v (or any) dc loads so we could directly power usb powered leds. Maybe as alternative to a mosfet it could be implemented with USB-C PD on a future Arduino board?

  11. chetroni Says:

    Can you please tell me if the Arduino Nano RP2040 Connect will use MicroPython?
    Thank you!

  12. iKjetil Says:

    Will this be compatible with pluggableUSB?

  13. a_guadalupi Says:

    @Mladen Bruck yes sure!
    @kaiomatico if you refer to Neopixel like LEDs you can also power them at 3.3V, otherwise you just need to add a low side MOS and drive it with any pin

  14. audigex Says:

    This is probably the most exciting thing to come out since the Nano – 9-axis IMU, WiFi/Bluetooth, and IoT cloud… if these things are at a sensible price, I think they’re going to be the best product Arduino has ever produced.

  15. roshan7505 Says:

    May I know whether USB HID is exist in this device. While looking at the design micro-USB D+ D- is directly connected to microcontroller. But there is no HID mentioned in datasheet.

  16. kwankunghkg Says:

    Would Arduino IDE library support multiple hardware SPI ports (e.g. SPI1 , SPI2) ?

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