At best deals,no tail tied
From a distance, it looks like a RAM module or an M.2 SSD. But the plate that appears in the images is the brand new microcontroller Raspberry Pi Pico W. Announced this Thursday (30), the device features a dual-core chip and, as the letter ‘W’ signals, Wi-Fi connectivity. The official price? $6.
Okay, maybe the “brand new” up there was an exaggeration. The license plate is based on the first Raspberry Pi Pico, which was introduced in early 2021 with a price of just $4.
Most of the features of the previous model have been preserved. This is the case of the dimensions: 21 x 51 mm. The chip that controls everything is also the same. This is the RP2040, which has two Arm Cortex-M0+ cores up to 133 MHz and is accompanied by 264 KB of SRAM memory.
The Raspberry Pi Pico W’s differential is in the presence of the Infineon CYW43439. This is the chip that allows the card to have wireless connectivity in the 802.11n standard (Wi-Fi 4). The component is accompanied by an integrated antenna and works only at 2.4 GHz.
An interesting detail is that the Infineon CYW43439 is also Bluetooth compatible. This feature is not enabled, but the Raspberry Pi claims this could be a future attribute. I have no doubt that soon someone will be able to enable Bluetooth on the board and explain how to do it.
The other features were also kept, such as the micro-USB port and the 40 GPIO pins (26 of which are multifunctional). The latter are used for other components to be connected to the board, such as sensors and LEDs. There are no connectors for this, but this job shouldn’t be a problem for anyone who knows how to use a soldering iron.
Raspberry Pi Pico W: what is it for?
Anyone unfamiliar with the Raspberry Pi Pico line may be wondering what to do with a board like this. The answer is: a lot.
Don’t expect to put a Linux distribution with a GUI here. On the other hand, the board can act as a microcontroller for industrial machines or home automation projects, for example.
According to Raspberry Pi, the first Pico records almost 2 million units sold so far. Most of the time, purchases are made by companies, due to the aforementioned applications.
However, nothing prevents the Raspberry Pi Pico from being used in educational or personal projects. There are those who use the device to control monitoring sensors at home or create small robots, for example.
As with the first version, the easiest way to program the Raspberry Pi Pico W is using the languages that are officially supported by the device: C and MicroPython (a version of Python optimized for microcontrollers).
50% increase in price
Officially priced at $6, the Raspberry Pi Pico W is 50% more expensive than the previous version. Even so, this is still a cheap device, right? So-so. For high volume purchases, the price difference can be significant.
It would be difficult to keep the price lower than $6. The inclusion of wireless connectivity is precisely the biggest factor in the costs. In any case, the previous version, without Wi-Fi and cheaper ($4), is still on sale.
Raspberry Pi Pico W — data sheet
- chip: RP2040 with two Arm Cortex-M0+ cores up to 133 MHz
- RAM: 264 KB of SRAM
- Storage: 2 MB of Flash
- wireless connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11n (2.4 GHz) via Infineon CYW43439 chip
- physical connectivity: 40-pin GPIO, micro-USB for data and power
- dimensions: 51 x 21 mm