Third-party Raspberry Pi RP2040 boards from Arduino, Adafruit, Sparkfun and Pimoroni

I’ve just written about the launch of the Raspberry Pi Pico board and Raspberry Pi RP2040 MCU, which, as I explained in the announcement, could be used with third-party boards, but what I was not made aware during the embargo was that RP2040 boards were already being worked on, and other companies jointly announced their own custom Raspberry Pi Pico compatible board with Adafruit, Arduino, Pimoroni, and Sparkfun joining the party.

Arduino Nano RP2040 Connect Board

Arduino Nano RP2040 ConnectWhen I first wrote about Raspberry Pi Pico, I really saw it would be a competitor to Arduino boards, but instead Arduino and Raspberry Pi joined hands to design Arduino Nano RP2040 Connect with the board including 16MB external SPI flash, a u-blox NINA WiFi & Bluetooth module, an STMicro MEMS sensor with 9-axis IMU and microphone, and the ECC608 crypto chip. That obviously means Arduino Core will also support the new RP2040 MCU.

Pre-orders are expected to start in the next few weeks.

Adafruit Feather RP 2040 & ItsyBitsy RP 2040

Adafruit Feather RP2040

If you prefer Adafruit Feather form factor, no problem! Adafruit is about to launch the Adafruit Feather RP 2040 board with a USB-C port, LiPo battery charging support, 4MB of QSPI flash, a STEMMA QT I2C connector, and an optional SWD debug port. The board will obviously be available with FeatherWing add-on boards. There’s no price yet, but the board is listed on Adafruit as coming soon, and you can register to get notified.

Adafruit even made another board with the smaller ItsyBitsy RP 2040, also equipped with 4MB of QSPI flash, plus boot and reset buttons and an RGB NeoPixel LED.

Adafruit ItsyBitsy RP2040

Again, it’s not available, but you can register to get notified at launch.

SparkFun prepares three RP2040 boards

SparkFun even worked harder (just joking) with three boards in development. Saumitra timely published an article about MicroMod M.2 cards a couple of days ago as the company will bring a fifth member to the family with “MicroMod RP2040 Processor” card.

RP2040 MicroModIt will also be compatible with all the MicroMod carrier boards for data logging, weather, machine learning, etc.. covered in the aforementioned article.

SparkFun Thing Plus – RP2040 is also a Feather-compatible board, but it seems to offer a bit more with a MicroSD card slot, 16MB flash memory, a JST battery connector, a USB-C port, a WS2812 RGB LED, and a Qwicc I2C connector.

SparkFun Thing Plus RP2040

While there’s no product page for the MicroMod RP2040 board yet, Thing Plus – RP2040 page is for pre-order up with a $16 price tag.

SparkFun Pro Micro – RP2040 is more compact and offers castellated holes, a WS2812B addressable LED, boot & reset buttons, Qwiic connector, and a USB-C port.

SparkFun-Pro-Micro-RP2040The board is also up for pre-order for $9.95 with a 100 units limit per customer.

Pimonori Picosystem

Pimoroni PicoSystem

While not technically a development board, Pimoroni PicoSystem gaming system will be based on RP2040 MCU, and allow people to play games on a tiny screen.  I’m pretty sure it will be programmable as well, but no info has been provided so far. It’s coming soon and will be sold for 58.50 GBP (around $80).

Raspberry Pi Pico Carrier Boards

Pico Explorer Raspberry Pi Pico Carrier Board

Pimonori does not have an RP2040, but they did make Pico Explorer carrier board for Raspberry Pi Pico with a breadboard, a small LCD display, four buttons, and two breakout connectors for expansion. It’s available now for £22.20 (around $30) including VAT.

Maker Pi Pico

If you’d like something cheaper, Cytron has launched the Maker Pi Pico baseboard which exposes all pins via female headers, includes LEDs for all GPIOs pin, six Grove connectors, three user push-buttons, one RGB LED, a piezo buzzer, an audio jack, a MicroSD card, and an ESP-01 socket to add WiFi connectivity.

Maker Pi Pico is currently sold for $5 (beta version), but the final price will $10.

I’m pretty sure we’ll see other RP2040 boards and Raspberry Pi Pico carrier board in the next few days and weeks.

Via Raspberry Pi Blog.

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11 Comments
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willy
willy
8 months ago

The Sparkfun micro looks really nice with such a size, storage and a USB-C connector!

itchy n scratchy
itchy n scratchy
8 months ago

Are there any tiny boards with more established uCs and a 6axis sensor? Like stm32 or sam, kinetis etc? Even nrf would do…

willy
willy
8 months ago

You have the WIO terminal which includes a samd51 and a LISD3H accelerometer. Not sure if the form factor nor the sensor suits your needs. Otherwise there are STM32 modules like this one with an MPU6050 chip appearing at various places, but it’s not clear to me if they’re already programmed and locked down for a specific purpose or if you can flash them with your code: https://www.ebay.fr/itm/MPU6050-Gyroscope-Accelerometer-Sensor-Module-DMP-STM32-Inclinometer-6-Axis-/172452772444

itchy n scratchy
itchy n scratchy
7 months ago

Thanks, that stm board looks very sparesly documented…

Maybe then either repurpose a drone flight controller or lets finally get up to speed with kicad (eagle is no more fun)

Willy
Willy
7 months ago

For me eagle has never been fun. It has a strange logic that isn’t even consistent across tools and usually induces you into making lots of mistakes. But given that I never managed to build kicad, I’m still stuck with it. Too bad they don’t distribute a static build instead of providing it for 40 distros, revealing the nightmare it probably is to try to build it :-/

itchy n scratchy
itchy n scratchy
7 months ago

To be honest I never saw a PCB CAD that was ticking all the boxes.

Protel (i guess it’s now called altium?) was a pain, orcad (cadence) was great but never ran stable and without glitches, target is (was) a toy, eagle was cheap and flexible but not very comfortable, geda never came to speed, now let’s see what kicad can do for me…

Occam
Occam
8 months ago

Be nice if someone made RP2040 with Zigbee on board.

itchy n scratchy
itchy n scratchy
7 months ago

What would that do better than an NRF52840?

Occam
Occam
7 months ago

Don’t know. Is there Arduino Zigbee support for NRF52840? That’s what I need. Looking for a maker Arduino board with Zigbee stack support.

itchy n scratchy
itchy n scratchy
7 months ago

I dont know nordic’s bsp, but they are quite popular and pre certified modules are available for around 10$

But honestly I didn’t do zigbee since the cc2420/cc2530 maybe @cnx can point you to a suitable board he tested in the past

P.S for several of the nrf52 uC there are smartwatch OS, see also pinetime, maybe they also do zigbee??

Edgar Mondragon
7 months ago

This release demonstrates that Raspberry Pi is, by far, the best Marketing company in the development board industry.

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