Raspberry Pi Pico W to get Bluetooth LE support very soon

The Raspberry Pi Pico W board was launched with a WiFi 4 and Bluetooth 5.2 LE module based on the Infineon CYW43439 wireless chip in June 2022, and I wrote a tutorial showing how to connect to WiFi a few days after the launch, but nothing about Bluetooth LE.

That’s because while the Raspberry Pi Pico W hardware supports Bluetooth LE, we were told that Bluetooth was not enabled at the time, but might be at a later stage. The good news comes from Alasdair Allan, who is responsible for the Raspberry Pi documentation, saying Bluetooth LE support is scheduled for the upcoming 1.5.0 release of the Pico C SDK.

Raspberry Pi Pico W Bluetooth LE

There’s currently an open ticket on GitHub for Bluetooth support added to the 1.5.0 milestone. At the time of writing, there are 14 open issues for the 1.5.0 milestone with no due date, but Alistair expects to see support publically released this month.

It’s unclear whether that means the Pico C SDK will be released this month, or just initial support for Bluetooth (LE) will be submitted this month. That’s still good news, as it would bring the Raspberry Pi Pico W’s capability closer to boards based on the ESP32 WiFi and Bluetooth SoC. I can’t find any support for Bluetooth on MicroPython just yet.

Note that Bluetooth has been supported on other Raspberry Pi RP2040 boards for a while, for example, Arduino provides documentation to connect two Nano RP2040 Connect boards over BLE using an Arduino sketch. That was possible because the ESP32-based Nina W102 uBlox module found in the board was already supported in the Arduino IDE, while the Infineon CYW43439 requires some more work to be added to the Pico C SDK.

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João Pedro
João Pedro
28 days ago

Why exactly the Bluetooth was not enabled by default on the Raspberry Pi Pico since the beginning then?

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