Pico Wireless is an ESP32 add-on board for Raspberry Pi Pico

Raspberry Pi Pico Wireless

I understand hardware is cheap now, but the madness has to stop! Pimoroni Pico Wireless is an upcoming add-on board for Raspberry Pi Pico adding a MicroSD card and ESP32 WiFi & Bluetooth module. While it’s a nice idea to add wireless connectivity to Raspberry Pi Pico, ESP32 is a dual-core Xtensa LX6 processor clocked at 160 to 240 MHz with WiFi, Bluetooth, and plenty of I/Os that should be able to handle most tasks better than Raspberry Pi RP2040 dual-core Cortex-M0+ processor clocked at 48 MHz by default, although we’ve also seen it overclocked up to 252 MHz. As shown above, Pico Wireless is just a separate board connected to Raspberry Pi Pico over SPI through one of those “GPIO expander” boards, specifically Pico Omnibus. The prototype above features an ESP32-WROOM-32E module with 4 MB SPI flash, a PCB antenna for WiFI 4 and Bluetooth 4.2/5.x LE connectivity, as well as a MicroSD card slot. There’s also a user […]

Quad GPIO Expander for Raspberry Pi Pico adds battery, display module, sensors, etc…

Raspberry Pi Pico with OLED display, 18650 battery

People are normally using MCU boards for their low cost, low-power consumption, low price and/or real-time ability. The Raspberry Pi Pico is no exception, but if you don’t care about using a large board, Waveshare created a 177 x 62 mm “expander” board for the Raspberry Pi Pico that can take four modules. The company’s Quad GPIO Expander board includes a set of female headers for RPi Pico, and four sets of 2×20 male headers for extra modules that bring support for 14500 batteries, OLED displays, RTC, relays, and other compatible modules. The expansion board also has a Micro USB port for power, and to leave the Micro USB OTG port on the Raspberry Pi Pico for other purposes. Each header pin is clearly labeled, which could be useful if using some of the pins with jumper wires instead of modules. Waveshare has hundreds of different modules and somehow decided not to clearly list the ones that are compatible with […]

The Tiniest Raspberry Pi RP2040 Boards – Tiny 2040 & Adafruit QT Py RP2040

Smallest RP2040 boards

The Raspberry Pi Pico officially board for RP2040 MCU has a lot of free space on the PCB. So when third parties made their own board they either added features like camera, display, and sensors as found on like on Arducam Pico4ML board, while others “cut the fat” to the minimum. Some of the tiniest Raspberry Pi RP2040 boards are Pimoroni Tiny 2040 & Adafruit QT Py RP2040, both of which come with the dual-core Cortex-M0+ MCU, a USB-C port, two buttons, some I/O ports, and not much else. Tiny 2040 Pimoroni Tiny 2040 specifications: MCU – Raspberry Pi RP2040 dual-core Cortex-M0+ [email protected] up to 133Mhz with 264kB of SRAM Storage – 8MB QSPI flash USB – USB Type-C port for power, data, and programming I/Os – 2x 8-pin castellated and through holes for 12 I/Os pins including 4x analog inputs, SPI, I2C, UART, 5V, 3.3V, and GND Debugging – 3-pin SWD interface Misc – Boot and Reset buttons, user-programmable […]

Perf-V Beetle board features GAP8 multi-core RISC-V AI MCU

Perf-V Beetle board

GreenWaves Technologies introduced the GAP8 low-power RISC-V IoT processor optimized for artificial intelligence applications in 2018. The multi-core (8+1) RISC-V processor is especially suitable for image and audio algorithms including convolutional neural network (CNN) inference. The same year, the company launched the GAPUINO development kit that sold and (still sells) for $229 with QVGA camera and a multisensor board with four microphones, an STMicro VL53 Time of flight sensor, an IR sensor, a pressure sensor, a light sensor, a temperature & humidity sensor, and a 6-axis accelerometer/gyroscope. But there’s now a much more affordable solution to evaluate GAP8 multi-core RISC-V MCU with PerfXLab Perf-V Beetle board. Perf-V Beetle board specifications: MCU – GAP8 IoT Application Processor with 8x RISC-V compute cores, 1x RISC-V fabric controller core delivering up to 200 MOPS at 1mW and >8 GOPS at a few tens of mW System Memory – 64 Mbit SPI SRAM (LY68L6400SLIT) Storage – 128 Mbit SPI flash  (WS25Q128FVSIG) Audio – 4x […]

Olimex RP2040-PICO-PC “computer” to feature RP2040-Py Raspberry Pi Pico compatible module

RP2040-PICO-PC board

We previously wrote it was possible to create a Raspberry Pi RP2040 board with HDMI using DVI and programmable IOs to output video up to 640×480 at 60 Hz with the microcontroller’s Cortex-M0+ cores clocked at 252 MHz. At the time, we also noted Olimex was working on such a board with RP2040-PICO-PC designed to create a small Raspberry Pi RP2040 computer with HDMI/DVI video output.  The Bulgarian company has now manufactured the first prototype, but due to supply issues with the Raspberry Pi Pico board, they also designed their own RP2040-PICO module since they’ve got a reel of Raspberry Pi RP2040 microcontrollers. RP2040-PICO-PC small computer board Specifications: Support for Raspberry Pi Pico board Storage – MicroSD card Video Output – HDMI port with DVI signal (note no audio through this interface) Audio output – 3.5mm audio jack Expansion UEXT connector with UART, SPI, I2C, 3.3V, and GND to attach external modules or sensors from Olimex Grove compatible 4-pin JST2.0 […]

Semiconductors lead times in March 2021

As we previously mentioned previously there is a serious chip shortage that will lead to supply issues and higher prices for single board computers and other electronics products. A few days ago, Hardkernel had o increase the price for ODROID boards using DDR4 memory with increases of $3 to $4 for ODROID-N2+, ODROID-C4, and ODROID-HC4 boards. But besides price increase, some semiconductors will not be available at any price with extended periods as lead times of up to 52 weeks have been reported as shown in the table below, obtained from a trusted, anonymous source, which I have translated from Chinese. Every manufacturer is impacted, but items highlighted in red are severely impacted. Since include processors from Qualcomm, STMicroelectronics, and NXP, as well as Broadcom wireless chips which are found in nearly every SBC with WiFi or Bluetooth through Ampak modules. Here’s the source image in Chinese for reference. Jean-Luc Aufranc (CNXSoft)Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time […]

Sparkfun Thing Plus – Quicklogic EOS S3 Arm eFPGA board launched in Crowd Supply

Sparkfun Thing Plus Quicklogic EOS S3

SparkFun Electronics is a well-known electronics retailer that usually sells its in-house developed or third-party boards through its own online store. But this time around, the company decided to launch “Sparkfun Thing Plus – Quicklogic EOS S3” through Crowd Supply crowdfunding platform. The board is based on QuickFeather board designed with the same Quicklogic EOS S3 Arm Cortex-M4 plus embedded FPGA SoC, but follows Sparkfun’s Thing Plus form factor with a Qwiic connector and a different mix of sensors. Sparkfun Thing Plus – Quicklogic EOS S3 (QTPLUS-1.0) board specifications: SoC – QuickLogic EOS S3 MCU + eFPGA SoC with Arm Cortex-M4F Microcontroller up to 80 MHz, up to 512 Kb SRAM, and an embedded FPGA (eFPGA) with 2400 effective logic cells, 64 Kb RAM Storage – 16 Mbit SPI NOR flash (GigaDevice GD25Q16CEIGR) Sensors STMicro LIS2DH12TR accelerometer Digital pulse density modulation (PDM) microphone with Wake-on-Sound (WoS) feature: Vesper VM3011-U1 Expansion 20x Feather-designed GPIO, plus 14x extra GPIO, all with 2.54mm […]

Bluetrum AB32VG1 board features AB5301A Bluetooth RISC-V MCU, runs RT-Thread RTOS

Blueturm RISC-V board description

Bluetrum, a Shenzhen-based fabless company focusing on audio chips, has designed the AB32VG1 board based on its AB5301A Bluetooth RISC-V MCU for general-purpose and audio applications. The board comes with a MicroSD card, a USB port, a 3.5mm audio jack, and Arduino UNO compatible headers for easy prototyping. Bluetrum AB32VG1 board preliminary specifications: MCU – Bluetrum AB5301A RISC-V MCU @ 120 MHz (overclockable to 192 MHz) with 192KB RAM, 1MB flash, Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity and FM radio;  LQFP48 package Storage – MicroSD card slot Audio – 3.5mm audio jack, 3-pin microphone header Connectivity – Bluetooth 5.0 with PCB antenna USB – USB 2.0 host port, USB Type-C port for power and programming Expansion – Arduino UNO header with 1x I2C, 6x ADC, 6x PWM Misc – IR receiver, 3x user buttons, 1x reset button, RGB LED, power LED,  status LEDs, various configuration jumper Power Supply – 5V via USB Type-C or Vin pin on the expansion header Dimensions – 9×6 […]