Arduino launches first board based on RP2040 chip

18 May 2021
Arduino’s Nano RP2040 Connect board includes an embedded microphone, sensors and connectivity. Source: Arduino

Arduino has introduced a new programmable board based on the recently launched Raspberry Pi RP2040 chip.

Complete with an embedded microphone, sensors and connectivity, the Nano RP2040 Connect board brings a dual core to Arduino users and brings new capabilities such as clock, random access memory (RAM) and flash. The board can be used by early adopters or hobbyists and makers for a vast range of applications and skill levels as getting started is as easy as dragging and dropping a file.

However, the Nano RP2040 Connect could also be used by experienced professionals including micropython support as well as OpenMV free license included with the product for machine vision applications. The Wi-Fi chip is an ESP32 that can be reprogrammed as a coprocessor by advanced users to combine the RP2040 and ESP32 in a single board.

“No existing board combines the power of RP2040 with WiFi/BLE connectivity and the ease of use of the Arduino language and IDE,” said Alessandro Ranellucci, head of the maker division at Arduino. “Combined with the versatility of the Nano format, a very affordable price and the quality of the Arduino manufacturing we reached our goal of designing the next-generation ideal development platform for anyone.”

The Raspberry Pi RP2040 chip was developed with three goals in mind: high performance, flexible I/O and low cost. The chip ended up being a 2 sq mm device on 40 nm silicon using a dual-core Arm Cortex-M0+ processor, 264 KB of on-chip RAM, support for up to 16 MB of off-chip flash memory, DMA controller, interpolator and integer divider peripherals, 30 GPIO pins and 8x Raspberry Pi programmable I/O state machines.

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