Raspberry Pi announces the Pico W, a $6 microcontroller equipped with Wi-Fi

Raspberry Pi announces the Pico W, a $6 microcontroller equipped with Wi-Fi

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Raspberry Pi has introduced a successor to last year’s Pico, a $4 microcontroller based connected the RP2040 spot the institution designed itself. The caller exemplary is called the Pico W. It’s fundamentally the aforesaid hardware, but it adds, arsenic the sanction suggests, an 802.11n Wi-Fi radio, making it utile for putting unneurotic IoT projects and the like. It’s besides much costly than the modular Pico, coming successful astatine $6.

A 50 percent terms leap isn’t insignificant (especially if you program connected buying a ton of these), but it’s understandable wherefore the W mentation costs truthful overmuch much than the original. Raspberry Pi CEO Eben Upton told The Verge’s Nilay Patel that adding radios to products is precise expensive. “Just the vigor conformance for a modern Raspberry Pi merchandise is the champion portion of fractional a cardinal dollars,” helium said. The $4 Pico besides isn’t going away. If outgo is simply a large origin and you tin bash without web connectivity, you tin inactive get the little costly model.

The institution says it added wireless to the Pico utilizing an Infineon CYW43439 chip. Curiously, that spot besides supports Bluetooth, but Raspberry Pi says it’s not presently enabled. (Though it does hint that it’s astatine slightest considering enabling it successful the future.)

While there are accessories disposable to get your modular Pico attached to a network, they were importantly much costly and bulkier than having Wi-Fi built into the microcontroller itself — plus, they utilized up invaluable pins that could’ve been attached to different amusive accessories. The Pico W conscionable comes with it built in, and you tin adjacent usage it arsenic a drop-in replacement for a task based connected a modular Pico if you want.

The Pico W’s 2.4GHz 802.11n connectivity seems precise old-fashioned successful the days of Wi-Fi 6E, but it’s worthy noting that the Pico W isn’t made to beryllium a desktop computer that tin surf the net — it’s built to power different electronics oregon hardware devices. Now, though, it tin bash that portion sending accusation backmost and distant implicit a network. As an example, the regular Pico could fto you power an array of LEDs with a power oregon button. You tin inactive physique that with a Pico W, but you’d besides person the enactment of controlling the lights from your laptop.

The Pico H comes with pin connectors built in. Image: Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi besides announced 2 different Pico products: the Pico H and Pico WH. They’re the aforesaid arsenic the Pico and Pico W, respectively, but they outgo a subordinate much and travel with pre-attached pin headers and a debug connector, whereas the basal versions conscionable person regular pad-like pins. Basically you’re paying to marque it easier to connect things, which volition beryllium worthy it for immoderate folks but not others. (Personally, I mightiness bargain the regular mentation conscionable to springiness myself an excuse to get successful much soldering practice.) The H is disposable today, portion the WH volition beryllium disposable successful August.

In its property release, Raspberry Pi says that radical looking to experimentation with hardware person flocked to the Pico arsenic the semiconductor shortage makes it hard to find chips. While the institution promises it has plans to marque “tens of millions more” Picos, it has been hit, too: anyone who’s precocious tried to bargain its much analyzable computers, similar the Raspberry Pi 4, knows that uncovering it successful banal tin beryllium difficult. Currently, though, the Pico, Pico W, and Pico H are each disposable connected respective sites, specified arsenic The Pi Hut and Pimoroni. Adafruit and Cytron person pages for the Pico W and accidental they’ll beryllium disposable to bid soon.