Arduino has officially launched its first Raspberry Pi RP2040-based board, the Nano RP2040 Connect, blending the features of Raspberry Pi's first in-house silicon with a u-blox NINA-W102 radio module, inertial measurement unit, microphone, and 16MB of flash — all in an Arduino Nano form factor.
Launched earlier this year, the Raspberry Pi RP2040 — the company's first-ever microcontroller and first product of its in-house application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) team — arrived on board the Raspberry Pi Pico microcontroller development board. In a departure from the norm, though, Raspberry Pi indicated it was to make the chip available for third parties to design products around — and Arduino was one of the first out of the gate with a confirmed design, the Nano RP2040 Connect.
While it has been beaten to market by rival devices, the Nano RP2040 Connect is now here — and it promises to add a wealth of features to the core functionality of the RP2040: A dual-core Arm Cortex-M0+ microcontroller running at up to 133MHz within official specifications and 240MHz or more outside spec, 264kB of RAM, and eight programmable input/output (PIO) state machines — giving the chip considerable flexibility for defining new peripherals.
To these core specifications, the Nano RP2040 Connect upgrades the external flash to an impressive 16MB while adding a six-degrees-of-freedom (6DoF) inertial measurement unit (IMU) and an on-board microphone — with both sensors boasting "AI smarts" for artificial intelligence at the edge. Wireless connectivity, meanwhile, comes courtesy of a u-blox NINA-W102 radio module with Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2, and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) support — and offering full compatibility with the Arduino Cloud platform.
The breadboard-friendly Nano form factor breaks out 20 digital input/output pins, all of which support pulse-width modulation and hardware interrupts, along with eight analog inputs. Power and data is provided on a micro-USB port, while a Microchip ATECC608A-MAHDA-T coprocessor offers a secure element and authentication capabilities. The board also uses the same castellated pin headers as the Raspberry Pi Pico, meaning it can have pins soldered into place or be surface-mounted on a carrier board as a module.