Invector Labs Unveils the RPICO32 Module and Carrier, Pledges Arduino and CircuitPython Support

Priced at $6 a module, or $49 as a starter kit with 10 modules and a carrier board, the RPICO32 comes pre-certified and ready to build.

Invector Labs is preparing to launch a new board built around the popular Raspberry Pi RP2040 microcontroller, this time aiming to help integrate it into larger designs — by offering a compact module with microcontroller, Wi-Fi, and 8MB of flash.

"The module was developed jointly between us and one of our industrial customers," Invector Labs' Pontus Oldberg tells us of his company's latest creation, "and we have already shipped a few hundred units to them for their pre-series production so it has been good and properly tested. The module is basically in the same format as a ESP32 WROOM32 module, but instead includes an RP2040, 8MB flash, and an ESP8285 device for Wi-Fi connectivity."

The module, dubbed the RPICO32, is a follow-up to Invector Labs' first RP2040 board — itself a modification of its existing Challenger M0 WiFi, swapping out the Microchip SAM D21 for Raspberry Pi's in-house dual-core RP2040 microcontroller. Rather than a Feather-style layout, though, the RPICO32 uses a castellated format designed for surface mounting — with an on-board PCB antenna at the top for the Wi-Fi radio.

"We are also working on a high speed version of this concept using an onboard ESP32 which includes BLE [Bluetooth Low Energy] 5.2 as well," Oldberg adds. "The modules will be FCC and CE certified allowing users to quickly create commercial products with minimal time spent in certification labs."

The RPICO32 modules will be joined at launch by a carrier, designed to ease development and prototyping. "The devkit is a simple board that was developed for the sole purpose of being a carrier for the CE/FCC certification activities, so it is not as small and neat as other devkits," Oldberg explains.

"But it has the same functionality as one of our Challenger boards, so you can hook up a LiPO battery to power the unit from. And it gets you access to all the pins of the RPICO32 module. A current resistor also allows you to do power advanced measurements on the device."

The modules, meanwhile, will be fully supported by the existing RP2040 cores in the Arduino IDE, with a CircuitPython firmware currently in development. Naturally, programs can also be written using the official RP2040 software development kits (SDKs).

Mass production of the modules and carrier boards are due to begin early next month, with initial shipments to end users scheduled for mid-February at a $6 price point for the RPICO32 module and a developer's bundle offering 10 RPICO32 modules plus the carrier board at $49.

More information is due to be published shortly on the Invector Labs website.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire:
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