M5Stack Teases Raspberry Pi RP2040-Powered M5Pico Development Board

"Yes," the company confirms, "an M5Pico is on the way" — but just what features will the device include?

M5Stack has confirmed it is throwing its hat into the burgeoning Raspberry Pi RP2040 board ring, confirming plans to release a device based around the new microcontroller dubbed the M5Pico.

The RP2040, released earlier this year on the Raspberry Pi Pico microcontroller development board but also made available to purchase as a bare chip, has generated considerable interest. A wealth of third-party RP2040-based boards have already hit the market, from Adafruit's ItsyBitsy RP2040 to the SparkFun RP2040 Thing Plus — and now M5Stack, which has made a name for itself through a family of easy-to-use modular development kits, is joining the fray.

The company confirmed its plans on Twitter, first posting an image of a pre-packaged Raspberry Pi Pico board with the caption "something arrived," then clarifying: "Yes, [an] M5Pico is on the way."

M5Stack has not, however, confirmed where the M5Pico - which, it can be surprised, will either act as a carrier board for the Raspberry Pi Pico or be powered by its own RP2040 microcontroller — will sit in its line-up. Previous launches have ranged from the larger M5Stack family to the more compact M5Stick — and, late last year, the range grew with the M5Paper and its touch-enabled 4.7" E Ink display.

As to what functionality the M5Pico will include, M5Stack is silent — though it can reasonably be expected to make use of the chip's general-purpose input/output (GPIO) capabilities, its PWM outputs, analog-to-digital converter, and the programmable input/output (PIO) state machines — which allow for simple hardware-defining programs to run independently of the chip's two Arm Cortex-M0+ CPU cores.

Interested parties should keep an eye on M5Stack's Twitter feed for more details.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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