Pimoroni Launches a Wealth of Raspberry Pi Pico Pack, Base Add-Ons — and Teases a Wi-Fi Pack, Too

From compact displays to RGB LED keypads, and a handy ESP32-powered Wi-Fi adapter, Pimoroni's gone heavy into the Pico ecosystem.

Pimoroni has jumped into the just-launched Raspberry Pi Pico ecosystem with both feet, announcing a raft of add-on boards ranging from RGB keypads to full-color displays — as well as a carrier to add support for its own Breakout Garden solderless hardware platform.

Launched earlier today, the Raspberry Pi Pico is the first product built around the in-house RP2040 microcontroller from Raspberry Pi. Pimoroni, along with Adafruit, Arduino, and SparkFun, already confirmed plans to build its own microcontroller development boards around the same RP2040 chip — but Pimoroni is also launching a surprisingly broad range of add-ons for the Pico itself.

The first of these is the Pico Breakout Garden Base, which adds six solder-free Breakout Garden ports for sensors, displays, and other external hardware in the company's range. The Pico Omnibus and Pico Decker, meanwhile, accept a Pico and allow the simultaneous use of two or four "packs" — the name chosen by Pimoroni for Pico add-ons that piggyback onto the board - respectively. The Pico Proto, meanwhile, is a proto-board add-on for custom circuit design, while the Pco Explorer Base offers a solderless breadboard along with a 240x240 IPS LCD, two Breakout Garden ports, a buzzer, two half-bridge motor drivers, and four switches.

The company is also launching Pico variants of many of its existing add-on board designs for other platforms: The Pico RGB Keypad Base adds a 4x4 keypad matrix with RGB LED lighting; the Pico Unicorn Pack adds a 7x16 matrix of RGB LEDs and four tactile buttons; the Pico Audio Pack offers an I2S stereo audio output with headphone amplifier; the Pico Scroll Pack has a 7x17 grid of white LEDs with four tactile switches; and the Pico Display Pack adds a 1.14" full-color IPS LCD, four tactile switches, and an RGB LED.

Pimoroni has also confirmed the launch of the Pico VGA Demo Base, designed to showcase the best features of the RP2040 microcontroller. The add-on offers a 15-pin VGA connector for video, I2S and PWM audio outputs, an SD card slot, three user switches, and a reset switch. Finally, the company has teased a Wireless Pack which will give the Raspberry Pi Pico Wi-Fi connectivity and a micro-SD slot via an Espressif ESP32 coprocessor, though has yet to release details on its features and specifications.

More information on the upcoming add-ons, as well as on Pimoroni's own Tiny 2040 minimal RP2040 microcontroller board, can be found on the Pimoroni website.

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