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uPesy RP2040 DevKit

The uPesy RP2040 DevKit board is based on the same RP2040 chip as the Raspberry Pi Pico. For history, the Raspberry Pi foundation has launched in early 2021 in the world of microcontrollers with its Raspberry Pi PICO board. This news once again surprised everyone, mainly since it relies on the RP2040 microcontroller developed by the Raspberry Pi foundation.

upesy RP2040 DevKit board - Raspberry Pi Pico clone

uPesy RP2040 DevKit Board

Pinout:

Simplified version

This version, suitable for beginners, presents the pins features.

Full version

upesy rp2040 devkit full pinout

Complete pinout of the uPesy RP2040 Devkit board

Note

The uPesy RP2040 DevKit board is not pin-to-pin compatible with the Raspberry Pi Pico.

Characteristics

Here are the uPesy RP2040 Devkit board specs: Most of them come from the RP2040 chip designed by Raspberry Pi in the UK.

For their first microcontroller, the performance is impressive:
  • ARM Cortex M0 + 32-bit dual-core microprocessor clocked up to 133 MHz: Thanks to the 2 cores, you can actually run 2 programs in parallel. With the addition of a CPU clock of up to 133 MHz, the uPesy RP2040 can perform up to 16x more instructions than an Arduino Uno in the same amount of time.

  • 264 KB of SRAM memory and 2 MB of onboard Flash memory or 132x more RAM and 64x more Flash memory than the Arduino Uno.

  • Native USB 1.1 support: There is no longer an intermediate chip for dialogue between the computer and the microcontroller, unlike the Arduino and ESP32. It is, therefore, straightforward to put a compiled program on the uPesy RP2040 board since it is detected as a simple USB stick.

  • The uPesy RP2040 board exposes 30 multi-function GPIO pins , 4 pins more than the original Pi Pico. Indeed, on the Pi Pico, specific pins are used internally on the board: to measure specific voltages and manage the power supply, for example. The choice here was to expose as many GPIO pins as possible.

  • Different peripherals : 2xUART, 2xSPI, 2xI2C, 16 independent PWM channels, 4x12-bit ADC (only 3 analog inputs on the Pi Pico)

  • 8 state machines on programmable inputs/outputs (PIO) to create custom peripherals. You can configure hardware logic blocks with additional peripherals: UART, SPI, I2S, or even a rudimentary VGA driver. These features are intended for the most advanced.

  • Different operating modes to limit energy consumption.

Note

Processor VS microcontroller:

Classic Raspberry Pi boards (RPI 3B +, RPI 4, RPI Zero) are boards based on processors : they are nano-computers which need an operating system (Linux or Windows) to work. They can be used as a conventional computer and have GPIO pins to interact with external electronic circuits.

A microcontroller comprises a microprocessor and a multitude of peripherals: RAM memory, Input / Output pins, UART bus, SPI, I2C, etc. The uPesy RP2040 DevKit board is based like the Arduino or the ESP32 on a microcontroller . It has much less computing power but is more reliable and easier to use for interacting with GPIO (Input / Output) pins and low-level programming. There is no OS on it.

Recommendations for use

Voltage tolerance of pins

  • The RP2040 is a microcontroller that operates on 3.3V. The logic levels are therefore 0 and 3.3V and not 0 and 5V. The maximum output voltage of the GPIO pins is therefore 3.3V, and the maximum input voltage is also 3.3V.

  • The voltage measured by the analog to digital converter should not exceed 3.3V either (and, of course, should not be negative either).

Note

Most modules and sensors can operate with logic levels of 3.3V, but if this is not the case, level shifters (or possibly voltage divider bridges) will be necessary to go from a voltage of 3.3V to 5V and vice versa.

Warning

Since the RP2040 was not intended to receive 5V on its GPIO pins, they can be damaged if exposed to this voltage for too long. In practice, short exposure to a voltage of 5V on its pins will not be fatal to it, but it may be in the very long term. So be careful.

Powering the uPesy RP2040 board

There are several ways to power the uPesy RP2040 DevKit board:
  • The simplest is via the 5V USB connector, by connecting the board to a computer or to an external battery (power bank). We can then use the 5V and 3.3V pins to power an electronic assembly.

    Note

    Remember to take a USB cable that transmits data to communicate with the computer.

  • You can also power the board directly by imposing a voltage of about 5V on the VIN pin by an external power supply and by connecting the power supply’s ground to the GND pin. The input voltage on the VIN pin must be between 3.4V and 6.5V to avoid destroying the 3.3V regulator on the board.

Warning

To avoid possible damage and malfunctions, never connect the uPesy RP2040 board simultaneously via the USB and via the VIN pin.

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