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Thread: Raspberry Pi Pico

  1. #101
    Senior Member+ Frank B's Avatar
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    Arduino has announced a board with RP2040 + Wifi + Bluetooth ("NINA")
    Heise says, it is this module: https://www.u-blox.com/en/product/ni...eries-open-cpu , and that it uses an ESP32.

  2. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank B View Post
    Arduino has announced a board with RP2040 + Wifi + Bluetooth ("NINA")
    I’m genuinely not surprised by this!

    Perhaps Paul should be on the phone to the RaspberryPi foundation, we might see a TeensyPi based on an M4 variant

  3. #103
    Senior Member+ defragster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank B View Post
    Arduino has announced a board with RP2040 + Wifi + Bluetooth ("NINA")
    Heise says, it is this module: https://www.u-blox.com/en/product/ni...eries-open-cpu , and that it uses an ESP32.
    That looks interesting - with 9DOF IMU, MIC and the ESP32 (LX6 = 240 MHz dual-core Xtensa LX6) for radio - and planning Arduino support for the RP2040 ... four cores on one board - LOTS of unused I/O pins between the two MCU's with 30 edge pins shown.

  4. #104
    I'm waiting for the Raspberry Pi Foundation to add BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) to the Pico.

    Maybe an idea for Teensy?

  5. #105
    Senior Member+ defragster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigpilot View Post
    I'm waiting for the Raspberry Pi Foundation to add BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) to the Pico.

    Maybe an idea for Teensy?
    Paul noted recently he's watching NXP offerings. They acquired a radio aware company - but have yet to integrate it into something usable it seems.

    > "NXP to acquire Marvell’s WiFi and Bluetooth Connectivity Assets May 29, 2019"

  6. #106
    Senior Member+ Frank B's Avatar
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    They already have a lot of different chips: https://www.nxp.com/products/wireles...WIFI-BLUETOOTH

  7. #107
    Senior Member+ defragster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank B View Post
    They already have a lot of different chips: https://www.nxp.com/products/wireles...WIFI-BLUETOOTH
    Indeed they should - but Paul's comment not too many weeks back was to the effect of he's been looking but not seen anything released that didn't have some issue ... IIRC ???

  8. #108
    Senior Member+ Frank B's Avatar
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    I think the main problem is, if you want to make sense of this, you need multitasking.
    The advantage of NINA is, it has a dedicated CPU(ESP) and the software for the ESP already exists, and is stable enough to work in millions of chips. They are everywhere.
    I have a WiFi "IOT" power socket - inside ESP.... was less than 10€
    Hoewver, this thing should be forbidden. When it's "Off", there is enough current to light the LEDs of a christmas tree..

    Edit: Oh, NO: I loaded a Datasheet. The NXP Chips have a CPU inside. UART, SDIO and PCM (Audio?) interface... 54MBit (ok, a little low but I don' think you need more on a microcontroller) 2.4+5GHz
    So multitasking is not *that* important..(would be good, though)
    Last edited by Frank B; 01-25-2021 at 10:33 PM.

  9. #109
    Senior Member+ Frank B's Avatar
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    Back to Topic:
    My Picos arrived today.
    Did not do anything with them. But I read how to setup a Windows environment.
    Phew.. not that easy for a beginner who had never done anything with programming etc.. I bet most of them will fail.

  10. #110
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    Phew.. not that easy for a beginner who had never done anything with programming etc.. I bet most of them will fail.
    Yes, this is what I thought as well when I read through the API. CMAKE is beautiful but I don't believe it will work out for the masses. I think that the main use case will be Python. Curious how Arduino will integrate the board into the IDE...

  11. #111
    Senior Member+ defragster's Avatar
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    Having a view of dual core build will be interesting to see if something different than RTOS on ESP's and NRF's.

    So much work on Python - the intro book at the ready for Python with Linux steps for rPi. One prior note was Python only single core so far? There is the rPi and AdaF version ... not sure if both only single core so far?

    No defined easy 'c' support not nice for mass buying ... Should evolve soon with AdaF and SFun both doing extra RP2040 boards - now Arduino ... article makes it sound like they were late to the party and 'just heard'?

    SFun said 900+ on order the other day ... today it says :: Note:We have 2690 incoming. We do not have an estimated date yet.

  12. #112
    Quote Originally Posted by PaulStoffregen View Post
    Personally, I don't tend to think of the microcontroller market and dev boards as a war or conflict.

    And yeah, since the beginning with Teensy 1.0 in 2008, the situation has always been that you could get cheaper boards but Teensy offered higher performance (back then, almost nobody offered native USB, and those who did had horribly low-level software).
    Pardon my ignorance, what market is the Teensy considered to be on? I know the Teensy boards are considered dev boards, and having the bootloader chips available puts it in the micro-controller market as well?

  13. #113
    Senior Member PaulS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luni View Post
    Yes, this is what I thought as well when I read through the API. CMAKE is beautiful but I don't believe it will work out for the masses. I think that the main use case will be Python. Curious how Arduino will integrate the board into the IDE...
    I agree. Last weekend I tried to install the Pico C/C++ SDK on a Raspberry Pi 4 to see if the Visual Studio Code environment would work for me. Well, it didn't.
    After fiddling around I got VSC to start but I could not even get the Hello World example to compile. VSC/CMake kept throwing errors at me with messages that did not make sense to me. Pff, if even the most basic example is not working...kinda disappointing.

    So I'm done with that environment for now. I will start playing with MicroPython when the Pico's arrive.
    Hopefully the Raspberry Pi Pico's will be supported in the future by the Arduino IDE as well.

    Paul

  14. #114
    Senior Member+ defragster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tyzjames View Post
    Pardon my ignorance, what market is the Teensy considered to be on? I know the Teensy boards are considered dev boards, and having the bootloader chips available puts it in the micro-controller market as well?
    Found a quote on he web: "Simply put, Teensy is a brand of microcontroller development boards created by PJRC and designed by the co-owner, Paul Stoffregen."

    Teensy is an Arduino compatible microcontroller in a small form factor. Using Arduino or other it can be whatever you can make of it: Prototype or development using the onboard microcontroller to its full potential built and supported on a c/c++ toolchain that happens to be Arduino compatible. The available bootloader chips just allow the user to refactor the PCB into a production environment with full Teensy functionality and programability.


    @PaulS - just went back a couple of pages to my VSC post and it wasn't helpful as it is for programming the rPi's not the PICO's - so my search for was void.

    Looking now I find this 267 page datasheets.raspberrypi.org/pico/sdk/pico_c_sdk.pdf as one link from github.com/raspberrypi/pico-sdk

    Another link to datasheets.raspberrypi.org/pico/getting_started_with_pico.pdf does show setting up the SDK with a note before showing VSCode:
    Code:
    While the main supported platform for developing for the RP2040 is the Raspberry Pi, support for other platforms, such as
    Apple macOS and Microsoft Windows, is available.
    So if following notes for building on rPi failed - building on Windows is 'available' ????

  15. #115
    Senior Member PaulS's Avatar
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    Hi Tim,
    I followed getting_started_with_pico.pdf to the letter, so I got VSCode up & running. There was a hickup that the SDcard was full during installation [had to expand it to the full 64GB] - but no such message during install.
    Then the hello_world example complained:
    Code:
    /**
     * Copyright (c) 2020 Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
     *
     * SPDX-License-Identifier: BSD-3-Clause
     */
    
    #include <stdio.h>
    #include "pico/stdlib.h"
    
    int main() {
        stdio_init_all();
        while (true) {           // compilation error, had to change "true" to "1"?
            printf("Hello, world!\n");
            sleep_ms(1000);
        }
        return 0;
    }
    But even after correcting that one, there still was 1 cryptic and persistent CMake error left which I could not get rid off, so I gave up. Can't recall the exact error anymore, sorry.

    Yeah, I *may* try the Windows install when I'm in the mood. I'm not a professional coder and never felt the need to work with make files.

    Paul

  16. #116
    Senior Member+ defragster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulS View Post
    Hi Tim,
    I followed getting_started_with_pico.pdf to the letter, so I got VSCode up & running. There was a hickup that the SDcard was full during installation [had to expand it to the full 64GB] - but no such message during install.
    ...
    Yeah, I *may* try the Windows install when I'm in the mood. I'm not a professional coder and never felt the need to work with make files.

    Paul
    If 'Hello World' was easy then everyone would do it

    'true' .... err I mean '1'

    Well - software is always updatable AFTER the hardware ships. With some thousands out all of a sudden the 'CMake' or alternative should get worked out quickly. ... hopefully the hardware is better done for more than just python ...

  17. #117
    Senior Member PaulS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by defragster View Post
    If 'Hello World' was easy then everyone would do it
    That quote made my day, haha!!

  18. #118
    Senior Member+ Frank B's Avatar
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    Dito !!

  19. #119
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    Sorry to jump in the discussion, but I would like to give my 5c regarding the Pico, Pi foundation and Teensy.

    As someone new to the Teensy ecosystem, and without much embedded background (besides general CS courses and a fascination for retro computing) but with enough programming knowledge to have a a successful career as a game developer (with both in house C++ engines and, nowadays, Unity) I must say that getting into Teensy development is not trivial if you want more than just connecting the provided libraries with a patina of glue code.

    I think what Pi realized early on is that two things are crucial for broad market appeal (besides throwing lots of money into marketing): community and documentation.

    I feel Teensy has enough community to support itself, but when it come to documentation I find it lacking. I think in part is because the chosen path of microcontroller brand. I find NXP documentation hard to swallow. I am trying to get my head around FlexIO for some time now, and while I am making progress little by little, the amount of effort is considerable. If you compare this to the PIO feature of the pico, you can see how good documentation makes a big difference.

    The target of Teensy might be a more "hardcore" audience, but still, I feel is wrong to let forums be the informal documentation around the product. I see with both a mix of dismay and excitement the future plans of having a dual core processor for Teensy 4.x and after that, yet another architecture (with vector operations hardware support, yeay!) for Teensy 5.

    It seems just yesterday that Teensy 4.1 was released, and I would much prefer to stick with the current controller (with maybe a new board layout exposing a different set of pins and features) for a while, so its untap potential can be to put to good use by the community instead of chasing the next-big-shinny-thing (TM). And I feel this can only happen if there is a big effort towards documentation.

    Finally, regarding the 1000+ pages of datasheet from NXP + many books on ARM assembly programming, there is value in documenting the microcontroller from a more pedagogic and teensy specific point of view. It would be way better if the whole product is documented under one roof, with a consistent quality and approachability.

  20. #120
    Senior Member+ KurtE's Avatar
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    Good morning all,

    As I think I mentioned, I screwed up my order and forgot to hit the final place the order at Sparkfun after the paypal stuff... So it will be awhile before I can order any.

    Will be interesting to see how well they work. Actually the Arduino one looks a little more interesting.

    cmake - It has been awhile since I did anything with it. Mainly only used with ROS and usually hated it. Yes it has lots of interesting things it can do, but if I remember correctly everything is more less hard coded once you run cmake. So for example you move files around nothing works anymore. But again it has been awhile!

    @glasskows - I also understand what you are saying. But then when I remember that PJRC is mostly a 2 person operation (especially right now), I am amazed how much stuff Paul and Robin can get done! From deciding on a product, designing the hardware, plus the hardware test fixtures and the like, plus work through production issues, like making sure they have all of the parts they need. Plus testing the hardware and ship out all of their orders along with taking care of larger orders and working with the vendors like Sparkfun, Adafruit, ...

    And in their spare time develop the majority of the software, plus website and answer questions up here on the forum.

    I enjoy working with smaller companies like this where the owners are totally involved.

    For awhile I was doing a project using the Intel Edison, and the plus side was they had more support staff, of people maybe answer questions on forum, documents, and the like. Downside was if you ran into an issue, you never actually communicated with the developers. Maybe a support staff will give a few suggestions, and then tell you to file a bug report. You file the report which sort of goes off to never never land. Maybe 4-6 months later they issue a new release and if you are lucky your bug report number maybe mentioned in the things addressed, but typically not what the fix was and several times, it was worse off. So much nicer here as all of the sources are available and you can ask questions and often one or more members up here will be able to point you to the issue. Sometimes it is a bug, which hopefully is addressed reasonably quickly and often with requests to verify it fixed the problem.

    And I know I am probably one of the worst ones for wanting to do documentation of my own stuff... After all I am retired! But who knows maybe at some point I will get inspired and maybe better document one or more libraries.

  21. #121
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    @KurtE - I hope my msg didn't sound too harsh. I really like Teensy, this little board has give me so many hours of fun and learning. My whole point is that I think Teensy could win some more traction if the documentation was better. As I lack any details on how pjrc does economically, my request just comes from a self interested point of view and from doing lots of assumptions. If there isn't an economic incentive in creating better documentation, I would love to help patreon the effort if anyone is interested

    About cmake... I stopped using make (and other build automation systems) a long time ago, because for smaller/mid projects it seems there is no benefit. I remember in the old days you used it to prevent recompiling source code to reduce the compilation times. But with nowadays hardware and with a little care of your dependencies, compiling hundreds of source file should not take more than a few seconds. So for me is just simpler to have a long list of .c files that are compiled every time.

  22. #122
    Senior Member+ defragster's Avatar
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    Not going to order just to try a PICO - but AdaFruit emailed the RP2040 PICO is back in stock.

    If they show up before SparkFun order is placed it might be worth $40 ...

  23. #123
    Senior Member PaulStoffregen's Avatar
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    Yes, we do need more & better documentation.

  24. #124
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    Does anybody has clear figures of actual power consumption, for the Pico?
    I know, I seem to be the only one around here who cares a lot about power consumption , but for me that's very important indeed.
    For my little battery powered devices, more often than not an M0 "running" at 1 MHz is even overpowered; but I can't withstand 100s of milliwatts while running or a few milliwatts while sleeping. This means just a few hours on a small battery.
    They mention "6 milliwatts while sleeping". That would be outrageous.
    Still hoping for an ultra-low-power Teensy ala "LC ULP"

  25. #125
    Senior Member PaulS's Avatar
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    There is power consumption info in the Pico datasheet. Additionally in the RP2040 datasheet.

    Paul

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