Pimoroni to Release RP2040 Breakout for Maker Projects

(Image credit: Chris Parrott / Pimoroni)

It has been Mere days since the Pi Foundation announced the availability of Raspberry Pi Pico RP2040 'Pi Silicon' in standalone chips and makers around the world are laying down their $1 for access to the dual core Arm Cortex M0+ and wondering how to use it in a project. Pimoroni, partners in the RP2040 project seem to be working on an RP2040 breakout board, named PGA2040, that provides access to all of the GPIO pins for those wishing to embed the RP2040 into their projects.

(Image credit: Pimoroni)

PGA2040 looks to be a breakout board that enables access to all of the GPIO pins using standard "jumper jerky" wires. We can only see the top side of the board, but we noticed GPIO pin labels and the Pimoroni pirate logo which identified this as an "official" board. In a screenshot shared via Pimoroni employee Chris Parrott we can see the PGA2040 being tested with CircuitPython 6.2 and it looks like we have the full compliment of GPIO pins.


(Image credit: Chris Parrott / Pimoroni)

We reached out to Pimoroni for confirmation.

"The PGA2040 is a fairly minimal breakout for the RP2040 with standard 2.54mm (0.1") headers in a Pin Grid Array. It's intended for the most svelte and embeddable of projects, so you'll have to add your own USB to program it, but that also makes it great for your own creations. The crystal and all essential support circuits are included, as well as the cutest little pin labels in the known 'verse, because space is tight on this board," said Paul Beech, Pimoroni co-founder.

We also learnt that PGA2040 will come with 48 GPIO pins, 8MB QSPI flash and the crystal necessary to get everything working.

So what does this mean? Well it looks as though we will have an RP2040 breakout which can be plugged into projects just like an old 486 CPU. This means that you can design your own circuit board to use the RP2040, and we have already seen an example of this via Pimoroni employee Chris Parrott, who has designed a personal project, a six wheeled robot PCB based upon the PGA2040.

This isn't the first re-implementation of the RP2040 chip, Arturo182's RP2040 Stamp follows a similar approach, but instead of a PGA it is designed to be soldered to a project.

How much will the PGA2040 cost and when can we buy one? That is still unclear but we can't wait to get our hands on one.

Les Pounder

Les Pounder is an associate editor at Tom's Hardware. He is a creative technologist and for seven years has created projects to educate and inspire minds both young and old. He has worked with the Raspberry Pi Foundation to write and deliver their teacher training program "Picademy".