Microcontroller boards based on the RP2040 chipset, the same SoC that powers the $4 Raspberry Pi Pico are becoming very popular among makers. Newer boards are popping up with extra features appearing on them, such as this 1.14 inch color display, the $10 LILYGO T-Display spotted by CNX Software.
It's not the first such board, of course, with the Arducam Pico4ML pulling a similar trick - and with a resolution of 240×135 pixels it’s hardly HD - but it comes in at just under $10 with the RP2040 board attached. Along with the ST7789V SPI controller needed to run the screen, you get all the usual Pico accoutrements such as the dual-core Cortex M0+ processor, 2 x UART , 2 x SPI and 2 x I2C connections, along with a generous 4MB of flash storage. Power and data connectivity is via USB-C, a good choice of connector as it is now becoming the norm on maker boards. Where the LILYGO T-Display falls short is the GPIO. The board looks to be wider and a different pin layout to the traditional Raspberry Pi Pico, so creative hacking is required to connect accessories designed for the Pico.
There’s also support for powering the board, and its screen, with a battery thanks to a two-pin 1.25mm pitch JST connector - you get a connector cable in the package along with an expansion header. The board is programmable through MicroPython and C like any other Pico, and CNX speculates that Arduino support could be coming soon, thanks to the existence of an Arduino-liking ESP32 board by the same manufacturer with the same display. Right now CircuitPython support is unknown, but it won't be long until a member of the community ports CircuitPython to this board.
The LILYGO T-Display was available from AliExpress for $9.98, but at the time of writing appears to be out of stock.
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Ian Evenden is a UK-based news writer for Tom’s Hardware US. He’ll write about anything, but stories about Raspberry Pi and DIY robots seem to find their way to him.
Personally, I'd happily pay double not to have a Chinese board.Reply
Pretty much 100% that whatever you are writing that on has components or designs or manufacturing from China.pocketdrummer said:Personally, I'd happily pay double not to have a Chinese board.
kyzarvs said:Pretty much 100% that whatever you are writing that on has components or designs or manufacturing from China.
That doesn't mean I have to choose a Chinese board if I have an option to use something else. I can and do choose alternative products that are made in other countries.