The Raspberry Pi Foundation struck a goldmine when it launched the Pico microcontroller last January. This small Audino-like board is perfect for IoT and robotics projects, and it can even run DOOM. But now, a new variation of the Pi Pico adds customers’ most-requested feature—wireless capabilities.
Now available for just $6, the Raspberry Pi Pico W uses an Infineon CYW43439 wireless chip for Wi-Fi support. This enables wireless internet support, which is particularly useful for IoT projects. Notably, the CYW43439 chip also supports Bluetooth 5.2 and Bluetooth LE, though these features aren’t enabled at launch.
Aside from its wireless capabilities, the Pico W is basically identical to the original Pico. It runs on the RP2040 processor and uses an annoying (but cheap) Micro USB B port for power. Two GPIO pins (LED and SWD debug) have new locations, but that’s about it.
We’re also getting the new Pico H, which is just a standard Pico board with pre-populated headers and the new 3-pin debug connector. The Pi Foundation will launch a wireless version of this pre-populated board, called the Pico WH, in the coming months. (The Pico H costs $5, while the Pico WH costs $7.)
Like the original Pico, the new Pico W supports MicroPython and C++ languages. Those who write in C++ will need the updated SDK to use wireless features on the Pico W microcontroller. And MicroPython fans need the updated UF2 image (this link starts a download) with networking support.