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HomeIoTThe New RP2040 Board from Arduino: Worth the $25 Price Tag?

The New RP2040 Board from Arduino: Worth the $25 Price Tag?



A brief look into Arduino’s new Nano Board

On 17th May, Arduino announced their new board to compete with Raspberry Pico board. Arduino had long enjoyed the monopoly in the MCU market, But with Raspberry Pi and ESP32 Cornering their market. Arduino has launched the supercharged version!.

Missing the new trend moving towards MicroPython, Arduino is back in the game with launch of Nano. This Board includes both Pico and ESP32.The Arduino Nano RP2040 Connect is the latest addition to the Arduino family of modular and easily-adaptable platforms. This new chip comes with a suite of connectivity peripherals, an additional microphone for voice enabled projects6 axis IMU that can be infinitely versatile in any application you have!
Plus this innovative board has castellated pads so it’s easy to work on your project without even soldering anything which makes it perfect if you’re just starting out or don’t know much about electronics yet!

Arduino Nano RP2040

Arduino Nano Connect Pinout & Specifications

Pinout diagram for Arduino Nano Connect.

Arduino Nano Connect Specs

Microcontroller Pi RP2040

●  RP2040 microcontroller chip designed by Raspberry Pi in the United Kingdom.
● Dual-core Arm Cortex M0+ processor, flexible clock running up to 133 MHz
● 264KB of SRAM, and 2MB of on-board Flash memory
● 26 × multi-function GPIO pins

WiFi + BLE Module

 ublox Nina-W102 smallest industrial Wi-Fi and Bluetooth module
 2.4Ghz Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n and dual-mode Bluetooth v4.2
• Powerful open CPU for advanced customer applications
• Small footprint and multiple antenna options
• Global certification

6-D Accelerometer & Gyroscope

Combined accelerometer and gyroscope Sensor

MEMS –Digital Micro Phone

MP34DT05 Digital MEMS Microphone

CryptoGraphic Module

Microchip ATECC608A Cryptographic Co-processor


Built-in LED pin 13
Digital I/O Pins 20
Analog Input Pins 8 
PWM pins 20 (Except A6, A7)
External interrupts 20 (Except A6, A7)

RP2040 Processor: The Heart of Arduino Nano Connect Board

Working with the Raspberry Pi Foundation is nothing short of a pleasure. The teams there make some incredible devices, and their first in-house silicon is no exception. These guys get it.

This system-on-a-chip is a 32-bit dual-core Arm Cortex-M0+ microcontroller, clocked at 133MHz and is powerful enough to run TensorFlow Lite. It’s young, but proving to be incredibly popular with makers, as well as electronics manufacturers. It’s going to be incredibly exciting to see how the Arduino community reacts to it. We can only imagine what you guys can achieve with the extra features of the Nano RP2040 Connect board.

         Raspberry Pi RP2040 Microcontroller Features

  • RP2040 microcontroller chip designed by Raspberry Pi in the United Kingdom
  • Dual-core Arm Cortex M0+ processor, flexible clock running up to 133 MHz
  • 264KB of SRAM, and 2MB of on-board Flash memory
  • Castellated module allows soldering direct to carrier boards
  • USB 1.1 with device and host support
  • Low-power sleep and dormant modes
  • Drag-and-drop programming using mass storage over USB
  • 26 × multi-function GPIO pins
  • 2 × SPI, 2 × I2C, 2 × UART, 3 × 12-bit ADC, 16 × controllable PWM channels
  • Accurate clock and timer on-chip
  • Temperature sensor
  • Accelerated floating-point libraries on-chip
  • 8 × Programmable I/O (PIO) state machines for custom peripheral support

U-blox® Nina W102: The Connectivity Module for Arduino Nano Connect

Nina W102 module

WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity is provided by ublox Nina W102 (U2) module. The internal PCB antenna in the module eliminates the need for an external antenna, This module is available at $5 at ublox. This WiFi/Bluetooth combo has a dual core Xtensa LX6 CPU inside(basically a ESP32), so ESP-32 can also be programmed independently of your RP2040.

  • Powered by ESP32
  • The smallest industrial Wi-Fi and Bluetooth modules
  • Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n and dual-mode Bluetooth v4.2
  •  Powerful open CPU for advanced customer applications
  • Small footprint and multiple antenna options
  • Pin compatible with other NINA modules
Chip insideESP32
Bluetooth, BLE & WiFi FCC CertifiedYES
Bluetooth output power EIRP [dBm]8dbm
Antenna TypeInternal
Wi-Fi 2.4/5 [GHz]/Throughput2.4Ghz/25Mbps
Wi-Fi output power EIRP [dBm]18dbm
Max Wi-Fi range [meters]400m/1300ft
Open CPU for embedded applicationsYES
ublox Nina W102

ST LSM6DSOX 6-axis IMU: Peripheral Sensor @ Arduino Nano Connect

Arduino Nano RP2040 Connect board has Integrated Accelerometer and Gyroscope Sensor with a dedicated machine learning core.

The LSM6DSOX is a ST Microelectronics Sensor, features sophisticated motion sensing that can detect orientation and gestures to empower application developers. This module is used in Android phones also to detect Orientation(Yes Pokémon-Go uses this!) . With these new capabilities, you’ll be able customize your device’s interface with just a gesture of the hand!.LSM6DSOX event-detection enables.

  • Efficient and reliable motion tracking
  • Contextual awareness
  • Hardware recognition of free-fall events
  • 6D orientation,
  • Click and double-click sensing, activity or inactivity,
  • Stationary/motion detection and wakeup events.

MP34DT05-MEMS Digital Microphone: Sensor-2 @Arduino Nano Connect

Arduino Zero PDM Microphone

MP34DT05-A is an ultra-compact, low power, omnidirectional digital MEMS microphone built with a capacitive sensing element and MIC interface.MP34DT05-A features a dedicated circuit design that provides for 64dB of distortion free signal to noise ratio in PDM format; -26 dBFS ±3 db sensitivity through the signature CMOS process which manufactures IC’s.

  • Enhanced ESD protection
  • Low distortion
  • High SNR
  • PDM output
  • Standard package form factor
  • Single-supply voltage
  • Low power consumption
  • AOP: 122.5 dBSPL
  • 64 dB signal-to-noise ratio
  • Omnidirectional sensitivity of -26 dBFS ±3 dB sensitivity
  • Low power consumption
  • AOP: 122.5 dBSPL
  • 64 dB signal-to-noise ratio
  • Omnidirectional sensitivity of -26 dBFS ±3 dB sensitivity
  • HCLGA package: top-port design, SMD-compliant

Microchip ATECC608A Cryptographic Co-processor

The ATECC608A is a cryptographic co-processor from the Microchip PIC24HJXX & dsPIC33HX family of microcontrollers. This device implements high security/high speed elliptic curve cryptography and has been designed according to FIPS 186-03 guidelines in order to provide an increased level of assurance required by many applications, such as financial systems or military communications.

  • The processor’s algorithm can be configured with key sizes from 128 bits up to 2048 bits, providing both excellent performance and flexibility
  • Key Importance: Authentication (a), Integrity Protection (d)
  • Non-volatile memory: Flash Memory Data Retention > 100 years
  • Cryptographic Key Size: Up to 2048-bit keys are
  • Step down converter

MP2322 : Capable Voltage and Power Regulator

The inability of Raspberry Pi Pico and ESP32 to drive multiple peripheral devices especially the Stepper Motors has been solved by Arduino with adding MP2322 IC. This module not only rectifies input voltage but also provides 1A current supply to GPIO pins while being a very compact solution that achieves continuous output of up-to 1000 mA at 5Vin overvoltage protection, short-circuit protection, thermal shutdown circuit for full rated load operation

The MP2322 is a synchronous, rectified stepdown switch mode converter which contains built in power MOSFETs and offers an efficient way of providing consistent currents ranging from 10mA through 100MA (0.5 A) on its outputs as well as input voltage regulation down

  • Wide 3V to 22V Operating Input Range
  • 5µA Low IQ
  • 1A Load Current
  • 260mΩ/120mΩ RDS(ON) Internal Power MOSFETs
  • High Efficiency from 100µA to 1A Load during VIN from 4V to 22V
  • Power-Save Mode (PSM) in Light-Load Condition
  • 1.25MHz Fixed Switching Frequency during CCM
  • TON Extension to Support Large Duty Cycles
  • Power Good (PG) Indication
  • EN Shutdown Output Discharge
  • OCP and OVP and Hiccup
  • Output Adjustable from 0.6V
  • Available in a QFN-8 (1.5mmx2mm) Package

Arduino Nano RP2040 Connect vs Raspberry Pi Pico

+ ESP32 + Wi-Fi & BLE + Omnidirectional Microphone+ Accelerometer + Cryptographic Processor

Arduino Nano RP2040 vs ESP32

+ RP2040 + Wi-Fi & BLE + Omnidirectional Microphone + Accelerometer + Cryptographic Processor

Though I am little disappointed with the Technical and Coding Reference. The code has been given in C and their Arduino IDE. MicroPython official Support is yet to come!. Hope Arduino is listening to the developers pain and inclination too.

Cloud Connectivity Module

The new Arduino Nano Connect is the perfect addition to any edge cloud project with its 16MB of additional flash memory and 2MB RP2040 in built flash. It offers a large on-board storage area for high demand projects that need as much space as they can get, making it ideal for storing image data or working with machine learning AI and ML. As well, thanks to the built in connectivity module which supports AWS IoT Core MQTT services means connecting your device will be easier than ever before. Plus MicroPython makes writing platform-independent code easy, avoiding the need to compile/cross-compile and saving time!



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