The Raspberry Pi Foundation hit a gold mine when it released the Pico microcontroller last January. This little Audino-like board is perfect for IoT and robotics projects, and can even run CONDEMN. But now, a new variation of the Pi Pico adds the feature most requested by customers: 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, although these features are not 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 (debug LED and SWD) have new locations, but that’s about it.
We’re also getting the new Pico H, which is just a standard Pico board with preloaded headers and the new 3-pin debug connector. The Pi Foundation will release a wireless version of this preloaded board, called the Pico WH, in the coming months. (The Pico H is $5, while the Pico WH is $7.)
Like the original Pico, the new Pico W supports MicroPython and C++ languages. Those writing in C++ will need the updated SDK to use the wireless features on the Pico W microcontroller. And MicroPython fans need the updated UF2 image (this link starts a download) with network support.
You can order the Raspberry Pi Pico W and Pico H today from select resellers, including The Pi Hut. I suggest reading the Pico W datasheet if you want more information about the new board.