The Serpent

// Cursing the Internet since 1998

The Pi Pico W

Getting mighty, while staying tiny
Posted July 3, 2022 Hardware Home automation

Exciting news in the world of micro-controllers for under £6! Raspberry Pi have released a WiFi enabled version of their successful (and tiny!) Pi Pico.

The Pi Pico was released in 2021, and sported a whopping 264KB RAM. The W edition released this year is the same specification. While it’s not likely to be running Django or WordPress anytime soon, the inclusion of 2.4Ghz WiFi does give many new uses.

Available internationally from 30th June, Raspberry Pi have done a very good job of avoiding the chip shortage woes plaguing the industry, and there appears to be large quantities of stock across the usual UK suppliers such as Cool Components and The Pi Hut.

Pi Pico W

The physical layout of the pins remains the same, so for those who have 3D printed custom cases or purchased them online, there’s no need to change for the Pico W, everything is where it was before.

WiFi Performance

Generally, the hardware specs for this chip will provide no more than 8 - 10mbps. Which is surprisingly fast for such a small board, however there’s a couple of other bottlenecks to consider, such as power saving mode and the limited amount of RAM. I’ll be doing some throughput tests as soon as it arrives.

ESPHome Integration

And just when you thought this little gem couldn’t get any cooler - ESPHome have announced they are building support to allow flashing of controller code directly from their Home Assistant module - allowing effectively Micro Python code to be compiled on the fly and pushed over the air.

Pi Pico W

Overall, very little has been sacrificed to gain WiFI, with all the usual pinout capabilities still present. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on one, and and already thinking of interesting use cases such as remote lighting controllers or even more temperature sensors!

The Pi Pico W
Posted July 3, 2022
Written by John Payne