The Raspberry Pi Pico (opens in new tab) kind issue is one which’s simply begging to be copied, however Banana Pi has gone one higher and borrowed the title, too. The BPI-PicoW-S3, dropped at our consideration by CNX Software program (opens in new tab), is a brand new microcontroller board that options an ESP32-S3 dual-core chip, plus Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
Performing as a direct competitor to the brand new (Raspberry Pi) Pico W (opens in new tab), the (Banana Pi) PicoW runs sooner than its namesake, with a 240MHz dual-core Tensilica LX7 microcontroller with vector directions (vital for AI and sign processing workloads) and backed by 512kb of RAM. There’s 2MB of flash on board, plus Wi-Fi 4 and Bluetooth 5LE. Energy and knowledge are provided through a micro USB port. There is a tiny reset button, and the entire thing suits into the very same dimensions because the (Raspberry Pi) Pico, at 51x21mm (2×0.8in).
The ESP32-S3 from Expressif Techniques contains a pair of 32bit cores and a ULP core for low-power modes. Wi-Fi is proscribed to the two.4GHz band, however the Bluetooth implementation contains long-range assist with a knowledge price of as much as 2Mbps. It has 44 programmable GPIOs, although solely 27 can be found through pinout, the identical because the Raspberry Pi Pico, whereas as much as 14 will be configured for capacitive contact enter, assuming you have got that many fingers. On-board safety makes use of the AES-XTS algorithm for flash encryption, and there is safe startup through RSA and digital signatures. The chip additionally helps ‘World Controller’ mode, which permits two non-interfering execution environments to implement a trusted execution atmosphere or permission separation mechanism.
The pinout for the GPIO is sort of the identical on each boards, with some minor variations, and the Banana Pi Pico will be programmed utilizing the identical languages (MicroPython, Arduino, C) because the Raspberry Pi board, although the C framework is totally different, utilizing ESP-IDF fairly than the Pico SDK. Documentation is at present sparse, and a few programming expertise could also be wanted to make use of the board totally, with assist for the chip’s neural network-accelerating vector directions “out there very quickly.”
The board is at present out there from AliExpress (opens in new tab) for $5.50, however prices an extra $7.49 to ship to the US, with supply dates at present in the course of October. For comparability, a Raspberry Pi Pico from the identical web site (opens in new tab) prices $3.70 with $2.34 transport, although it arrives every week later.