Raspberry Pi Pico VS ESP32 C3? Which Microcontroller should you buy?

raspberry pi pico vs esp32

The support on Arduino IDE for Pi Pico boards was not long in coming. It is now possible to program the Raspberry Pi Pico board with Arduino code directly from the Arduino IDE. Adding the support is similar to installing the ESP32 boards via the additional board manager via the Arduino IDE. Its important to remember that this article covers only a small portion of the many ESP32 alternatives on the market. If you did not find a suitable alternative in this article, there are plenty less popular options that might suit you the best, taking in consideration the requirements and constrains of the project.

  • However, the connectivity features included in the ESP32 make it a better bargain for the same price.
  • These headers should be placed along the sides of the board, with 20 pins on each side.
  • A board’s flash memory is the location where the program is stored.

The base is printed with my Ender 3D pro printer, which has added perfectly to my new office environment. It also provides simple one-click mechanisms to compile and upload programs to a microcontroller. MicroPython aims to be as compatible with normal Python as possible to allow you to transfer code with ease from the desktop to a microcontroller or embedded system. When the development board using CircuitPython firmware is connected to the PC, the PC will immediately get a USB storage disk.


A microcontroller is an integrated circuit that can be programmed to perform tasks independently of other devices. The Raspberry Pi Pico and the ESP32 are two of the most popular microcontrollers on the market. They are two small, low-power microcontrollers built on 32-bit dual-core CPUs that can be used to control electronics projects. Arduino Nano microcontroller board is based on the ATmega328p microcontroller and provides many functions and devices including digital I/O pins, PWM pins, Analog pins, SPI, I2C and UART.

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To summarize, the ESP32 S2 outperforms the Raspberry Pi Pico in single core processing workloads. It costs roughly the same, is $1 more expensive, has more RAM, Flash memory, and, of course, WiFi, which the Raspberry Pi Pico lacks. The Lilygo ESP32 S2 Board on the other hand features a single-core 32-bit LX7 microcontroller operating at 240MHz. When it comes to an input supply voltage, the Raspberry Pi Pico can run between 1.8 and 5.5 volts, whereas the ESP32  can operate between 2.2 and 3.6 volts. This means that a Li-Ion battery (3.3-4.2V) or two AA batteries  (2.0-3.2V) can be directly connected to the Raspberry Pi Pico.

RFID Based Attendance System Using NodeMCU with PHP Web App

These pins, known as the SWD (Serial Wire Debug) pins, allow you to connect the Pico to a debugger and program it using specialized software. The Raspberry Pi Pico is a small, breadboard-friendly microcontroller board based on the RP2040 microcontroller. It features a micro-USB connector, a 3-pin debug connector, and a row of contacts along each side. It is similar in size to an ESP32 Pico Kit and slightly larger than an Arduino Nano or Micro.

raspberry pi pico vs esp32

The pin spacing is compatible with universal boards (hole boards, dot matrix boards) and breadboards, which is convenient for debugging applications. To run the program, save it to your computer with a unique name like “testblink.py” and then run it using your preferred method. The program will run in a loop, toggling the onboard LED on and off every second. If you are a student, beginner, or maker who wants to learn Raspberry Pi Pico & MicroPython, you can buy the Raspberry Pi Pico Starter Kit and do almost 40 projects. Initiate USB serial and the STA mode of Wifi in setup(), turn on the LCD display in the loop() function, and print out the scanned WiFi information of the USB serial. This section combines Arduino, Raspberry Pi Pico expansion board, using AD/DA, SPI, I2C, WiFi, and other peripherals of ESP32-S2.

Programming Language

Multiple low-power operating states to satisfy power requirements in IoT, mobile devices, wearable electronics, smart homes, and other application scenarios, etc. The Arduino integrated development environment (IDE) is the software core of this platform, using the C/C++ programming language to develop projects. The project is completely open source, and all files can be found on GitHub. MicroPython is a Python 3 programming language re-implementation targeted for microcontrollers and embedded systems.

Is Pi Pico better than Arduino?

At the heart of the Pico is an RP2040 microcontroller chip based on a dual-core Arm Cortex-M0+ processor. In terms of hardware capabilities, the Raspberry Pi Pico clearly has an edge over the standard Arduino Nano, with a faster processor, more flash memory, more GPIO pins, and extensive control over PWM signals.

Regardless of your language of choice, there’s likely to be an interpreter for Pico or ESP32 that supports it. Esp32-S3 is an MCU chip that integrates 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5 (LE) and supports Long Range mode. The ESP32-S3 runs on an Xtensa® 32-bit LX7 dual-core processor https://traderoom.info/is-iq-option-a-safe-broker-to-do-trades-with/ with a high frequency of 240 MHz, 512 KB built-in SRAM (TCM), 45 programmable GPIO pins, and a rich communication interface. Esp32-s3 supports larger capacity of high-speed Octal SPI flash and off-chip RAM, and supports user-configured data caching and instruction caching.

Raspberry Pi Pico ESP32-S2 MCU WiFi Development Board, 240MHz, 2.4 GHz WiFi

Take care to select configuration options as shown in the AD_DA routine download, enable USB CDC, and select USB update mode. Put the following bin file (demo) into the directory where esp-idf is installed, then enter the following command, pay attention to the COM port in the computer. This tutorial was a quick introduction to the Raspberry Pi Pico board.

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Second, it does not have a built-in USB port, so it requires an external USB controller in order to connect to a computer. Third, its GPIO pins are not as robust as the ESP32’s, so it is not well suited for applications that require a lot of input/output. The ESP32 is a low-cost, low-power system on a chip (SoC) with Wi-Fi & dual-mode Bluetooth capabilities!

Development Languages

Apart from a few exceptions, the language features of Python are also available in MicroPython. The most significant difference between Python and MicroPython is that MicroPython was designed to work under constrained conditions. It brings to the microcontroller arena our distinctive values of great performance, low cost, and ease of use. It provides the lowest possible barrier to entry for beginning and amateur users, with thorough documentation, a polished MicroPython port, and a UF2   bootloader in ROM. Microcontroller-based boards, such as the ESP32, use a dedicated microcontroller to control I/O devices and run applications.

raspberry pi pico vs esp32

Microcontrollers are designed for specific tasks and are more efficient than microprocessors. However, they typically have fewer I/O ports and peripherals, and are more difficult to program. Microprocessor-based boards, such as the Raspberry Pi Pico, use a general-purpose microprocessor to control I/O devices and run applications. They typically have more I/O ports and peripherals than microcontroller-based boards, and are easier to program. It’s been coming, and now it’s here; ESPHome adds support for the Raspberry Pi Pico W. The Raspberry Pi Pico W is a variant of the vanilla Pico board with Wi-Fi onboard. Besides the included radio, there are no differences between the two models.

What is the difference between ESP32 and Pico 2040?

Differences between the RP2040 and ESP32's Features

The RP2040 is the Raspberry Pi Pico is an ARM Cortex -M0+ Dual-core CPU, while the Tensilica Xtensa LX6 in the ESP32 is a 32-bit dual-core CPU, Though an option to get a Single-core variant of ESP 32 is also available.

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