An Exciting Development for the Wireless Microcontroller

In another stride toward enhancing the functionality of the Raspberry Pi Pico W, CEO Eben Upton has announced that the wireless-enabled variant of the Pico platform, official Bluetooth support has been successfully integrated. You won’t need to buy a new board, either, as the existing ones can now harness the power of Bluetooth.

The Raspberry Pi Pico W, built around the now-prolific RP2040 microcontroller, has gained Bluetooth capabilities with the recent release of version 1.5.1 of the C SDK and the latest MicroPython build. The wireless feature of the Pico W is facilitated by the Infineon CYW43439 device, which encompasses a 2.4 GHz radio enabling both 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.2. This integration supports Bluetooth Classic and Bluetooth Low Energy functionality, expanding the range of applications for the device.

We’ve Been Waiting for This

Initially, the firmware and host-side software for the Pico W only enabled Wi-Fi connectivity, leaving a Bluetooth void. However, with the latest updates, we can now establish seamless communication with Bluetooth devices. The firmware update enables Bluetooth Classic support, except for ACL/SCO for now, and allows the Pico W to serve as both a BLE Central and Peripheral device. Additionally, users have the flexibility to configure their Pico W to enable Bluetooth Classic and BLE individually or simultaneously, tailoring the device to their specific requirements. A comprehensive list of supported Bluetooth protocols and profiles can be found on GitHub, providing users with extensive information.

Where to Learn More

To facilitate a smooth transition for users eager to explore Bluetooth capabilities, Raspberry Pi has made available valuable resources. Upton suggests making good use of the documentation site and the Connecting to the Internet with Raspberry Pi Pico W PDF ebook, as the serve as essential starting points, guiding users through the process of utilizing Bluetooth LE with both the C SDK and MicroPython.

Sample page from 'Connecting to the Internet with Raspberry Pi Pico W'
A page from the Connecting to the Internet with Raspberry Pi Pico W. Source: Raspberry Pi

Notably, the integration of Bluetooth support has also been merged into the official MicroPython repository, further solidifying the compatibility and reliability of the Pico W’s Bluetooth functionality.

This accomplishment was made possible through collaborative efforts and the expertise of various individuals and organizations.

With Bluetooth support now integrated into the Raspberry Pi Pico W, users can unlock a new realm of possibilities and expand the horizons of their projects. The affordable €7.95 wireless microcontroller has solidified its position as a versatile and powerful tool in the realm of electronics and innovation.

As always, once you get going, tell us what you made!