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Pico Power on a Pi: Exploring the pHAT 2040 Development Board for Raspberry Pi Zero and Beyond

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The Raspberry Pi Pico and Pico W have taken the maker community by storm with their powerful RP2040 microcontroller. While there are many development boards available, the pHAT 2040 stands out as a unique option that brings the Pico experience to Raspberry Pi Zero and other pHAT add-on boards.

The RP2040 is a microcontroller chip designed by Raspberry Pi, which is a popular single-board computer manufacturer. The RP2040 was first released in 2021 and is used in their Raspberry Pi Pico and Pico W boards. The RP2040 is a powerful microcontroller with dual ARM Cortex-M0+ cores and includes features such as USB 1.1, a variety of serial interfaces, and a programmable I/O block. It has become popular among makers and hobbyists due to its low cost, ease of use, and versatility for a wide range of projects.

One of the notable features of pHAT 2040 is its ability to program the RP2040 directly from a Raspberry Pi without any additional hardware or cables. This feature opens up exciting possibilities for makers looking to create custom Pi Zero hats or use existing Pi hats with the RP2040.

The pHAT 2040 is designed to be the hardware equivalent of the Pico, with a 128Mbit flash chip that meets the required specifications. Its on-board boot select and reset buttons make flashing, programming, and power cycling simple and straightforward.

One of the best things about the pHAT 2040 is its versatility. Makers can program the board directly via USB-C or use it to drive a wide range of Pi Zero hats that are available in the market. The board’s small size and compatibility with Raspberry Pi Zero make it an excellent choice for projects where space is limited.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced maker, the pHAT 2040 is an excellent tool for exploring the possibilities of the RP2040 microcontroller. With its ease of use and versatility, this development board is sure to inspire creative projects and innovations. So, if you’re looking to take your Raspberry Pi projects to the next level, consider giving the pHAT 2040 a try.

Michal Pukala
Electronics and Telecommunications engineer with Electro-energetics Master degree graduation. Lightning designer experienced engineer. Currently working in IT industry.