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Elevating Wireless Connectivity: Raspberry Pi Pico W Adds Bluetooth Support


Raspberry Pi Pico W now with Bluetooth

Introduction

The Raspberry Pi Pico W, retailing at just $6, stands as a ground-breaking addition to Raspberry Pi's offerings. Introduced in June last year, this wireless-enabled version of the Pico platform, anchored around the RP2040 microcontroller, has garnered significant acclaim. With sales surpassing half a million units, it has been integrated into a plethora of inventive endeavours, from singing fish installations to sophisticated web servers and even responsive house plants.


Yet, there was a notable feature missing: Bluetooth support. Ineltek is excited to announce that Raspberry Pi has addressed this omission.


A Closer Look at the Infineon CYW43439 Device

The wireless prowess of the Pico W is credited to the Infineon CYW43439 device. This robust component encompasses a 2.4 GHz radio, supporting both 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.2. It is equipped to handle both Bluetooth Classic and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) functionalities. At its inception, Raspberry Pi's firmware and software primarily focused on Wi-Fi, sidelining Bluetooth.


However, with the unveiling of the C SDK version 1.5.1 and the revamped MicroPython build, the Pico W is now adept at seamless communication with both Bluetooth and Bluetooth LE devices. Raspberry Pi has incorporated support for Bluetooth Classic, with a brief exception of ACL/SCO. Moreover, the device can accommodate both BLE Central and Peripheral roles. End-users are granted the autonomy to activate Bluetooth Classic and BLE either in isolation or simultaneously. For those inclined towards the technical nuances, an exhaustive list of the endorsed Bluetooth protocols and profiles is accessible on Raspberry Pi's GitHub page.


Getting Started with Bluetooth on Pico W

For enthusiasts eager to delve into the world of Bluetooth with their Pico W, our documentation site is the ideal starting point. The guide, titled "Connecting to the Internet with Raspberry Pi Pico W," provides a step-by-step walkthrough on initiating Bluetooth LE, using both the C SDK and MicroPython.


In a recent update, we're pleased to share that Bluetooth support has been integrated upstream into the official MicroPython repository.


Update: Bluetooth support merged upstream into the official MicroPython repo.

PDF Download of the Raspberry Pi guide to connecting to the Internet with Pi Pico W

Conclusion

The Raspberry Pi Pico W is on an upward trajectory, presenting electronic engineers and aficionados with a feature-rich platform. With the infusion of Bluetooth functionalities, the scope for pioneering projects has been significantly broadened. Contact Ineltek for prices, samples and EVKs for your next innovations with Raspberry Pi RP2040, Pico W and Pico H.

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