The latest release of the Pico Software Developer Kit (SDK) version 1.5.0 is a significant milestone in that evolution. This new version includes many exciting features, the most notable of which is Bluetooth support.
Bluetooth is a wireless communication protocol that allows devices to communicate with each other over short distances. This opens up a whole new range of possibilities for the Raspberry Pi Pico, allowing it to interact with other Bluetooth-enabled devices, such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets. This feature is especially useful for IoT projects, where a Pico can collect data and send it to a cloud service using Bluetooth, or for robotics projects, where a Pico can communicate with a remote control or sensor using Bluetooth.
The Bluetooth functionality in the Pico SDK 1.5.0 is based on the popular "NimBLE" stack, which is a lightweight and efficient implementation of the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) protocol. This means that the Pico can communicate with other BLE devices, which is the most common type of Bluetooth device used in IoT applications. NimBLE is also highly configurable, allowing users to customize the stack to suit their specific requirements.
In addition to Bluetooth support, Pico SDK 1.5.0 includes many other improvements and new features. Some of the highlights include:
- Improved USB support: The Pico can now act as a USB device and communicate with a host computer using the USB interface. This makes it easier to transfer data between the Pico and a computer and opens up new possibilities for using the Pico as a USB input device, such as a keyboard or mouse.
- Support for the RP2040-based Raspberry Pi Boards: The Pico SDK now supports the Raspberry Pi Pico's larger siblings, the Raspberry Pi RP2040-based boards. This means that developers can use the same codebase for all these boards, making it easier to port projects from one board to another.
- Improved documentation: The Pico SDK documentation has been greatly improved, making it easier for developers to get started with the SDK and learn how to use its many features.
Bluetooth Support for Pico W (BETA)
The support is currently available as a beta. More details will be forthcoming with the actual release.
In the meantime, there are examples in pico-examples.
Overall, Pico SDK 1.5.0 is a significant step forward in the evolution of the Raspberry Pi Pico's software ecosystem. With the addition of Bluetooth support and other new features, the Pico is now an even more powerful and versatile platform for a wide range of applications. Whether you're a hobbyist or a professional developer, the Pico SDK is definitely worth checking out, and the Pico board is an excellent choice for any project that requires a small, affordable, and powerful microcontroller.