Programmable I/O module based on new Raspberry Pi's microcontroller

11-10-2021 | Sfera Labs | Semiconductors

A few months after the initial release of the Raspberry Pi RP2040 microcontroller, Sfera Labs has launched what is claimed to be the first industrial product based on this new chip. The Iono RP is a compact programmable I/O module that blends the ease of use of the Raspberry Pi with a broad array of digital and analog input and output interfaces. The result is a rugged, reliable, safe, and easy-to-connect module – fully CE, FCC, and IC compliant – ideal for installation in industrial and residential environments.

The device includes the RP2040, the first high-performance microcontroller chip created by Raspberry Pi and targeted at industrial and hobbyist markets. It provides a dual-core Arm Cortex-M0+ processor, clocked at up to 133MHz, and 264kB internal RAM and a flexible input/output internal architecture with many standard interfaces.

Together with a wide range 12-24V power supply input and power relay outputs, it supports industry-standard 0-10V/4-20mA analog inputs, a 0-10V analog output, digital input/output lines, and an RS-485 serial interface. This is housed in a compact DIN rail case, set to be installed in electrical cabinets and combined into automation control systems.

The device uses the vast community support created around the RP2040, as well as the powerful yet straightforward development tools and documentation supplementing it. Control software development could not be simpler due to the MicroPython and C/C++ programming languages and the ease of drag-and-drop programming utilising mass storage over USB and the on-chip boot loader. The device's internal 16MB Flash memory can accommodate very complex application logic. A dedicated EERAM chip also enables the storing of persistent information without wearing out the flash memory.

By drilling into the Raspberry Pi RP2040 development ecosystem, engineers may employ the new device as the foundation for creating compelling new automation and control applications. Moreover, the firmware libraries produced specifically for it are all open source and freely accessible through Github - thereby helping to expedite project completion. To support OEM demands, the company can provide custom casing and logo printing services.