RP2040 with PIO and DMA to address WS2812B LEDs #PiDay #NeoPixels @Raspberry_Pi @McuOnEclipse

MCU on Eclipse writes about using the capabilities of the Raspberry Pi RP2040 chip to control WS2812B LEDs (which Adafruit calls NeoPixels):

The Raspberry Pi RP2040 MCU is available and inexpensive (~$1). It has a dual core Cortex-M0+ @120 MHz with 264 KByte of internal RAM. It is not the most powerful MCU on the market, but has an excellent tool and software ecosystem, making it easy for students to use in many projects. It has a wireless option (WiFi, Bluetooth and BLE) which is ‘compatible’ with the Pico board, and the Pico board costs less than $5.

An interesting feature of the RP2040 MCU is the PIO: programmable I/O ‘co-processors’ which can be used to implement custom protocols, for example the 800 kHz bit-stream needed to address the WS2812B/SK6812B LEDs.

To develop the software, as simple test board with 8 channels using the Raspberry Pi Pico RP2040 has been created, for both the Pico and Pico-W boards (above).

The full project and example code is available on GitHub (CMake, Eclipse, Visual Studio Code). Read more in the article here.

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