Yesterday they launched a new product, the Pi Pico Microcontroller.
I thought "meh" what's so special? We already have plenty of microcontrollers, and several popular platforms with Makers:
* Arduino (AVR-based)
* ESP32 (dual core, weird xtensa architecture, hardware floating point, built-in wifi and bt radio) - a highly capable, very complex and poorly documented chip
* Micro Bit and the NRF52* chips - built in radio, ARM cores
* Loads of 8-bit options and 32-bit options for uc
So, what is good about the Pi Pico?
- Flexible interface for reading / writing serial or modestly parallel protocols at (fairly) high speeds
- Can be reprogrammed to do UART, SPI, and all sorts of other things which don't have dedicated hardware
- Writing data to the "infamous" WS2812 "neopixel" self-clocking serial protocol - which needs to be bit-banged on nearly every device.
- Uses yet unimagined