back to article Buy 'em by the punnet: Raspberry Pi offers RP2040 chips in bulk

If you only need the smallest of Raspberry Pi chips, but you need a lot of them, you can now buy the gang's RP2040 microcontrollers directly from the farm supplier in lots of 500 or 3,400. Because the Raspberry Pi range is so cheap, people use lots of them – even in places where a complete Linux computer is arguably overkill. …

  1. John Robson Silver badge

    Brilliant little devices.

    Have one doing lighting systems...

    1. Mike 16

      Re: Brilliant little devices.

      Never seen _much_ illumination from processor chips, but I do recall the days when, overwhelmed by the task of manually programming many EPROMs in a row of an evening, I occasionally plugged one into the low insertion force socket and pressed START. Chips inserted wrong end up (it happens) would emit a small amount of light to alert me to my mistake.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Brilliant little devices.

        That's what the little glass window is for

        1. Martin an gof Silver badge

          Re: Brilliant little devices.

          Quartz, isn't it?


          1. Pete 2 Silver badge

            Re: Brilliant little devices.

            > Quartz, isn't it?

            Yes. Even though it fits in a pint pot.

      2. redpawn

        Re: Brilliant little devices.

        LEM (Light Emitting Rom). I did that once in my younger days. It's been a good story ever since for later generations.

        1. Horridbloke

          Re: Brilliant little devices.

          Wouldn't that be a LER?

          1. steelpillow Silver badge

            Re: Brilliant little devices.

            Train for a new career as an LER Technician.

            This country needs LERTs.

            Be a LERT.

            (With apologies to my Fat Freddy's Cat badge)

            1. iron Silver badge

              Re: Brilliant little devices.

              As an apology you should perform a quirkafleeg!

              1. steelpillow Silver badge

                Re: Brilliant little devices.

                I am not aware that Jet Set Willy and Fat Freddy were acquainted?

                But I would pass on the latter's advice on drugs:

                "KEED SPILLS! No... wait a minute...

                "PILL SKEEDS! Er, uh...

                "SKILL PEEDS!


                1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

                  Re: Brilliant little devices.

                  Speed doesn't kill, suddenly becoming stationary does.

                  1. TRT Silver badge

                    Re: Speed doesn't kill

                    Sudden changes of speed kill?

                  2. steelpillow Silver badge

                    Re: Brilliant little devices.

                    "LEM (Light Emitting Rom)"

                    I always wondered why he was called Lemmy. To think that if it had been Light Emitting Ron, we would all be fondly remember Lenny from Nötörhead.

                    Funnily enough, he spent much of his life skilling, skeeding and no doubt (when nobody was looking) peeding in the corner, without which he might well not have lived to the ripe old age of Shakespeare's "threescore years and ten". Göd rest his söul.

      3. Trollslayer

        Re: Brilliant little devices.

        And if the programming voltage was too high above 12V charge got stuck so you couldn't erase the device.

        The cure for that was to put the devices on a baking tray in an oven at 200C for an hour.

        I had to do this for a few hundred because the 12V in my programmer was

        *Cue Monty Python "Aye, we had it hard" sketch*

  2. Martin an gof Silver badge

    I assumed they were doing this already... companies such as Adafruit and Pimoroni have been selling various units based on the RP2040 for a while now - and indeed individual chips. What's new seems to be the online "shop", presumably as an easier way for less well-established players to get in on the act?


    1. Jon 37

      Re: I assumed they were doing this already...

      Yes, they had reels available for their partners. Now you don't have to be a partner, anyone can buy a reel off the shelf.

  3. elsergiovolador Silver badge


    I wish I could buy 3,400 of certain STM32s.

    1. Ian Mason

      Re: Unobtainium

      At this point in the game I'd be happy with a guarantee that I could design in any particular STM32 and expect to be able to order them in batches of 20 at any time; rather than see what I can buy, see it if suits and making a "last time buy" of as many as I can scrape funds together for.

      It's got so bad that I'm even thinking of buying Microchip (Atmel) parts or NXP. :(

      Digikey have 48,500 RP2040s in stock at time of writing. Shame it's no use to me...

      1. theModge

        Re: Unobtainium

        It's got so bad that I'm even thinking of buying Microchip (Atmel) parts or NXP.

        My current employer is using Microchip parts, I'm sorry to report that they too are as scarce as rocking horse poo. Probably you can get a chip from them, but one that's pin compatible with our design? Not easy. One that has the same pinout and all the features we need? even harder.

  4. Dante Alighieri

    missed a trick

    the larger reels have 359 chips too many on them

    1. Victor Ludorum

      Re: missed a trick

      Err, I think you mean 258...

      (Cue pedantry about approximations of pi...)

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