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A closer look at Raspberry Pi RP2040 Programmable IOs (PIO)

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Hardware

The popularity of Raspberry Pico board powered by RP2040 microcontroller has made every reader wanting to know more about the board and chip. So today we will be talking about RP2040’s Programmable IOs, a feature that makes it different from most other microcontroller boards.

The two PIO blocks or let’s call it the hardware interfaces in the RP2040 have four state machines each. These two PIO blocks can simultaneously execute programs to manipulate GPIOs and transfer raw data. Now, what do these state machines do? Well, the PIO state machines execute the programs fetched from various sources. Sometimes the programs are taken from the PIO library (UART, SPI, or I2C) or user software.

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