Drives and Controls Magazine
I/O module is first based on Raspberry Pi RP2040 chip
Published:  12 October, 2021

The Italian automation developer Sfera Labs has announced the first industrial product based on the Raspberry Pi RP2040 microcontroller chip, which was released earlier this year. The Iono RP is a compact programmable I/O module said to combine the ease of use of the Raspberry Pi, with a choice of digital and analogue input and output interfaces. The result is a rugged, safe, reliable and easy-to-connect module in a compact DIN-rail case that can be installed in cabinets or integrated into automation systems.

The RP2040 is Raspberry Pi’s first high-performance microcontroller chip aimed at both industrial and hobbyist users. It has a dual-core 133MHz Arm Cortex-M0+ processor and 264kB of internal RAM.

Along with a 12-24V power supply input and power relay outputs, the Iono RP supports 0-10V and 4-20mA analogue inputs, a 0-10V analogue output, digital I/O lines and an RS-485 serial port. An internal 16MB Flash memory can accommodate complex application logic.

The Iono RP takes advantage of the large support community already built up for the RP2040, as well as powerful development tools and documentation. According to Sfera, by tapping into the chip’s development ecosystem, engineers will be able to use the module to create “exciting new automation and control applications”. The firmware libraries developed for the module are all open source.

Options include a real-time clock with battery back-up, and a secure element chip for encryption and safe storage of digital certificates.

Sfera says its Iono RP is the first programmable industrial I/O module based on the new Raspberry Pi RP2040 microcontroller chip.

Sfera Lab, founded in 2016, designs and manufactures servers, embedded systems, I/O modules and sensors for industrial automation, IoT and edge computing based on open-source technologies such as Raspberry Pi and Arduino.

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