August 18, 2023




Whether you’re a beginner, professional, or hobbyist programmer, you’re probably familiar with Arduino-based boards, and the Pinguino derivative that utilizes mainly Python instead of Arduino’s usual C++. The PIC32-PINGUINO-MICRO from OLIMEX is one such board, providing a cost-effective solution with a range of potential applications as wide as its range of potential users.

The board is built around Microchip’s PIC32MX440F256H, a MIPS32 M4K 32-bit microcontroller with a max frequency of up to 80MHz. The MCU boasts a performance level of 1.56 DMIPS/MHz at 0 wait state Flash access, and features 256KB of Flash memory alongside an additional 32KB of RAM. It’s even compatible with the MPLAB Ecosystem development environment.

The PIC32-PINGUINO-MICRO board itself is, of course, relatively simple to accommodate various use cases. It includes a microSD card to help out with data logging, as well as a mini-ICSP connector and a couple of buttons and LEDs.

But arguably the most important feature on this board is its UEXT connector, which includes a 3.3V line and supports the I2C, SPI, and RS232 serial interfaces. The UEXT connector enables connection of a variety of modules to the board — such as GPS, RF, ZIGBEE, Bluetooth, and GSM — in order to enable users to expand the board’s feature set to better tailor it to specific applications.

As previously stated, this board uses the Pinguino IDE for programming and development. Pinguino is a powerful open-source IDE that allows you to customize your PCBs across GNU/Linux or Windows platforms. It supports a wide range of microcontrollers and peripherals — you just need to download it to get your programming started.

The board’s product page on OLIMEX’s website includes links to several examples and demos on how to connect and use those previously mentioned modules with the Pinguino IDE, as well as other additional information.

If you’d like to get your own PIC32-PINGUINO-MICRO board, they are in stock and available for purchase on OLIMEX’s website for 9.95 euros — that’s $10.81 for you stateside viewers. Or, of course, you can enter this week’s raffle, linked below, for a chance to win this one here for free. Good luck!

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