• Sun. Nov 12th, 2023

DIY Game Controllers

Homemade hardware to take your gaming experience to the next level!

Top view of the SparkFun Pro Micro RP2040 development board.
The SparkFun Pro Micro RP2040.
The SparkFun Pro Micro RP2040.


The SparkFun Pro Micro RP2040 microcontroller is a powerful development board that offers a range of features and capabilities. In this article, we will explore the specifications of the Pro Micro RP2040, including its digital I/O pins, analog input pins, special pin functions, communication interfaces, memory, power requirements, compatibility, and programming options. Let’s dive into the details and discover the potential of this versatile microcontroller.


The SparkFun Pro Micro RP2040 is based on the Raspberry Pi RP2040 microcontroller. It features a dual-core Arm Cortex-M0+ processor running at 133MHz and 264KB of RAM. This microcontroller board is designed with a compact form factor, making it suitable for projects with limited space requirements.

You can find the full specs, code examples, Gerber files and a lot more on the Pro Micro RP2040 GitHub page.


The SparkFun Pro Micro RP2040 pinout.
The SparkFun Pro Micro RP2040 pinout.

The Pro Micro RP2040 board comes with a set of headers that allow you to connect various components and peripherals. It appears to be pin to pin compatible with the Arduino Pro Micro so any hats or addons for the Pro Micro should work for this board out of the box.

Beware however because the GPIO pins on the SparkFun Pro Micro RP2040 are “muxed” meaning that you can reconfigure the pins for the digital interface of your choice! Thus direct compatability with any addon or peripheral is dependent upon the pins being assigned correctly. In the event the pin assignments have been changed you could have unexpected results from attaching addons up to and including damge to the hat, SparkFun Pro Micro RP2040, or both.

Digital I/O Pins

The Pro Micro RP2040 provides 26 digital I/O pins, which can be configured for both input and output operations. These pins can be used for general-purpose I/O, PWM (Pulse Width Modulation), UART (Universal Asynchronous Receiver-Transmitter), I2C (Inter-Integrated Circuit), and SPI (Serial Peripheral Interface) communication. With this flexibility, you can connect and control a wide range of sensors, actuators, and other electronic components.

The SparkFun Pro Micro RP2040 has a total of 10 pins which have PWM functionality.

The SparkFun Pro Micro RP2040 pin assignments.
The SparkFun Pro Micro RP2040 pin assignments.

Analog Input Pins

In addition to digital I/O, the Pro Micro RP2040 offers 4 analog input pins at a 12bit resolution. These pins allow you to read analog signals from sensors such as temperature sensors, light sensors, and potentiometers.

Special Pin Functions

The Pro Micro RP2040 includes eight external interrupt pins, which can be used to trigger specific actions in response to external events. These pins are valuable for implementing interrupt-driven functionality and optimizing system performance. Additionally, the board features dedicated pins for the I2C and SPI communication protocols, simplifying the integration of compatible devices.

Communication Interfaces

 The Pro Micro RP2040 supports various communication interfaces, allowing seamless interaction with other devices. It includes

  • 2x UART for serial communication
  • 1x I2C for connecting sensors and peripherals
  • 1x SPI for high-speed data transfer

These interfaces enable your microcontroller to communicate with external devices, exchange data, and participate in complex networked systems.


With 264KB of RAM, the Pro Micro RP2040 provides ample memory to store variables, buffers, and program code. This allows you to implement sophisticated algorithms, process data efficiently, and handle complex tasks. Additionally, the microcontroller has 16mb of flash memory for storing your program code and libraries.


The Pro Micro RP2040 can be powered through a USB connection or an external power source. It supports a wide input voltage range, allowing flexibility in power supply options. The board includes a voltage regulator which ensures stable and reliable 3.3V that the board needs to operate.

The Pro Micro RP2040's size shown in comparison to a (US) quarter.
The Pro Micro RP2040’s size shown in comparison to a (US) quarter.


As stated above the Pro Micro RP2040 should be compatible with any hat, addon, daughter board, peripheral, or other module designed to work with the Arduino Pro Micro. In addition, due to the fact that the I/O are “muxed” you should be able to configure the board to work with anything designed to be used that shares the Pro Micro form factor.


To program the Pro Micro RP2040, you can connect it to your computer using a USB cable. The board appears as a USB mass storage device, allowing you to simply drag and drop your compiled code onto the microcontroller. This makes programming quick and straightforward.

Alternatively, you can use a variety of development tools and programming languages. MicroPython is a popular choice for its simplicity and high-level abstractions. It enables rapid prototyping and development, with a rich set of libraries and resources available for various applications.

For those seeking more control and performance optimization, the Pro Micro RP2040 can be programmed in C/C++. This allows you to directly manipulate hardware registers and leverage the full capabilities of the microcontroller. It is well-suited for complex projects that require fine-grained control over the system.

Furthermore, the Pro Micro RP2040 is compatible with the Arduino IDE. This opens up a vast ecosystem of libraries and examples, making it easier to find pre-existing code and accelerate development.

The bottom of the Pro Micro RP2040 board.
The bottom of the Pro Micro RP2040 board.


The SparkFun Pro Micro RP2040 microcontroller offers a powerful and versatile platform for a wide range of projects. With its extensive digital I/O pins, analog input pins, special pin functions, and communication interfaces, it enables seamless integration of components and peripherals. The generous memory capacity, flexible power options, and compatibility with popular programming languages make it a developer-friendly choice.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced developer, the Pro Micro RP2040 provides the tools and flexibility to bring your ideas to life. Explore its capabilities, leverage the extensive resources available, and unlock the full potential of this remarkable microcontroller. Get started with the SparkFun Pro Micro RP2040 and embark on your journey of creativity and innovation today.

Was the SparkFun Pro Micro RP2040 not what you were looking for? Well, you can read all of our previous microcontroller board reviews here. Need to compare features between two microcontroller boards? See our microcontroller board comparison table here.

Did your video card just crap out on you? Checkout the first post in our series where we try to revive a burned-out graphics card here.

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