Neotron Pico

The Neotron Pico is micro-ATX sized Neotron, powered by a Raspberry Pi Pico microcontroller board. The Raspberry Pi Pico is fitted with a Raspberry Pi RP2040 microcontroller - a dual-core Cortex-M0+ with 256 KiB of SRAM. The Raspberry Pi Pico also has a 2 MiB external QSPI flash.

Whilst the Cortex-M0+ cores are only ARMv6-M compatible (not ARMv7E-M or even ARMv7-M), there were some very compelling advantages in making the switch. For example, compared to the Texas Instruments Tiva-C Launchpad on the Neotron 32, the Raspberry Pi Pico:

  • Has two cores instead of one
  • Is clocked at 133 MHz instead of 80 MHz (and actually, many units run happily at 250 MHz)
  • Has 256 KiB of SRAM instead of 32 KiB
  • Costs £3.60 instead of £15.00
  • Has hardware designed to generate digital RGB video
  • Can drive an I²S audio codec

Form Factor

The Neotron Pico is a micro-ATX sized board - 244mm x 170mm. It is designed to fit into any micro-ATX or ATX compatible PC case, and includes headers for a reset switch, power switch, power LED and status LED. It provides four card-edge expansion slots, which provide access to the SPI and I²C buses. Each slot has a unique IRQ line and SPI Chip Select, avoiding the classic IBM PC problem of allocating resources to expansion cards.



  • CPU: Dual 133 MHz 32-bit ARM Cortex-M0+ CPU cores
  • RAM: 256 KiB of internal SRAM
  • Video Output: Super-VGA
    • 640x480 @ 60 Hz (gives a 80x30 text mode)
    • 640x400 @ 70 Hz (gives a 80x25 text mode)
    • 256 colours from a pallette of 4,096
    • RGB video buffer for genuine 75 Ohm output
    • Has ESD protection circuit with VGA DDC level-shifter
  • Audio: 16-bit 48 kHz audio input and output (line-in, mic-in, line-out and headphone-out)
    • Uses Texas Instruments TLV320AIC23BPW audio codec
    • Has triple 3.5mm jack, plus AC'97 header and extra four-pin line-in header
  • Storage: SD/MMC Slot
  • USB: One USB Full-speed OTG port
  • Dedicated board management controller (BMC), supporting
    • Two PS/2 ports (keyboard and mouse)
    • Standby mode and PSU control
    • System reset
  • Expansion: Four Expansion Slots (with SPI and I²C)
  • RTC: MCP7940N Real-Time Clock with backup battery