CircuitPython for Raspberry Pi and MCUs

One for All

© Lead Image © donatas1205,

© Lead Image © donatas1205,

Article from Issue 234/2020

The CircuitPython run-time environment runs on almost all microcomputers and microcontrollers, making it perfect for cross-platform programming.

CircuitPython is an Adafruit fork for MicroPython. Both are run-time environments for microcontrollers. Thanks to a compatibility layer, CircuitPython now also runs on various single-board computers (SBCs) like the Raspberry Pi.

MCU Scripting Languages

Traditionally, microcontroller units (MCUs), because of their extremely limited resources, where every byte can count, run either Assembler or C/C++. programs. Over the years, however, manufacturers have been improving their products, and powerful SBCs are now available for very little money that have sufficient reserves for interpreted languages.

Moreover, many typical applications do not exhaust an MCU (e.g., in education or home projects). The obvious approach then is to use an easier to learn scripting language instead of C/C++. Luckily, some processor families have Python, Lua, or JavaScript support (Figure 1).


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