Raspberry Pi Lifts Skirts A Little On Their RP1 Peripheral

The Raspberry Pi 5 is the new hotness from the Cambridge-based single board computer vendor, thanks in part to its new wonder-chip peripheral that speeds up much of its interfacing with the world. The RP1 hangs of the CPU’s PCIe bus and takes on many functions previously in the SoC, and those curious about it now have a little bit of information. Eben Upton has posted an article about the chip, and there’s a partial datasheet and a video in which the engineers talk about the chip as well.

The datasheet is intended to help anyone wishing to write a hardware driver for a Pi 5, and they admit that it doesn’t reveal everything on the silicon. We don’t expect them to put this chip up for sale on its own because doing so would enable their competitors to produce something much closer to a Pi 5 clone. It does reveal a few nuggets though; there are a couple of Cortex M3 cores for housekeeping, and alongside all the interfaces we know from earlier boards it has perhaps most interestingly for Hackaday readers, a 12-bit analogue-to-digital converter. This has always been on our Pi wishlist, and is a welcome addition.

So if you read the datasheet and watch the video below you’ll learn a lot about the interfaces and how to talk to them, but not quite so much about the full workings of the chip itself. They hint that there’s more to be released, but since the Pi people have a history of not letting go of the family silver we won’t be expecting the keys to the kingdom.

Have a read of our Pi 5 launch coverage.

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