What is MicroPython?

MicroPython is a lean and efficient implementation of the Python 3 programming language that includes a small subset of the Python standard library and is optimised to run on microcontrollers and in constrained environments.

MicroPython offers many sophisticated features like an interactive prompt, high-precision integers, closures, list comprehension, generators, and exception handling, all within a small footprint.

It needs only 256k of code space and 16k of RAM to operate. Its design closely matches standard Python, making it easy to move code from a desktop to a microcontroller or embedded system.

Why is it called MicroPython?

MicroPython is a smaller version of the programming language Python, designed for use with MicroControllers, the name is a concatenation of the two words, Micro + Python where Micro refers to the MicroController.

  • Micro + Python

Python gets it name from a TV show…

“When he began implementing Python, Guido van Rossum was also reading the published scripts from ‘Monty Python’s Flying Circus’, a BBC comedy series from the 1970s. Van Rossum thought he needed a name that was short, unique, and slightly mysterious, so he decided to call the language Python”

What Microcontrollers can run MicroPython?

MicroPython is versatile and can run on a wide range of microcontrollers from various manufacturers, catering to different requirements and applications.

Key players include the ESP8266 and ESP32 from Espressif Systems, known for their Wi-Fi capabilities; the Pyboard series, developed by the creator of MicroPython himself, Damien George; STM32 microcontrollers from STMicroelectronics, renowned for their performance and range of features; and the Raspberry Pi Pico, which uses the RP2040 chip developed by Raspberry Pi Foundation, famous for its affordability and ease of use.

Each of these microcontrollers brings unique features to the table, such as advanced connectivity, high processing power, or cost-effectiveness, making MicroPython suitable for a broad spectrum of projects and applications.

Here’s a table listing some popular microcontrollers that can run MicroPython, along with their manufacturers and links for more information:

Product Name Vendor
Pyboard D-series SF2 George Robotics
Pyboard D-series SF3 George Robotics
Pyboard D-series SF6 George Robotics
Pyboard Lite v1.0 George Robotics
Pyboard v1.0 George Robotics
Pyboard v1.1 George Robotics
actinius_icarus Actinius
Adafruit Metro M7 Adafruit
F405 Express Adafruit
Feather M0 Express Adafruit
Feather M4 Express Adafruit
Feather RP2040 Adafruit
Feather nRF52840 Express Adafruit
ItsyBitsy M0 Express Adafruit
ItsyBitsy M4 Express Adafruit
ItsyBitsy RP2040 Adafruit
Metro M4 Express Airlift Adafruit
QT Py RP2040 Adafruit
Trinket M0 Adafruit
Arduino Giga Arduino
Arduino Nano 33 BLE Sense Arduino
Arduino Nano ESP32 Arduino
Arduino Nano RP2040 Connect Arduino
Arduino Nicla Vision Arduino
Arduino Portenta C33 Arduino
Arduino Portenta H7 Arduino
arduino_primo Arduino
micro:bit v1 BBC
ESP32 / WROOM Espressif
ESP32-C3 Espressif
ESP32-S2 Espressif
ESP32-S3 Espressif
ESP8266 Espressif
Pico Espruino
Cerb40 Fez
HydraBus v1.0 HydraBus
blueio_tag_evim I-SYST
ibk_blyst_nano I-SYST
idk_blyst_nano I-SYST
Hub No.6 LEGO
Hub No.7 LEGO
dvk_bl652 Laird Connectivity
LimiFrog LimiFrog
M5 Stack Atom M5 Stack
nrf52840-mdk-usb-dongle Makerdiary
PYBSTICK26 RP2040 McHobby
SAMD21 Xplained Pro Microchip
MikroE Clicker 2 for STM32 MikroElektronika
MikroE Quail MikroElektronika
Mikroe RA4M1 Clicker MikroElektronika
Mini SAM M4 MiniFig Boards
Netduino Plus 2 Netduino
pca10000 Nordic Semiconductor
pca10001 Nordic Semiconductor
pca10028 Nordic Semiconductor
pca10031 Nordic Semiconductor
pca10040 Nordic Semiconductor
pca10056 Nordic Semiconductor
pca10059 Nordic Semiconductor
pca10090 Nordic Semiconductor
Olimex_RT1010Py OLIMEX
Teensy 4.0 PJRC
Teensy 4.1 PJRC
Xenon Particle
Pico LiPo (16MiB) Pimoroni
Pico LiPo (4MiB) Pimoroni
Tiny2040 Pimoroni
Pololu 3pi+ 2040 Robot Pololu
Pololu Zumo 2040 Robot Pololu
WiPy Module Pycom
Pico Raspberry Pi
Pico W Raspberry Pi
EK-RA4M1 Renesas Electronics
EK-RA4W1 Renesas Electronics
EK-RA6M1 Renesas Electronics
EK-RA6M2 Renesas Electronics
B_L072Z_LRWAN1 ST Microelectronics
B_L475E_IOT01A ST Microelectronics
Discovery F4 ST Microelectronics
Discovery F411 ST Microelectronics
Discovery F429 ST Microelectronics
Discovery F7 ST Microelectronics
Discovery F769 ST Microelectronics
Discovery Kit H7 ST Microelectronics
Discovery L476 ST Microelectronics
Discovery L496G ST Microelectronics
Nucleo F091RC ST Microelectronics
Nucleo F401RE ST Microelectronics
Nucleo F411RE ST Microelectronics
Nucleo F412ZG ST Microelectronics
Nucleo F413ZH ST Microelectronics
Nucleo F429ZI ST Microelectronics
Nucleo F439ZI ST Microelectronics
Nucleo F446RE ST Microelectronics
Nucleo F722ZE ST Microelectronics
Nucleo F746ZG ST Microelectronics
Nucleo F756ZG ST Microelectronics
Nucleo F767ZI ST Microelectronics
Nucleo G0B1RE ST Microelectronics
Nucleo G474RE ST Microelectronics
Nucleo H563ZI ST Microelectronics
Nucleo H723ZG ST Microelectronics
Nucleo H743ZI ST Microelectronics
Nucleo H743ZI2 ST Microelectronics
Nucleo L073RZ ST Microelectronics
Nucleo L152RE ST Microelectronics
Nucleo L432KC ST Microelectronics
Nucleo L452RE ST Microelectronics
Nucleo L476RG ST Microelectronics
Nucleo L4A6ZG ST Microelectronics
Nucleo WB55 ST Microelectronics
Nucleo WL55 ST Microelectronics
STM32F439 ST Microelectronics
USBDONGLE_WB55 ST Microelectronics
Arch Mix Seeed Studio
SEEED XIAO nRF52840 Sense Seeed Studio
Seeeduino XIAO (SAMD21) Seeed Studio
Wio Terminal D51R Seeed Studio
SIL WESP32 Silicognition
RP2040-Shim Silicognition LLC
Micromod STM32 Sparkfun
Pro Micro RP2040 Sparkfun
Sparkfun SAMD51 Thing Plus Sparkfun
Thing Plus RP2040 Sparkfun
Feather S2 Unexpected Maker
Feather S2 Neo Unexpected Maker
FeatherS3 Unexpected Maker
NanoS3 Unexpected Maker
ProS3 Unexpected Maker
Tiny S2 Unexpected Maker
TinyPICO Unexpected Maker
TinyS3 Unexpected Maker
TinyWATCH S3 Unexpected Maker
F407VE VCC-GND Studio
F407ZG VCC-GND Studio
H743VI VCC-GND Studio
VK-RA6M5 Vekatech
WeAct Studio RP2040 WeAct
C3 mini Wemos
S2 mini Wemos
S2 pico Wemos
wt51822_s4at Wireless-Tag
Wiznet W5100S-EVB-Pico Wiznet
Wiznet W5500-EVB-Pico Wiznet
Bit-C PRO nullbits
evk_nina_b1 u-blox
evk_nina_b3 u-blox

Each link leads to the official page or a primary resource for the respective microcontroller, providing detailed specifications and purchase options.

What’s the difference between MicroPython and CircuitPython?

CircuitPython and MicroPython are both Python implementations for microcontrollers, but they have distinct focuses and features. MicroPython, the precursor to CircuitPython, is a lean and efficient version of Python 3 designed for microcontrollers, emphasizing broad compatibility with a range of hardware and performance in constrained environments.

CircuitPython (https://circuitpython.org), developed by Adafruit, is a fork of MicroPython that prioritizes ease of use and simplicity, particularly for beginners and in educational settings. It focuses on Adafruit’s hardware but supports various other microcontrollers too.

One key difference is that CircuitPython emphasizes strong support for USB devices and comes with a built-in USB HID (Human Interface Device) and MIDI support.

Additionally, CircuitPython tends to have more frequent releases and updates, with a strong emphasis on community involvement and extensive documentation, making it particularly friendly for newcomers to programming and electronics.

Is MicroPython the same as Python?

MicroPython and Python are closely related but not identical. MicroPython is a streamlined implementation of Python 3, designed specifically for microcontrollers and embedded systems. It aims to maintain as much compatibility with standard Python as possible, meaning most Python code can run on MicroPython with minimal modifications.

However, due to memory and processing constraints on microcontrollers, MicroPython omits some of Python’s features and libraries, focusing instead on core functionalities essential for embedded applications. Additionally, MicroPython includes specialized libraries and modules to interact with hardware, which are not found in standard Python.

Therefore, while MicroPython shares Python’s syntax and many of its capabilities, it is tailored to the unique requirements of low-resource environments.

How long does it take to learn MicroPython?

The time it takes to learn MicroPython largely depends on your prior experience with programming and familiarity with Python. If you’re already versed in Python, you could get comfortable with MicroPython in a matter of days, as it retains much of the syntax and structure of Python.

For those new to programming or coming from different programming languages, it might take a few weeks to grasp the basics. The learning curve is relatively gentle due to Python’s clear syntax and MicroPython’s extensive documentation and supportive community.

Additionally, hands-on experimentation with microcontrollers can significantly accelerate the learning process, making it possible to create simple projects within a few hours of initial learning.

The history of MicroPython

MicroPython, a lean and efficient implementation of Python 3, was created by Damien George in 2013 to bring Python’s ease of use to microcontrollers and small embedded systems. It was initially funded through a successful Kickstarter campaign, reflecting the growing interest in combining Python’s simplicity with the world of embedded hardware.

MicroPython’s design focuses on minimal resource usage while maintaining Python’s hallmark readability and functionality. Over time, it has gained popularity in the maker community and is now used in various applications, from educational tools to industrial equipment. This success is due in part to its wide support for different hardware platforms and its active, open-source community, which continually enhances its capabilities and reach.

Where can I get MicroPython?

MicroPython is available from the offiial website: https://micropython.org/

It is available for a wide range of microcontrollers, including the Raspberry Pi Pico, ESP32, the BBC Micro:bit, and the Adafruit Circuit Playground Express.

Where can I learn MicroPython?

We have a free course on MicroPython, which you can access here:

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