Everything You Need To Know About The BBC micro:bit V2Follow article
Introducing the micro:bit v2 pocket-sized computer
The BBC micro:bit v2 is a mini-computer that has been designed to make the coding fun and easy to learn. The micro:bit v2 is completely programmable so you can easily bring your ideas to life! From making games to creating music and even controlling robots. The micro:bit comes with neat hardware such as a 25 LED display, buttons, in-built speakers, Bluetooth connectivity and sensors for temperature, motion & light.
About the micro:bit
The micro:bit is a pocket-sized computer designed to inspire critical thinking and creativity in children. The micro:bit device is a multifunctional tool that works in lots of different ways when programmed to do so.
Through the micro:bit, children are encouraged to explore their ideas while using real code and real computational thinking.
The BBC micro:bit v1 was launched in 2016 and has been a huge success globally. Since the launch, the micro:bit has helped over 25 million children in 60 countries learn computing and digital creativity skills. It comes with a whole host of curriculum-linked learning software, tutorials and educational tools that schools, teachers and educators have grown to love.
OKdo are proud to be in partnership with the micro:bit and bring you the latest BBC micro:bit v2.
OKdo is a unique global tech company that’s 100% focused on SBC and IoT. We work with some of the best technology companies on the planet to bring people the latest products, innovations and services, wherever they are on their SBC and IoT journey, from hobbyists and entrepreneurs to industrial designers and resellers.
Product Overview - The micro:bit v2
If you are looking to start programming or would like an exciting device to get young people interested in coding - then the BBC micro:bit v2 is perfect for you!
Created by the BBC working in partnership with other brands, the micro:bit is a small, programmable computer that has been designed to inspire children and young people to learn about programming and electronics in a practical and fun way.
Measuring just 4cm x 5cm, this single board computer has an impressive ARM Cortex m4 processor and 512KB of flash, making it a capable little device. The micro:bit comes in 4 colours and has various individually programmable inputs and outputs including a 5x5 LED matrix display, buttons, speakers and microphone. The micro:bit also features a temperature sensor, accelerometer, touch sensitive logo, and a built in sleep/off mode.
It is compatible with lots of free online code editors designed for different knowledge levels across a number of different programming languages, so you can find something to suit how you want to learn or teach. There are endless amounts of free projects, lesson plans and activities to try, so there is every reason to start your micro:bit journey today.
How to get started
The micro:bit is super easy to use. You don’t need lots of complicated peripherals to get started - all you need is a PC or mobile device to programme it on. To get started you will need:
- Micro:bit v2
- Battery pack with 2 AAA batteries
- A computer, phone or tablet
- If you're using a computer, a USB lead to connect your micro:bit
- Internet access code editors to programme your micro:bit
- For building and making projects with your micro:bit, some extra items that are great to have:
- Crocodile clip leads
- Conductive materials (such as aluminium foil and paper clips)
Once the micro:bit is programmed it will then stay in the flash memory and you can run it every time as many times as desired. Then you can re-programme it when you want to try a different project, 1 programme can be held at a time.
- 25 LED matrix on the board where you can scroll messages or display numbers
- Accelerometer to detect movement or tilting
- Bluetooth connection to interact with the internet or other devices
- 2 user input buttons
- Micro USB connection to use with PC for programming
- Port for a battery pack
- ARM Cortex-M4 CPU
- Built-in speaker and microphone
- 20 pin edge connector along the bottom of the board
What's new about the micro:bit v2 ?
Firstly, the v2 has been designed to be completely familiar for anyone that has used the original device. The micro:bit v2 is the same size, shape and look as v1 with very similar functionality. Any programme that could run on a micro:bit v1 can be re-built to run on the latest version.
What the micro:bit has done with this latest revision is to add widely requested sound-making and sensing functionality along with refining the board to increase the board's capabilities dramatically.
New Features (exclusive to the micro:bit v2)
- On-board speaker
- MEMS Microphone with LED indicator
- Touch sensitive Logo
- Built in sleep/off mode (enabling the board to be powered down whilst batteries remain connected)
- Discreate regulator (to supply up to 200mA of current to external accessories)
- Notched edge connector
- This will make connecting things (such as crocodile clips and conductive thread) easier
- Power LED indicator
- In addition to the USB activity indicator, the power LED shows whether the micro:bit is powered on or off
- Copper plated antenna
- This will allow for easier identification for the radio/bluetooth component
- Memory has increased from 16KB to 128KB RAM and 256KB to 512KB flash
- This gives the device much more capability
- The board can now provide 200mA to accessories
- This has increased from 90mA in micro:bit v1
- Extra input capability is achieved with the touch sensor to accompany the existing two buttons
- Version 2 has a power LED and can be switched off instead of having to remove batteries
How does the V2 compare to the V1?
|Current (v1.5)||Feature||Latest (v2)|
|Nordic Semiconductor nRF51822||Processor||Nordic Semiconductor nRF52833|
|256kB Flash 16kB RAM||Memory||512kB Flash 128kB RAM|
|NXP KL26Z, 16kB RAM||Interface||NXP KL27Z, 32kB RAM|
|N/A||Microphone||MEMS microphone and LED indicator|
|N/A||Speaker||On board speaker|
|N/A||Logo Touch||Touch sensitive logo pin|
|25 pins. 3 dedicated GPIO, i2C, SPPI and ext. power. 3 ring pins for connecting crocodile plugs.||Edge Connector||25 pins, 4 dedicated GPIO, PWM, i2C, SPI and ext. poewr. 3 ring pins for connecting crocodile clips/ banana plugs. Notched for easier connection|
|Shared I2C||I2C||Dedicated I2C bus for peripherals|
|2.4Ghz Micro:bit Radio/BLE Bluetooth 4.0||Wireless||2.4Ghz Micro:bit Radio/ BLE Bluetooth 5.0|
|5V via Micro USB port, 3V via edge connector or battery pack||Power||5V via Micro USB port, 3V via edge connector or battery pack. LED power indicator, Power off (push and hold power button)|
|90mA available for accessories||Current available||200mA available for accessories|
|ST LSM 303||Motion Sensor||ST LSM 303|
|C++, Makecode, Python, Scratch||Software||C++, Makecode, Python, Scratch|
|5cm(w) x 4cm(h)||Size||5cm(w) x 4cm(h)|
How to use the new features
- On-board speaker
- The Speaker will work in the same way you would expect when you connect headphones or an external speaker to the micro:bit
- By default, the sound output will be on both the speaker and Edge connector
- MEMS Microphone with LED indicator
- The microphone has an additional set of blocks in MakeCode and objects in MicroPython to use, that can monitor and record sound
- Touch sensitive Logo
- The logo touch is implemented in the same way as touching a pin on the edge connector and will have equivalent blocks in MakeCode and objects in MicroPython to use
Features that are common to all board variants will work in the same way as on the BBC micro:bit v1. For example, you will be able to use the same blocks in MakeCode to use the accelerometer on any board revision
All they key enabling software for using the device, including the new features has been developed in conjunction with Lancaster University in the CODAL runtime, a successor to micro:bit-dal which was used on micro:bit v1