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Does someone have numbers on the power consumption of the Pico W, i.e. the new version of the Pico with Wifi capabilities (and maybe how it compares to competing platforms such as ESP, Arduino etc.)?

Motivation for the question: I am looking for a reasonably energy-efficient IoT device. It should be available 24/7 but would not expect a lot of traffic nor activity, e.g. typical use cases are light switches etc.

For the Raspberry Pico, typical power consumption can be found in section 3 of the datasheet. For the W variant I haven't found similar information.

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    Downvotes w/o bothering to comment are the ones I love best. Jul 1, 2022 at 10:47
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    I'm not one of them, but you might want to add that while the power consumption of the non-wifi version is easily found online, how much the wifi uses is much less so -- ie., make it clear that you have made some prior research but could not find the information anywhere.
    – goldilocks
    Jul 1, 2022 at 14:11
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    Thanks, I will add that. Although it seems that the Raspberry community prefers to just downvote. Jul 3, 2022 at 9:33
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    I have the same question as you...did you ever find an answer to this? Also I agree with you that the community downvoting your question is shameful.
    – Guillochon
    Aug 4, 2022 at 17:24
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    No, I'd still be interested in some numbers for typical power consumption in different real-life applications. I assume they might become available once the Pico W is more widely used. Aug 4, 2022 at 18:26

2 Answers 2

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It seems you are looking at the standard values for the PI Pico, plus the documented values for the CYW43439 Wifi/BT module that can be found in section 17 of the document found at

https://www.infineon.com/dgdl/Infineon-CYW43439-Single-Chip-IEEE-802.11-b-g-n-MAC-PHY-Radio-with-Integrated-Bluetooth-5.0-Compliance-AdditionalTechnicalInformation-v03_00-EN.pdf?fileId=8ac78c8c7ddc01d7017ddd033d78594d

The result is that a lot of testing will be required based on usage to get any meaningful values.

For any low power usage, it looks like it will be best to wait to see if Bluetooth support gets added.

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  • the Arduino Uno(no wifi, but more data might be usefull) uses 0.2W(200mw) measured from the wall while using a phone charger to provide power.
  • pi pico 171mw with wifi and led, peak at startup of almost half a watt almost 500mw [1] or 15mw with some mods like lower clock and voltage no wifi[2] however also saw another post mention 0.5W [6] but this might also be that initial startup peak perhaps, should wait or look for more long term or tested results.
  • esp2866 [3] insanely low power usage in low power modes, up to half a watt of power in wifi transmitting on high strength however, normal avg power ??, very great if you need super low power states however.
  • esp32 82mw 2 cores default 80MHZ, 99mw to 224mw at dual cores at 240mhz, both are without wifi and/or bleutooth on, people record up to around half a watt of power(500mw) with the wifi on [5], and have even seen a report of up almost 3w with bluetooth and wifi on in a peak.
  • pine a64+ 4cores +-1.2GHZ(so much faster) 2gb ram, it is a SBC,pretty old by now, but with a ethernet port, when using it under full load while using a micro sd card for storage and using ethernet it uses 2W at it's peak when measured from the wall so if it doesn't need to be wireless, then perhaps concider using ethernet, this board won't go much lower than this however power usage doesn't seem to change much with usage, but for example it uses less power than a esp32 when using wifi and bluetooth on full load.
  • raspberry pi 5 is similar to the pine A64+ in power usage but can go up to around 5W based on explainingcomputers(site), it does have wifi and much newer and faster hardware however, and support many new thing

so the Pi pico energy usage is pretty good compared to those, since 171mw avg with wifi and led on(if the data is true) is pretty good, since the arduino uno already uses more at a much lower speed, single core and no wifi, the esp chips do well in some low power states, and in some cases quite comparable to the Pi pico, but when it is about using internet a lot they can use quite some more power apaerently, might however also be due to them transmitting at a higher strength potentially seems like. perhaps the power management in those new chips is smart or such so that it actually scales to how heavily it is used and whenever it has no instructions to do or such that it actually enter a more sleeplike state(during delays and such) if that is the case then it would be great of the raspberry pi foundation would give some info about it, or perhaps even if there was a actual graph.

[1] https://forums.raspberrypi.com/viewtopic.php?t=337145 [2] https://forums.raspberrypi.com/viewtopic.php?t=328968 [3] https://www.esp8266.com/wiki/doku.php?id=esp8266_power_usage [4] https://www.arrow.com/en/research-and-events/articles/esp32-power-consumption-can-be-reduced-with-sleep-modes [5] https://www.arrow.com/en/research-and-events/articles/esp32-power-consumption-can-be-reduced-with-sleep-modes [6] https://www.jeffgeerling.com/blog/2022/raspberry-pi-pico-w-brings-wifi-6

extra also for people on this post, and on the internet in general. it is pretty bad to just downvote any question you see just because you don't ask yourself that question, or even without any reason. in the case of asking for a boards power usage that actually is a very usefull and important question and in the case of the pi pico there is little info surrounding that easily available on the internet. I know such boards are used with other things, but it is usefull to know the base power usage of a board you are working with in many cases, and lower power usage is usefull. many people on the internet should start to troll less and instead to think more or be more open. this was about this question apaerently getting insanely downvoted early on. and this is a trend across the internet these days if someone asks a actual legit question instead of some dumb thing then people will start to downvote it, kind of like as if they want to supress it just because they didn't know the answer, running from a problem is no solution, solving it is.

also if you want me to make measurements of just the pi pico in default setting then I can make a setup for that, however I only have the normal model without wireless, the wireless model is supposed to use 10mw or 33mw more, and 20mw to 66mw more when using wifi(don't remember exactly if it was 10ma or 10mw, so if it was ma then 10ma*3.3v=33mw, etc.

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