I'm posting this here because after going through several forums this one seemed the most appropriate;

I am working on miniaturizing a project (remote control car), I already have the first version that consists of a controller and the car itself, the car works as follows:

  • Main micro controller: Seeed Studio XIAO RP2040
  • Bluetooth receiver: HC-05 module (configurated as slave)
  • Motor controller: TB6612FNG breakout board

This is what the car PCB currently looks like:

Car PCB screenshot

As you can see, the PCB takes up too much space to house all the components with their respective breakout boards, so my goal is to reduce its size, for this, I am looking to replace the breakout board of the TB6612FNG only with its micro controller (TB6612FNG), which will be relatively easy so my main difficulty is that I would like to remove the Seeed Studio XIAO RP2040 and replace it with a RP2040 (only the chip, without any kind of breakout board), for this my first idea was to program a raspberry pi pico, desolder its RP2040 and 'transplant' it directly on the new PCB that I will design, the problem with doing this is that this method will be expensive to replicate since I would like to do more projects of this type.

I have read in a couple of forums that it is possible to use programming components such as the FTDI modules or specialized devices such as Atmel-ICE, however I have not been able to find more information to guide me in this process, I have even asked Chat GPT but there seems not to be a lot of information about adapters for the RP2040 compatible with these programming devices.

My utopian idea is to have a module on which I can temporarily mount the RP2040 in the same way that RAM modules are mounted on a laptop (not requiring soldering), connect it via USB, program the RP2040 and then be able to solder it onto a custom PCB.

I do understand that there would be some restrictions, for example, about the voltage sent to the RP2040 which must be controlled in my custom PCB and currently I don't see a huge problem there.

Is there something like this? What is this process called? Is there any tool to achieve this process?

Note: my goal is to reduce the space taken in order to get a better skill with small components, it's not about arranging components in a certain way.


2 Answers 2


So long as the 2 SWD pins are available, you should have no problem programming the RP2040; there are various programming adaptors you can use, many of them rely on OpenOCD.

My preferred solution is to use OpenOCD running on a Pi board, with 2 of its I/O pins being used to drive the RP2040 SWD pins. Alternatively you can use a PicoProbe or the new Pi debug adaptor, but those are a bit slower.


You can design your PCB on websites such as JLCPCB. They provide RP2040 with its flash memory and takes much less space than an actual pico.

It should fit on your PCB. Regarding the programming there will indeed be no problem thanks to the SWD feature.

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