MicroPython vs CircuitPython: A Comprehensive Comparison

By Anshul Pal Mar 5, 2024
MicroPython vs CircuitPython: A Comprehensive ComparisonMicroPython vs CircuitPython: A Comprehensive Comparison

MicroPython and CircuitPython are two popular programming languages that have gained significant attention in the world of embedded systems and Internet of Things (IoT) development. Both languages are based on Python, a versatile and easy-to-use programming language. In this article, we will explore the similarities and differences between MicroPython and CircuitPython, helping you choose the right language for your project.

What is MicroPython?

MicroPython is a lean and efficient implementation of the Python 3 programming language, optimized for microcontrollers and embedded systems. It provides a complete Python development environment that can run on small devices with limited resources. MicroPython is designed to be lightweight and fast, making it ideal for projects that require real-time processing and low power consumption.

What is CircuitPython?

CircuitPython is a fork of MicroPython that focuses on ease of use and beginner-friendly development. It provides a higher-level API and additional libraries, making it more accessible to beginners and those who are new to programming. CircuitPython is designed to be beginner-friendly, with features such as auto-reloading, which allows you to edit code on the device without the need for a separate development environment.

Similarities between MicroPython and CircuitPython

Both MicroPython and CircuitPython share a common foundation, as CircuitPython is derived from MicroPython. As a result, they have many similarities:

  • Both languages are based on Python, which means they have a similar syntax and structure.
  • Both languages are open source and have active communities that provide support and contribute to their development.
  • Both languages can be used to program a wide range of microcontrollers and development boards.
  • Both languages provide a REPL (Read-Eval-Print Loop) interface, allowing you to interactively execute code and test ideas in real time.
  • Both languages support a wide range of hardware peripherals and sensors, making it easy to interface with external devices.

Differences between MicroPython and CircuitPython

While MicroPython and CircuitPython have many similarities, there are some key differences that set them apart:

Development Philosophy

MicroPython focuses on being a minimal and efficient implementation of Python, optimized for resource-constrained devices. It provides a bare-bones Python environment with minimal dependencies, allowing for maximum flexibility and control.

CircuitPython, on the other hand, prioritizes ease of use and beginner-friendly development. It provides a higher-level API and additional libraries that abstract away some of the low-level details, making it easier for beginners to get started with embedded programming.

Development Workflow

MicroPython typically requires a separate development environment, such as a text editor and a command-line interface, to write and upload code to the device. This workflow may be familiar to experienced developers but can be intimidating for beginners.

CircuitPython, on the other hand, provides a more beginner-friendly development workflow. It allows you to edit code directly on the device using a simple text editor, without the need for a separate development environment. This makes it easier for beginners to experiment and iterate on their code.

Library Support

MicroPython has a wide range of libraries and modules available, thanks to its large and active community. However, not all libraries are compatible with all microcontrollers, and some may require manual configuration and adaptation.

CircuitPython provides a curated collection of libraries that are tested and guaranteed to work on supported microcontrollers. This ensures a more streamlined and hassle-free development experience, especially for beginners.

Memory Footprint

MicroPython is designed to be lean and efficient, with a small memory footprint. This makes it suitable for devices with limited resources, such as microcontrollers with small amounts of RAM and flash memory.

CircuitPython, while still relatively lightweight, has a slightly larger memory footprint due to the additional libraries and higher-level abstractions it provides. This makes it better suited for devices with more resources available.


MicroPython and CircuitPython are both powerful programming languages for embedded systems and IoT development. The choice between the two depends on your specific needs and development preferences.

If you prioritize minimalism, efficiency, and maximum control, MicroPython may be the right choice for you. On the other hand, if you are a beginner or prefer a more beginner-friendly development workflow, CircuitPython offers a higher-level API and additional libraries that can simplify the development process.

Ultimately, both languages have their strengths and weaknesses, and the decision should be based on the requirements of your project and your personal development style. Whichever language you choose, you can be confident that you are working with a powerful and flexible tool for embedded systems development.

By Anshul Pal

Hey there, I'm Anshul Pal, a tech blogger and Computer Science graduate. I'm passionate about exploring tech-related topics and sharing the knowledge I've acquired. With two years of industry expertise in blogging and content writing, I'm also the co-founder of HVM Smart Solution. Thanks for reading my blog – Happy Learning!

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