So recently we’ve come across Adafruit feather nRF52840 Express which is the latest addition to the Feather family. It features twice the flash and four times the SRAM of nRF52832.
With Arduino IDE support, the chip allows direct programming to benefit from Arm’s high-performance embedded processor i.e Cortex-M4 processor. Hence, it benefits the Arm’s high-performance embedded processor – Cortex M4 Processor. A mighty RAM and swift cortex processor is definitely a lethal combination this chip brings to us.
The best part about this chip is that those wanting to shift from 2832 to 2840 can easily shift using the same code at the cost of just recompiling as the underlying API and peripherals of both the chips are the same. An exceptional feature that 2840 brings to us is that it can manage to run a small Python interpreter with the memory it is provided with. Hence the company has chosen this chip for their first Bluetooth low energy-friendly CircuitPython board.
Talking about the peripherals, it has around 21 GPIO, 6 x 12-bit ADC pins, up to 12 PWM outputs, timers, etc. What’s exciting is that this chip comes with a USB native thus ending the need for separate serial chips. This Native Open Source USB stack comes with a UF2 bootloader. The bootloader has in-built programs thus making it easy for developers.
Form Factor of Adafruit Feather nRF52840 Express
The chip is provided with a tiny USB support that and in addition to the CDC that is provided by Adafruit, this library provides platform-independent for Human Interface Device (HID), Generic (In & Out), Keyboard, Mouse, Gamepad, Mass Storage Class (MSC) with multiple LUNs, Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI), WebUSB with vendor-specific class and much more. This implies that you can use it with Arduino as a native USB device for various applications mentioned above.
An interesting upgrade seen in 2804 is that it supports an extra USER switch for Over-The-Air (OTA) Updates. It also allows Neopixel LED for status updates along with 2MB of QSPI for storing CircuitPython files and an SWD connector.
The operating range of this chip is 1.7v to 3.3v and has a decent output power of about 8dBm. Since this featherweight 6g chip has the newest Bluetooth low energy incorporated in it. It becomes significant for portable projects that require the use of android or IOS gadgets. It is also compatible with Mac OS X and Windows 8+.
To be able to assist portable projects in a better way. The chip has been provided with a connector for any Lithium Polymer battery of 3.7V. Also, with an excellent feature of built-in charging, it will charge up through the micro USB connector thus canceling out the need to carry batteries. But, if you do have a battery, you can plug in the USB to recharge.
The product is available for $24.95 on Adafruit’s official website. For more information visit the product page.
Prerna Anegundi is an engineering student currently pursuing Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering. She has expertise in creating content that is oriented to embedded systems and IoT devices. Alongside this, she’s a home baker and owns a bakery “The Spongy Affair”.