Adafruit’s RP2040 Boards: USB Hosting and CAN Bus Connectivity


Use cases that provide USB usually have rich connectivity, and the USB host function allows device compatibility and further customization of the application depending on the requirements. Also, the industry demands efficiency in applications related to connected control systems at a lower cost with CAN bus development. Adafruit has announced two RP2040-based Feather-format development boards for addressing these issues: RP2040 with USB hosting and YACBB with CAN bus connectivity, respectively.

The RP2040 development board with USB host capabilities adds additional PIO slots dedicated to applications that require an alternate USB connection. For example, if the use case demands data logging sensors for writing data to a USB key. It would require an additional USB port to transfer data autonomously, hence, justifying the main motivation behind adding an extra USB A port to the RP2040-based development board. This board makes heavy use of the RP2040 features, one of the two Cortex-M0+ cores is dedicated to work with PIO(programmable I/O) to set up a USB host (Type-A USB port) for communicating with peripheral devices hardware. An enhancement of TPS61023 (texas instruments) has also been added to support 500mA current at 1A peak, making it USB 2.0 compliant.

Adafruit’s RP2040 based board with USB hosting

Apart from this, the YACBB(Yet Another CAN Bus Board) is an RP2040-based development board that focuses on connecting to CAN bus hardware instead of USB peripheral devices.

The CAN protocol is designed to allow multiple electronic control units (ECUs) in a system to communicate with each other without a central computer or controller. CAN is known for its reliability, efficiency, and error detection capabilities, making it a popular choice for applications that require high levels of data integrity and fault tolerance.

This board also has MCP25625, a single-chip CAN bus controller which can communicate at speeds up to 1 Mbps to provide complete CAN connectivity along with a shared SPI port to communicate with peripheral devices. It also needs an additional 5V booster component for CAN communication.

Adafruit’s RP2040 based YACBB for dedicated CAN communication

These boards are just announced by Adafruit, with no information regarding pricing or availability yet. Please stay tuned to know more about this.

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