Adafruit QT Py RP2040 is a tiny dev board that comes with the powerful Raspberry Pi RP2040. The main idea behind this board is, “Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately!” It saves your time and lets you build your projects quicker.
Diving into the Specifications of Adafruit QT Py RP2040
The board has a DIP14 700 mil form-factor which is the same as Adafruit’s SAMD-based QT Py. QT Py is provided with 13 GPIO pins and equipped with a built-in RGB NeoPixel LED. This super small chip measuring 20mm*17.5mm has a STEMMA QT connector. It simply means that any of Adafruit’s STEMMA QT sensors and accessories such as OLEDs and inertial measurement units could be connected through this QT connector. Thus, eliminating the tedious soldering process. Adafruit QT Py has a 4MB SPI FLASH chip. The program or any file storage used by MicroPython or CircuitPython shares this memory. You get the entire flash memory while using C/C++. As for Python, you get the remaining 3MB for storing code, files, images, fonts, etc.
The chip is equipped with a native USB, which comes with support from all the operating systems. Therefore, it can be used in Arduino or CircuitPython as USB serial console or as a Keyboard/Mouse HID. To reset and bootloader, select buttons are provided on the board that let you quickly restart, thus avoiding unplugging and replugging procedures to relaunch codes. It has castellated pads so we can solder it to a PCB, allowing breathing space to the components. It works on a range of 3.3V, giving a 600mA peak output.
About the RP2040 Chip
The RP2040 is a powerful chip that QT Py has been provided with. It has 264KB on-chip SRAM. The chip has the same clock speed as the M4 cortex processor, but you’d get a speed close to this for computational tasks. It does not have a floating-point unit or DSP hardware support as it is an M0 chip. As for the Peripherals, there are two I2C controllers and two SPI controllers, along with two UARTs that are multiplexed across the GPIO. Also, many of the peripherals provided for specific hardware support are replaced with the PIO state machine system. This is an excellent way to construct custom hardware logic and data processing blocks as per our requirements. Also, they can run without the CPU and fulfill the needs of the user. So, there are two PIO peripherals with four state machines each.
Talking about the software support
Unfortunately, we did not see any Arduino Core support for the chip on this board. It is compatible with C/C++. It has been provided with official MicroPython and CircuitPython ports. However, Adafruit recommends CircuitPython because it’s the easiest way to get started as it is compatible with most of its drivers, displays, sensors, and more.
The product and its price are yet to be made available in the market. 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”.