Adafruit are not resting on their laurels and they are pressing on with their range of RP2040 'Pi Silicon' based boards which use the same chip as the recently released Raspberry Pi Pico. In a recent tweet Adafruit have announced their latest prototype, the QT Py RP2040 a version of their QT Py CircuitPython and it looks to be an incredibly small board.
Coming soon - Petite Pico Prototypes - QT Py RP2040Can we squooosh an RP2040 into a QT Py shape? With double sided assembly and some 0402 resistors...yes! We stuck to 0805 and 0603 for the supply bypass caps, but went smol for the resistors and 20pF's. pic.twitter.com/i79SCq3ZXwJanuary 22, 2021
QT Py RP2040 packs a lot of features into a small 22 x 18mm footprint, the same footprint as their older model. The QT Py RP2040 could be the smallest RP2040 board yet, much smaller than the Raspberry Pi Pico's 51 x 21mm board. QT Py shares something in common with the Raspberry Pi Pico, castellated edges which can be used to embed the board into a carrier board.
Using USB-C for data and power, QT Py RP2040 has a limited amount of GPIO pins, a mere 14 pins. But what we lack in quantity, we gain in choice, we have four analog pins connected to the 12-bit ADC of the RP2040, these can also double as digital pins. There is a single I2C and SPI connection, along with UART. A single STEMMA QT port enables the use of compatible components.
Two buttons, one user programmable, the other to reset the board's bootloader, and a Neopixel RGB LED complete the top half of the board. On the underside lies the RP2040 powering the board.
In our Raspberry Pi Pico review, we praised the value and versatility of the new microcontroller board. However, Adafruit's version could be even more compelling, thanks to its small size, larger number of analog connections and USB-C / STEMMA QT connectivity.
There is no word on price or release date as yet, as Adafruit is apparently still experimenting with the board.
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Les Pounder is an associate editor at Tom's Hardware. He is a creative technologist and for seven years has created projects to educate and inspire minds both young and old. He has worked with the Raspberry Pi Foundation to write and deliver their teacher training program "Picademy".