Adafruit To Add 'Pi Silicon' To Their Boards

Adafruit's RP2040 Boards
(Image credit: Adafruit)

In a flurry of Raspberry Pi Pico news, Adafruit are the latest company to announce their support of the latest Raspberry Pi board with two boards featuring the RP2040 SoC and a port of their popular CircuitPython language.

Adafruit's Feather range of boards are a popular choice for makers and their latest pre-release board is based upon the RP2040 'Pi Silicon' and brings with it a plethora of additions. Limor 'Lady Ada' Fried, in a recent video talked about the new Feather RP2040 as the "perfect RP2040 board".
The Feather comes with a USB C connection, onboard battery charging circuitry, a reset button and STEMMA QT connector for use with sensors and add ons which use I2C. Onboard flash 4MB storage, used for storing projects and the UF2 filesystem / firmware is double the amount for on the Raspberry Pi Pico. As this is a Feather board, the pinout is designed to match the Feather standard. As this is an Adafruit board, there has to be RGB LEDs and the Feather RP2040 has a single WS2812 Neopixel.

Adafruit's Itsy Bitsy range of boards are a smaller form factor to the Feather, but Adafruit have still managed to squeeze the RP2040 into a board. The Itsy Bitsy RP2040 is still in early development and the final design may vary, but in the video, Fried hints that this board may come with castellated pads, in a similar design choice to the Raspberry Pi Pico.
Fried goes on to mention that Adafruit are experimenting with using the RP2040 in their Clue, CircuitPlayground and QTpy range of boards.

In software news, Adafruit's Circuitpython, a port of the MicroPython used on the Raspberry Pi Pico and many other microcontrollers, is being worked on for use with all RP2040 based boards. CircuitPython is set to be released imminently for the Raspberry Pi Pico.

It is still very early days, and Adafruit are waiting for a shipment of RP2040 chips, set to arrive in the next month, with which they can develop these products. 

Les Pounder

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".