Adafruit Release USB Key Sized RP2040 Board

Adafruit Trinkey QT2040
(Image credit: Adafruit)

Adafruit have announced a new RP2040 based board, and this one is a little different to those that have come before it. The Trinkey QT2040 is based upon the QT Py RP2040 but it has no GPIO pins, instead it has a Stemma QT / Qwiic connector and a dedicated USB A port that is part of the circuit board.

Adafruit's Trinkey QT2040 measures just 1 x 0.7 inches (25.4 x 17.8mm) and it is designed to slot straight into a USB port ready for programming. As the board is powered by the RP2040, it can be coded using C / C++ and MicroPython, but as this is an Adafruit board most users will gravitate towards CircuitPython. With 8MB of QSPI flash we have enough space for CircuitPython libraries and our code.

The most unusual "feature" of this board, is the lack of a GPIO. There are no pins broken out for general use. Rather Trinkey QT2040 has a Stemma QT / Qwiic connector for use with compatible boards. Stemma QT /  Qwiic boards use I2C for communication, requiring only four GPIO pins. The four mounting holes in the corner of the board can be used to mount Stemma QT / Qwiic board using M2.5 standoffs. If you need a basic form of input, Trinkey QT2040's BOOTSEL button doubles as a user programmable button. Adafruit haven't forgotten our love of RGB, and have included a single RGB NeoPixel LED, which can be used in projects and also provides a visual means to report the board status / errors.

Powered by the RP2040 SoC, the same dual core Arm Cortex M0+ CPU running at up to 133 MHz with 264KB of RAM as found in the Raspberry Pi Pico, Trinkey QT 2040 follows the design aesthetics of Adafruit's latest line of boards. The Trinkey form factor centers on a circuit board with built in USB A port, and a method of input or output. For example Adafruit already have Trinkeys, powered by ATSAMD21 microcontrollers, with builtin Neopixels (Neo Trinkey) and Trinkeys with mechanical key switches (NeoKey), slider potentiometer (Slider Trinkey) and rotary encoder (Rotary Trinkey).

Adafruit's Trinkey QT2040 went on sale yesterday for $7.50 and at the time of writing it is out of stock, but more are expected soon. Tom's Hardware have picked one up for review in the coming weeks.

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".

  • King_V
    Pretty neat.

    Though, with these ever smaller versions, and the RP2040 having a very modest processor and modest quantity of RAM (relative to the other Pi boards, etc) . . well, what is the power consumption on these?

    Are they low enough in power consumption that they can run on, say, AA batteries for weeks? Months?

    Or is building long-term-use battery operated devices from these still not yet feasible?