To retire this very long year in the books, here are our top 10 New Products from 2021!
Strap yourself in, we’re launching in T-minus 10 seconds…Destination? A new Class M planet called MACROPAD! M here stands for Microcontroller because this 3×4 keyboard controller features the newest technology from the Raspberry Pi sector: say hello to the RP2040. It’s a speedy little microcontroller with lots of GPIO pins and 64 times more RAM than the Apollo Guidance Computer. We added 8 MB of flash memory for plenty of storage.
This is the full MacroPad starter kit with included keys, keycaps, and enclosure! Many folks in the mechanical keyboard community like to customize the keys and keycaps of their keebs – if you want to customize it, you may want to get the individual pieces.
Expand your project possibilities, with the Adafruit AW9523 GPIO Expander and LED Driver Breakout – a cute and powerful I2C expander with a lot of tricks up its sleeve.
GPIO expanders work like this: you have a board with some number of GPIO but not enough for your project – maybe you need more buttons or LEDs. You could upgrade to a board with a massive number of GPIO like the Grand Central, or you could pop on one of these boards. Connect it over I2C and then you can send/receive I2C commands to control the GPIO pins to write and read them. It’s going to be slower than direct GPIO access, but maybe that doesn’t matter if it takes a millisecond instead of a microsecond. You only need the two I2C pins, and you can even share the I2C port with other sensors and devices. Heck, you can even add more expanders for massive I/O control!
Take a deep breath in…now slowly breathe out. Mmm isn’t it wonderful? All that air around us, which we bring into our lungs, extracts oxygen from and then breathes out carbon dioxide. CO2 is essential for life on this planet we call Earth – we and plants take turns using and emitting CO2 in an elegant symbiosis. But it’s important to keep that CO2 balanced – you don’t want too much around, not good for humans and not good for our planet.
The SCD-40 is a photoacoustic ‘true’ CO2 sensor that will tell you the CO2 PPM (parts-per-million) composition of ambient air. Unlike the SGP30, this sensor isn’t approximating it from VOC gas concentration – it really is measuring the CO2 concentration! That means it’s bigger and more expensive, but it is the real thing. Perfect for environmental sensing, scientific experiments, air quality and ventilation studies, and more.
This OLED goes out to all the fans who want more pixels in a smaller size! Normally our 128×64 OLEDs are the biggest ones we’ve stocked that can use I2C. This one is a whopping 128×128 pixels in crisp monochrome.
This display is a petite 1.12″ diagonal, but very readable due to the high contrast of an OLED display. This display is made of 128×128 individual white OLED pixels, each one is turned on or off by the controller chip. Because the display makes its own light, no backlight is required. This reduces the power required to run the OLED and is why the display has such high contrast; we really like these miniature displays for their crispness!
The Raspberry Pi foundation changed single-board computing when they released the Raspberry Pi computer, now they’re ready to do the same for microcontrollers with the release of the brand new Raspberry Pi Pico. This low-cost microcontroller board features a powerful new chip, the RP2040, and all the fixin’s to get started with embedded electronics projects at a stress-free price.
What’s Feather-shaped and has an ESP32-S2 WiFi module? What has a STEMMA QT connector for I2C devices and a built-in ambient sensor? What has your favorite Espressif WiFi microcontroller and lots of Flash and RAM memory for your next IoT project? What will make your next IoT project sensor project flyyyyy?
That’s right – it’s the new Adafruit ESP32-S2 Feather with BME280 temperature/humidity/pressure sensor built right in! With native USB and 4 MB flash + 2 MB of PSRAM, this board is perfect for use with CircuitPython or Arduino with low-cost WiFi. Native USB means it can act like a keyboard or a disk drive. WiFi means it’s awesome for IoT projects. And Feather means it works with the large community of Feather Wings for expandability.
A wild Kee Boar appears! It’s a shiny KB2040! An Arduino Pro Micro-shaped board for Keebs with RP2040. (#keeblife 4 evah) A lot of folks like using Adafruit parts for their Keeb builds – but with the ItsyBitsy not being pin-compatible with the Pro Micro pinout, it really wasn’t very easy without some sort of adapter plate.
Now we’re seeing lots of people use CircuitPython for keebs, which is awesome! So why not try our hands at spinning up a pro-micro-compatible RP2040 board? The RP2040 is plenty powerful, low-cost, and makes for an excellent keeb driver chip.
Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W is the latest product in Raspberry Pi’s most affordable range of single-board computers. The successor to the breakthrough Raspberry Pi Zero W, Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W is a form factor–compatible drop-in replacement for the original board.
The board incorporates a quad-core 64-bit Arm Cortex-A53 CPU, clocked at 1GHz. At its heart is a Raspberry Pi RP3A0 system-in-package (SiP), integrating a Broadcom BCM2710A1 die with 512MB of LPDDR2 SDRAM. The upgraded processor provides Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W with 40% more single-threaded performance, and five times more multi-threaded performance, than the original single-core Raspberry Pi Zero. Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W offers 2.4GHz 802.11 b/g/n wireless LAN and Bluetooth 4.2, along with support for Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), and modular compliance certification.
What’s Feather-shaped and has an ESP32-S2 WiFi module? What has a STEMMA QT connector for I2C devices? What has your favorite Espressif WiFi microcontroller and lots of Flash and RAM memory for your next IoT project? What will make your next IoT project flyyyyy?
That’s right – it’s the new Adafruit ESP32-S2 Feather! With native USB and 4 MB flash + 2 MB of PSRAM, this board is perfect for use with CircuitPython or Arduino with low-cost WiFi. Native USB means it can act like a keyboard or a disk drive. WiFi means it’s awesome for IoT projects. And Feather means it works with the large community of Feather Wings for expandability.
Vibrant-colored PCBs are of interest in the maker community. For years, fab houses such as OSH Park have offered rich purple PCBs, along with Cytron, offering several RP2040 boards with its own take on purple PCBs.