For many modern and powerful chips like the RP2040, ESP32, RT10xx and STM32 series microcontrollers, designers can save money and reduce the number of chip options by not including building in the Flash memory used to store code and resources. Instead, an external QSPI Flash memory chip is wired up that can provide up to 16 Megabytes (a.k.a 128 Megabits) of memory. It’s not as fast as if it were on the microcontroller internal bus but with Quad SPI I/O and some clever caching by the chip designer, it’s pretty effective!
To make prototyping and designing with QSPI flash a little easier, we designed these breakouts that convert the wide 8-SOIC packages to a cute 0.3″ wide DIP. We find these handy when testing out different flash sizes, or if we just want to add more storage memory to a project.
This is the W25Q128JVSSIQ, a 3.3V power and logic 128-Megabit / 16 Mega-byte chip. Note that the Q at the end means that the Quad Enable bit is permanently set in the status register. If you’re using this in QSPI mode, then it’ll work right out of the box. If you’re using this in SPI mode, the ‘hold’ and ‘write protect’ pins don’t do anything, so just connect them to 3.3V.
If you’re hankerin’ to use the new Qwiic / Stemma QT standard for your next project – but you’re still using a classic Arduino UNO or other 5V microcontroller, this board is designed for you! Note that Adafruit QT boards are all 3V and 5V safe but many other Qwiic and other I2C devices are not 5V safe or compatible. That means that if you use wires to connect a Qwiic board to a 5V microcontroller you risk damaging your shiny new I2C sensor with over-high voltages. Unless, of course you have one of these Adafruit QT 5V to 3V Shifter Breakouts.
Ding dong! Hear that? It’s the PiCowbell ringing, letting you know that the new Adafruit PiCowbell Proto is finally in stock and ready to assist your Raspberry Pi Pico and Pico W project with handy hardware and practical prototyping.
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Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.