Adafruit releases a feather RP2040 board with two USB ports. Everyone is used to a dev board with a USB port, but how about two USB ports, that’s new and different. This Feather RP2040 board has a USB Type-A host and a Type-C port.
The board doesn’t come with two USB port peripherals but does come with a PIO peripheral that can be used to emulate a USB host peripheral. The main USB port is still active for uploading, data communication, and debugging, while at the same time, sending and receiving data to just about any USB device.
Adafruit lets everyone know this is definitely a firmware hack. The second Arm core and both PIO Peripherals need to be dedicated to just handling USB messages. They found this is an acceptable workaround, working just as well as any microcontroller USB host peripherals.
The recommended library to use is sekigon on GitHub which is the original GitHub library. If running the Pico SDK that library is still recommended also.
For background on the USB Host peripherals check out these links for support.
- TinyUSB ‘dual role’ examples
- datalogging to a USB Key
- reading from another device/microcontroller that has USB CDC serial interface.
- creating an HID re-mapper
- connecting to weird devices that require firmware-updates like the Cypress EZ-USB based Intellikeys
The Feather runs an RP2040 chip at up to 133 MHz and 3.3V logic. This is the same chip used in the Raspberry Pi Pico. There is a large 8MB onboard QSPI Flash and 264K of RAM. There is also room for a STEMMA QT connector for play and plug I2C devices.
The price is $17.50 and it is available right now.
To see more about the Adafruit Feather RP2040 with USB Type-A Host see the product page here.
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