Feather RP2040 SCORPIO

by Adafruit

Image of Board

If there is one thing Adafruit is known for, its mega-blinky-fun-rainbow-LEDs. We just love sticking NeoPixels anywhere and everywhere. When we saw the new ‘PIO’ peripheral on the RP2040 from Raspberry Pi, we just knew it would be perfect for driving large quantities of NeoPixels. So we created this board, the Adafruit Feather RP2040 SCORPIO, designed specifically for NeoPixel (WS2812) driving but also good for various other PIO-based projects that want to take advantage of the Feather pinout with 8 separate consecutive outputs (or inputs).

The RP2040 PIO state machine is perfect for LED driving: it can generate perfect waveforms, with up to 8 outputs concurrently, all through DMA. That means that you don’t need to use any processor time to bit-bang-out the LED data. Just set up the buffer and tell the PIO peripheral to ‘make it so’ and it will shove that data to the 8 outputs without delay while your code can continue to read buttons, play music, run CircuitPython - whatever you like!

The SCORPIO has a clever pinout, where all the standard Feather pins are the same as the GPIO pins, plus the standard I2C, SPI and UART lines - and theres still enough pins left over to have 8 consecutive pins for PIO usage on GPIO16 through GPIO23 inclusive.

To make NeoPixel usage glitch-free there is a 3V->5V level shifter so that the output logic is 5V. If you happen to want 3V signals, you can adjust the shifter voltage with a jumper on the bottom. It’s also possible to flip the direction of the level shifter to make the 8 I/O pins inputs - say for making a logic analyzer - with a directional jumper selection also on the bottom of the PCB.

The RP2040 SCORPIO also has a ton of RAM, 264KB, making it trivial to buffer huge numbers of NeoPixels…several thousand if needed. In fact there’s so much RAM you can even dither the pixels to for finer brightness control, for better-looking LEDs at low brightness or for gamma correction.

We have NeoPXL8 driver code available in Arduino and CircuitPython, so you can jump immediately to making beautiful artworks driven by the Adafruit SCORPIO.

  • Measures 2.0” x 0.9” x 0.28” (50.8mm x 22.8mm x 7mm) without headers soldered in
  • Light as a (large?) feather - 5 grams
  • RP2040 32-bit Cortex M0+ dual core running at ~125 MHz @ 3.3V logic and power
  • 264 KB RAM
  • 8 MB SPI FLASH chip for storing files and CircuitPython/MicroPython code storage. No EEPROM
  • Tons of GPIO! 21 x GPIO pins with following capabilities:
    • Four 12-bit ADCs (one more than Pico)
    • Two I2C, Two SPI, and two UART peripherals, we label one for the ‘main’ interface in standard Feather locations
    • 16 x PWM outputs - for servos, LEDs, etc
    • 8 x consecutive GPIO outputs with 5V level shifting for PIO NeoPixel driving
  • Built-in 200mA+ lipoly charger with charging status indicator LED
  • Pin #13 red LED for general purpose blinking
  • RGB NeoPixel for full-color indication on D4
  • On-board STEMMA QT connector that lets you quickly connect any Qwiic, STEMMA QT or Grove I2C devices with no soldering!
  • Both Reset button and Bootloader select button for quick restarts (no unplugging-replugging to relaunch code). Bootloader button is also available as user-input button on GPIO #7
  • 3.3V Power/enable pin
  • 4 mounting holes
  • 12 MHz crystal for perfect timing.
  • 3.3V regulator with 500mA peak current output
  • USB Type C connector lets you access built-in ROM USB bootloader and serial port debugging

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CircuitPython 9.0.3

This is the latest stable release of CircuitPython that will work with the Feather RP2040 SCORPIO.

Use this release if you are new to CircuitPython.

Release Notes for 9.0.3

Built-in modules available: _asyncio, _bleio, _pixelmap, adafruit_bus_device, adafruit_pixelbuf, aesio, alarm, analogbufio, analogio, array, atexit, audiobusio, audiocore, audiomixer, audiomp3, audiopwmio, binascii, bitbangio, bitmaptools, bitops, board, builtins, builtins.pow3, busdisplay, busio, busio.SPI, busio.UART, codeop, collections, countio, digitalio, displayio, epaperdisplay, errno, floppyio, fontio, fourwire, framebufferio, getpass, gifio, hashlib, i2cdisplaybus, i2ctarget, imagecapture, io, jpegio, json, keypad, keypad.KeyMatrix, keypad.Keys, keypad.ShiftRegisterKeys, locale, math, memorymap, microcontroller, msgpack, neopixel_write, nvm, onewireio, os, os.getenv, paralleldisplaybus, pulseio, pwmio, qrio, rainbowio, random, re, rgbmatrix, rotaryio, rp2pio, rtc, sdcardio, select, sharpdisplay, storage, struct, supervisor, synthio, sys, terminalio, time, touchio, traceback, ulab, usb, usb_cdc, usb_hid, usb_host, usb_midi, usb_video, vectorio, warnings, watchdog, zlib

CircuitPython 9.1.0-beta.0

This is the latest development release of CircuitPython that will work with the Feather RP2040 SCORPIO.

Alpha development releases are early releases. They are unfinished, are likely to have bugs, and the features they provide may change. Beta releases may have some bugs and unfinished features, but should be suitable for many uses. A Release Candidate (rc) release is considered done and will become the next stable release, assuming no further issues are found.

Please try alpha, beta, and rc releases if you are able. Your testing is invaluable: it helps us uncover and find issues quickly.

Release Notes for 9.1.0-beta.0

Built-in modules available: _asyncio, _bleio, _pixelmap, adafruit_bus_device, adafruit_pixelbuf, aesio, alarm, analogbufio, analogio, array, atexit, audiobusio, audiocore, audiomixer, audiomp3, audiopwmio, binascii, bitbangio, bitmaptools, bitops, board, builtins, builtins.pow3, busdisplay, busio, busio.SPI, busio.UART, codeop, collections, countio, digitalio, displayio, epaperdisplay, errno, floppyio, fontio, fourwire, framebufferio, getpass, gifio, hashlib, i2cdisplaybus, i2ctarget, imagecapture, io, jpegio, json, keypad, keypad.KeyMatrix, keypad.Keys, keypad.ShiftRegisterKeys, keypad_demux, keypad_demux.DemuxKeyMatrix, locale, math, memorymap, microcontroller, msgpack, neopixel_write, nvm, onewireio, os, os.getenv, paralleldisplaybus, pulseio, pwmio, qrio, rainbowio, random, re, rgbmatrix, rotaryio, rp2pio, rtc, sdcardio, select, sharpdisplay, storage, struct, supervisor, synthio, sys, terminalio, time, touchio, traceback, ulab, usb, usb_cdc, usb_hid, usb_host, usb_midi, usb_video, vectorio, warnings, watchdog, zlib

Absolute Newest

Every time we commit new code to CircuitPython we automatically build binaries for each board and language. The binaries are stored on Amazon S3, organized by board, and then by language. These releases are even newer than the development release listed above. Try them if you want the absolute latest and are feeling daring or want to see if a problem has been fixed.

Previous Versions of CircuitPython

All previous releases of CircuitPython are available for download from Amazon S3 through the button below. For very old releases, look in the OLD/ folder for each board. Release notes for each release are available at GitHub button below.

Older releases are useful for testing if you something appears to be broken in a newer release but used to work, or if you have older code that depends on features only available in an older release. Otherwise we recommend using the latest stable release.