Recently, we took a look at various Raspberry Pi Silicon RP2040 boards by different companies such as Raspberry Pi, Adafruit, Pimoroni, and SparkFun. However, while the common factor between the boards was the RP2040 chip, all boards had their own unique feature sets. Among all the companies, SparkFun had something different to offer. It came up with a MicroMod RP2040 processor which is a modular interface for SparkFun carrier boards.
The SparkFun MicroMod RP2040 features an M.2 connector which makes interfacing easier with supported carrier boards. You have to match up the key on the MicroMod RP2040 processor to the key on M.2 connector and attach it to the board with a screw.
Eben Upton’s presentation at the TinyML Summit has brought to our attention that the MicroMod RP2040 processor is dedicated to machine learning applications. Hence, SparkFun’s ML carrier board featuring two microphones and a 3-axis accelerometer for data acquisition for training models. The board also comes with a Himax camera cable for image and video data. Thus, the combination of a MicroMod RP2040 and an ML carrier board enables voice recognition, always-on voice commands, gesture detection, and image recognition. However, the processor is also compatible with other carrier boards like ATP, Weather, Input-Output, and Data Logging carrier boards.
SparkFun explains that “MicroMod is a modular interface ecosystem that connects a microcontroller ‘processor board’ to various ‘carrier board’ peripherals. Utilizing the M.2 standard, the MicroMod standard is designed to easily swap out processors on the fly. Pair a specialized carrier board for the project you need with your choice of compatible processor”
MicroMod RP2040 supports C/C++ and MicroPython cross-platform development environments similar to other RP2040 boards. It also allows users to monitor runtime debugging. The processor card can work both a device and host via its built-in USB. It also comes “with two symmetric cores and high internal bandwidth, making it useful for signal processing and video.”
For more information visit the company’s blog on the MicroMod RP2040. The SparkFun MicroMod RP2040 is available for $11.95 on the SparkFun shop.