POWER-UP PCBA #19: Speed up TinyML development with Seeed XIAO RP2040 and FREE Prototypes with Seeed Fusion

What can ignite your desire to be creative in an instant? 

Earlier this year, Seeed introduced the XIAO RP2040 to the XIAO family. With XIAO RP2040, you get the same powerful microcontroller as the Raspberry Pico, but with the popular production-ready XIAO form factor.

XIAO RP2040 opens up more powerful XIAO applications with direct support for MicroPython and CircuitPython. To support and inspire more XIAO RP2040 projects, Seeed Fusion are offering 2 free PCBA prototypes with the Seeed Fusion PCBA service. Don’t let this amazing opportunity pass you by.

How powerful is Seeed XIAO RP2040?

The XIAO RP2040 is equipped with the Raspberry RP2040 chip that features a powerful dual-core Arm Cortex-M0+ processor with a flexible clock running up to 133 MHz.

Onboard, there is also 264KB of SRAM and 2MB of on-board Flash memory, allowing you to store and run more complex programs. Despite the superior performance and processing power, this little board uses very little power. Moreover, an article on Electronics-Lab also introduce more features to Seeed XIAO RP2040, please click here to find out more.

Seeed XIAO RP2040 is built with rich interfaces in a tiny thumb size, and fully supports Arduino, MicroPython, and CircuitPython. The onboard interfaces are enough for developing multiple applications, ideal for various wearable, TinyML, rapid prototyping. It’s also perfect for all the projects needing a mini Arduino, custom mechanical keyboards, USB development (USB to multi-channel TTL/USB host mode, etc.) and small projects. 

XIAO RP2040 is as small as the Seeeduino XIAO but more powerful and supports CircuitPython out of the box. Here is an interesting project by British developer, Andy Warburton who has been expatting in Amsterdam.

“I recently got into Mechanical Keyboard customization and thought it would be fun to build my own 8 key mechanical macropad. The process is pretty easy and made even easier with the addition of the Seeeduino Xiao which is super cheap and has enough inputs to create a decent sized keypad without the complexities of figuring out how to code a matrix (which if you feel like doing you could create a pad of up to 25 keys with this tiny device!). Let’s do this!“

The project has brought a good response to the community and received a lot of attention, hopefully it will give you a little bit of inspiration to customize your design with Seeed XIAO RP2040. 

Raise your XIAO RP2040 projects to the next level with Seeed Fusion!

If you have an interesting concept for Seeed XIAO RP2040 custom design and are willing to share it with the community, share it with us and we can help you make it a reality with Seeed Fusion’s one-stop-shop capabilities. Get 2 boards fabricated and assembled completely free with Seeed Fusion’s turnkey PCB Assembly service. 

Furthermore, choose all your parts from the PCBA Open Parts Libraries (OPL) and reduce the lead time to as little as 7 working days. Seeed Fusion has the expertise and engineering insight to deliver streamlined PCB assembly at low costs and is equipped with a wide range of value-added services and capabilities. Take advantage of the Free Design for Assembly review and Free functional testing with Seeed Fusion PCBA service now!

How to apply:

Each person is limited to two PCBA boards 100% FREE for one design. The custom design must include Seeed XIAO RP2040. 

Please click the link and fill in the form: https://forms.gle/8dmLqtdXCiPvZ8Av9

Please be noted that when you are preparing the BOM file, just add the Seeed SKU 102010428 or the part number Seeed XIAO RP2040 to your BOM file. Add the order to the cart then contact our customer support ([email protected]) to obtain the corresponding cash coupon for settlement. 

By participating in this event, you agree to review your experience with us and allow us to share it and the design with the community on our social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc.). The design does not need to be open-sourced and production files will not be shared with the public (unless you want to). We hope your experience will go on to inspire more users to embrace IoT, TinyML and its capabilities. 

Further Cooperation With Seeed:

Seeed can assist designers with an established project plan with product development and mass production. Furthermore, we can assist with sales and distribution using our global sales network, and designers can obtain the licensing fees through sales by becoming a senior partner. Meanwhile, we hope to see more XIAO RP2040 application cases involving wearable devices, DIY mechanical keyboards and small projects, etc. 

Most importantly, we are happy to announce that Seeed is an official Raspberry Pi Approved Design Partner. With the help of Raspberry Pi Approved Design Partners, industrial manufacturers can save resources needed for Proof of Concept and significantly reduce the time between product development and market launch. 

What’s more, Seeed has direct support from Raspberry Pi, and we will continue to offer specialist knowledge and proven expertise in designing and manufacturing to realize carrier board designs and custom products that use the Raspberry Pi Compute Modules. 

Currently, Seeed Fusion is running a Raspberry Pi CM4 Sponsorship Program to support CM4-powered designs. Manufacture your custom Raspberry Pi CM4 Carrier Board with the Seeed Fusion PCB Assembly Service and get up to $500 Off! More good news, Seeed has launched the Wio RP2040 Module based on this Raspberry Pi’s RP2040 chip and is providing 5 Wio RP2040 Modules free with prototypes made with Seeed Fusion PCBA. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our customer support at [email protected] for further consultation. 

Can’t wait to get your idea off the ground? Get started with Seeed Fusion PCBA! 

Since the Seeed XIAO RP2040 Sponsorship with Seeed Fusion campaign launched, designers and engineers from all over the world have enthusiastically participated in it, we’ re gladly received a wide range of interest and great feedback from the community. Moreover, we’ ve been delighted to witness the creative and meaningful projects that many designers have made. Here are some project spotlights that have been made by various participants.

Case Study 1 – DIY 6-keys Macropad using Seeed XIAO RP2040 & Fusion PCBA

How interesting it would be if you DIY yourself a Macropad?

Naveen Kumar, who is a Senior Technical Scientist from Tokyo, had make a 6-keys Macropad by using Seeed Studio XIAO RP2040, which is a tiny development board. 

And also, it was the first time for him to make PCB design project using KiCad EDA.

This project showcases a PCB design for a basic Macropad. Similar approaches can be applied to make a full-fledged advanced version of it. 

Case Study 2 – 8-keys KEM Keyboard Extender Maker project using Seeeduino XIAO & PCBA

What an amazing project Jorge has done! The microprocessor that Jorge have used is a small Seeeduino XIAO SAMD21 Cortex M0+ development board that is perfect to be integrated into a PCB.

The rest of the basic components:

  • 4x WS2812B RGB leds
  • 8x WS2812 2020 RGB leds
  • 8x transparent keys
  • 8x MX Switches for PCB
  • 1x OLED display 128×32 (0.91″) I2C (optional)

Case Study 3 – 8-Keys Keyboard for Handwiring ‘Le Pinceau’ using Seeed XIAO BLE-nRF52840 & Fusion PCBA

“I’m using a XIAO BLE nRF52840 controller with ZMK firmware. The bluetooth is really convenient. 20 wpm and counting!” This is a project from the keyboard maker Caleb Goates and hopefully it will give you a little bit of inspiration to customize your design with Seeed XIAO RP2040. 

Case Study 4 – Seeed Studio XIAO RP2040 18 Key Numpad

A minimalist 18 key numpad created by Scrapyard by using the Seeed Studio XIAO RP2040, a single analogue pin, and room for expansion!

Case Study 5 – Cistercian keyboard

Tauno Erik made this amazing Cistercian Keyboard, a keypad with cipher numerals based on an XIAO RP2040 and a custom Fusion PCB, which contains four columns and five rows of switches.

Case Study 6 – Slice36 Minimalist Split Keyboard

MReavley’s Slice36 is a minimalist ergo split keyboard, he designed the split to work over I2C, but was able to use the PIO feature of the RP2040 to reconfigure those pins to UART to work with KMK.

Case Study 7 – First Hummingbird of the season

A wireless Hummingbird by u/filibustercrankcase sporting a Seeed XIAO BLE controller.

Case Study 8 – Custom-programmable, mini keyboards with Seeed XIAO RP2040

ANAVI Knob 1 and ANAVI Knobs 3 are open source, custom-programmable, mini keyboards with Seeed XIAO RP2040 and rotary encoders. Both keyboards are powered by the open source firmware KMK written in CircuitPython. The printed circuit boards are designed with KiCad. An extra slot allows attaching I2C peripherals such as mini OLED displays.

We look forward to more enthusiasts joining us to make an interesting DIY Macropad/Keyboard project using XIAO RP2040 & Fusion PCB Assembly service for 100% FREE!!

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3 thoughts on “POWER-UP PCBA #19: Speed up TinyML development with Seeed XIAO RP2040 and FREE Prototypes with Seeed Fusion

  1. I wrote a tutorial on using the XIAO RP2040 using Circuitpython. There is specific firmware for the card, but it is not available in the Adafruit downloads area. Contrary to what is reported on your Wiki, the card does not work properly using the firmware for Raspberry Pi Pico.

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December 2021