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UDOO KEY Combines RP2040 and ESP32 in a New AI Dev Board

Reporting from Shanghai, China
Sep 29, 2021

“It allows you to use either RP2040, ESP32, or both to build any AI projects on your terms”, UDOO claims.

The embedded computing specialist company UDOO is about to launch a crowdfunding campaign for their new AI development board. It will combine RP2040 with Espressif’s ESP32, in a single device dubbed the UDOO KEY.

According to the relevant press release, “UDOO KEY is a fully programmable board combining Raspberry Pi RP2040 and ESP32 into a single powerful solution. It allows you to use either RP2040, ESP32 or both to build any AI projects on your terms. Designed for professionals and hobbyists alike, UDOO KEY is 100% compatible with any accessory available for RP2040, and with Olimex UEXT modules for ESP32”.

Both microcontrollers can be programmed using different environments, such as TinyML, TensorFlow Lite, MicroPython, C/C++, Arduino IDE, and many more, giving you plenty of options to streamline your AI application.

Furthermore, UDOO KEY provides native support for Clea, the AI platform for deploying AI models and applications over a fleet of IoT devices through over-the-air updates.

According to Hackster’s Gareth Halfacree, the lower half of the board does indeed look like a Raspberry Pi Pico, complete with the castellated GPIO pin headers suitable for either breadboard or surface-mount installation. At the centre, just like the Pico, there is an RP2040 microcontroller with a dual-core Arm Cortex-M0 processor clocked at 133MHz, with 264kB of static RAM (SRAM), and 8MB of QSPI external flash — plus the RP2040's most interesting feature: its eight programmable input/output (PIO) state machines.

The considerably broader upper half lacks pin headers of its own, and plays host to a USB Type-C port for data and power, along with a expansion header based on the Olimex UEXT standard and the KEY's second microcontroller: An Espressif ESP32 module, adding a dual-core Xtensa LX6 processor, 8MB of pseudo-static RAM (PSRAM), 16MB of flash storage, and both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. There is also an on-board microphone and a nine-axis inertial measurement unit (IMU) added for good measure.

If you would like to be notified of when the UDOO KEY campaign goes live and benefit from an early-bird discount, you should register with UDOO on their website.

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