Adafruit Launches the Kee Boar 2040, a Raspberry Pi RP2040 Board Designed for Custom Keyboards
Designed to mimic the size and rough pinout of a SparkFun Pro Micro, this RP2040-based board looks to find a home in your next keyboard.
Adafruit has officially launched the Kee Boar 2040, a Raspberry Pi RP2040-based keyboard driver for custom builds, which mimics the Arduino Pro Micro pinout — making it an easy drop-in replacement.
First teased by the company seven months ago the Kee Boar 2040, or KB2040, the new board is designed to offer a more powerful alternative to the traditional microcontroller development boards that find their way into custom keyboard projects.
The new Kee Board 2040 (KB2040) is designed to put an RP2040 at the heart of your next custom keyboard build. (📷: Adafruit)
“We mixed together what we liked most about the SparkFun Pro Micro RP2040 (Qwiic/STEMMA QT I2C port on the end, so good!) and Elite-C (castellated pads & pins for D+ and D-) and our existing RP2040 boards (boot button can be used for user, 8MB QSPI flash, onboard NeoPixel, jumper for skipping the diode/fuse for high power RGB LEDs or USB hosting),” the company explains. “We even got it to all fit on a 2-layer PCB with 7/7 routing – just needed to make the smallest caps and resistors 0402.”
The resulting board shares the size and form factor as a SparkFun Pro Micro, though has fewer analog pins available, and includes 18 general-purpose input/output (GPIO) pins plus a further two on the STEMMA QT port — enough, Adafruit explains, for a 100-switch keyboard matrix. A USB Type-C port provides connectivity for data and power, and like the RP2040-based Raspberry Pi Pico the board’s pin headers are castellated for optional surface mounting.
The board breaks out 18 GPIOs, plus a further two on the STEMMA QT port at the end. (📷: Adafruit)
The RP2040 at its heart, meanwhile, offers two 32-bit Arm Cortex-M0+ processors and 264kB of RAM, to which Adafruit has added 8MB of SPI flash. It also includes CircuitPython compatibility: “We’re seeing lots of people use CircuitPython for keebs,” the company claims, “which is awesome!”
The new board has been listed on the Adafruit store at $8.95, though at the time of writing was showing as out of stock.