Where (physically) IS the RP2040 in the Framework 16?

Hello, Where is the RP2040 keyboard controller in the Framework16? Is it actually in the keyboard itself?

I’m wondering if I was to adapt my favorite ortholinear keyboard to the FW16, how would I deal with the keyboard matrix’ communication with the RP2040. But I guess that each keyboard sold comes complete with the RP2040 built into it…?

Thanks for any pointers.

The RP2040 chips are within the input modules.

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Interesting… a RP2040 in each module…!? wow, that’s a lot of horsepower on a machine with two LED modules.

It’s only a microcontroller

Indeed, so don’t try to run Helldivers 2 on it. However, for a controller for an input module where you’re displaying LED’s and reading keystrokes, and sending codes over USB… that’s a lot of oomph.

The RP2040 has 8 times more ram than the flash in the ATmega32u4 powering my Kyria keyboard. It’s got 2 32-bit cores running at over 100 MHz each. I don’t know if the controllers in the input module utilize external memory or not, but regardless the mere 32k in the ATmega 32u4 is plenty to enable a lot of powerful features on the Kyria including a set of under-board LEDs with effects. It’s got just enough horsepower.

Now I have 3 input modules with an RP2040 in each. That’s a lot of horsepower for the tasks that they are meant to perform. I would imagine that a single RP2040 could manage the entire suite of modules (albeit with perhaps some helper chips for the LED arrays).

A 32kB AVR is on the edge of what’s recommended for QMK.
qmk_firmware/docs/compatible_microcontrollers.md at master · qmk/qmk_firmware · GitHub

It’s much better that Framework went for something with more breathing room. It also aligns with Framework’s goal of trying to build parts that can last for years to come. The RP2040 has become a popular choice for QMK, since it’s well supported, easy to use, hard to brick.

Exactly. You say “breathing room”, I say “horsepower”. Potato/potahto.

Having had some experience with the ATmega32u4, now investigating the RP2040, I have to say I’m mighty impressed. The chips themselves are only a buck- to the public. We’ve come a long way since the days of the Arduino Duemilanove!

I imagine there are more factors involved than its power, things like cost and development tools all factor into it.

Not to mention those RP2040 (Cortex M0+) chips are wonderful to work on and are super power efficient

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Perhaps… factors notwithstanding, I got the power, which is what brings me joy!