EncroPi – A Raspberry Pi RP2040 USB key to read, encrypt & store data (Crowdfunding)

SB Components’ EncroPi is a USB key based on the Raspberry Pi RP2040 microcontroller that can be used to log data, encrypt data, or as a secure key, and it also features a DS3231 real-time clock with a backup battery to store the data and time.

The USB key also comes with a small 1.14-inch color display to display information such as time and date, and should be programmable like the Raspberry Pi Pico with MicroPython or C/C++. All photo shows a USB Type-A port, but based on user feedback the company will also make a USB Type-C version.

RP2040 USB Key

EncroPi specifications:

  • MCU – Raspberry Pi RP2040 dual-core Cortex-M0+ microcontroller @ 133 MHz with 264KB SRAM
  • Storage – QSPI flash, MicroSD card slot
  • Display – 1.14-inch color LCD with 240 x 135 resolution
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 Type-A or Type-C port (should it be USB 1.1 instead?)
  • Misc – Boot button, Power LED, Status LED, DS3231SN with holder for CR1220 coin-cell battery
  • Power Supply – 5V via USB port
  • Dimensions –  Unreadable on provided documentation…

EncroPi USB dongle

SB Components highlight four use cases for the EncroPi RP2040 USB key:

  • USB Data Logger – Save data in a microSD card slot
  • USB Secure Access Key – Program the EncroPi to store a key that can be automatically retrieved when log in to your computer or a service (check the video below for a better understanding of how they’ve implemented it)
  • Real-time Clock – EncroPi can be used as a portable real-time clock
  • Data encryption – Data can be securely encryption to secure it from fraud activity

I’m not convinced of the usefulness of the device, as most features can be accomplished with a USB flash drive, and it lacks a hardware security chip to be used as a secure access key, but maybe I’m missing something. SB Components has a Github account, but they will typically only release the code and samples after the crowdfunding campaign is complete. So it’s impossible to check the code before pledging. The video below shows the USB key in action.

SB Components has launched the EncroPi on Kickstarter with a lowly 500 GBP funding target that’s already been surpassed. Rewards start at about $43 for the EncroPi with enclosure, but the company also offers a $62 combo with EncroPi with enclosure and USB RTC board (no display, no MicroSD card) with enclosure.  This price does not include shipping, and the rewards will be shipped right after the campaign is over in September 2022.

USB RTC board
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