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Arduino goes ARM

September 25, 2011 Leave a comment

A new member will be added to the roster of Arduino boards this year. This time it’s their biggest brother ever and it’s based on ARM Cortex M3 and two others in the same line, the Leonardo and the Wifi.

Arduino Due

The Arduino Due is running on the Atmega SAM3u 32-bit ARM-based microcontroller clocked up to 96 MHz. It has 256 KB of flash memory and 50 KB of RAM (SRAM, to be precise), five SPI buses, two I2C interfaces, five serial ports, 16 12-bit analog inputs and lots more. The downside though goes with the 3.3-volts that powers the Due. This deviates from already existing 5-volt shields.

Quoting the Arduino blog:

“Instead of just releasing the finished platform we are opening the process to the community early on. We’re going to be demoing the board and be giving away some boards to a select group of developers who will be invited to shape the platform while it’s being created. After Maker Faire, we will begin selling a small batch of Developer Edition boards on the Arduino store (store.arduino,cc) for members of the community who want to join the development effort. We plan a final and tested release by the end of 2011.”

There remains room for the question on running Linux on the ARM-based Arduino since that is the case for example with the Beagleboard. Will there be another IDE like tool chain, etc.? A newer platform that rivals with the upcoming Due is the Raspberry Pi, which definitely runs Linux on its ARM-based design.

As for the Leonardo, this is said to be a lightweight, low-cost version of the Uno. And the Wifi is just an opensource version of existing Wifi shields. It will be the mother of all existing Wifi shields in terms of backwards compatibility.

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