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New Arduino Due Brings More Power To the Table

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the put-it-next-to-the-pi dept.

Hardware Hacking 130

mikejuk writes "After six years in the making, the Arduino Due is finally becoming available and, with a price tag of $49, is bound to give a boost to the platform. The Due, which means 2 in Italian and is pronounced 'doo-eh', replaces the 8-bit, 16MHz Uno by a 32-bit, 84MHz processor board that also has a range of new features — more memory, a USB port that allows it to pretend to be a mouse or a keyboard say, 54 I/O pins and so on — but what lets you do more with it is its speed and power. The heart of the new Arduino Due is the Atmel SAM3X8E, an ARM Cortex-M3-based processor, which gives it a huge boost in ADC performance, opening up possibilities for designers. The theoretical sampling rate has gone from the 15 ksps (kilosamples per second) of the existing boards, the Arduino Uno, Leonardo, and Mega 2560, to a whopping 1,000 ksps. What this all means is that the Due can be used for much more sophisticated applications. It can even play back WAV files without any help. Look out for the Due in projects that once would have needed something more like a desktop machine."

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Bug (4, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#41722735)

The only question I have is, have they fixed the problem with the chameleon circuit? Because otherwise, all I can build with it is a big blue box. -- Some madman

Re:Bug (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 2 years ago | (#41725411)

worse: the mega 2560 shipped with a REALLY bad bootloader. if you happened to have the 'wrong' sequence of binary data in your compiled sketch, the BL would enter monitor mode, almost like the hold hayes modems would on +++.

ie, the geniuses didn't even think that an escape seq NEEDS a delay after the last char. doh!

and so, large sketches and ones with this seq in them, either in string or binary form, will cause upload failures.

probably even to this day, half a year or more later, the mega ships with this bug (the R3 does).

out of the box, its broken. shipped that way.

sigh.

I'm staying with the 328p chip, for the most part. even that took a while for the arduino guys to get really stable and reliable.

Unfortunately for Arduino (1, Informative)

taktoa (1995544) | about 2 years ago | (#41722737)

The TI Stellaris Launchpad ($5, free shipping, 80 MHz) and Raspberry Pi ($30, 700 MHz) beat the living hell out of the Due on price and processing power

Re:Unfortunately for Arduino (5, Insightful)

0100010001010011 (652467) | about 2 years ago | (#41722793)

The Pi isn't a microcontroller. Will you people stop equating them. They're tiny and they're boards but one is not the other.

As far as the LaunchPad. I'd love to try it out but they've so heavily tied to their Windows GUI that it makes it hard to work on anything else.

The nice thing about the Arduino is that I can quickly write a sketch to do analog and digital IO. Yes I know how to read spec sheets and setup all the registers to control the pins but the Arduino abstracts all that. I setup pin 13 to do output then just digitalWrite the pin high or low. Same with interrupts.

Re:Unfortunately for Arduino (4, Interesting)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about 2 years ago | (#41722887)

The Pi doesn't HAVE to be a microcontroller. It has the pleasure of being in the same price range, being able to accomplish the same tasks, only the Pi has a familiar OS on which to build software to do the nasty. If all hammers were the same price, I'd pick the sledge hammer.

Re:Unfortunately for Arduino (5, Insightful)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 2 years ago | (#41722977)

If all hammers were the same price, I'd pick the sledge hammer.

Not a paleontologist, then.

Re:Unfortunately for Arduino (1)

kels (9845) | about 2 years ago | (#41723001)

If all hammers were the same price, I'd pick the sledge hammer.

For some jobs, you need a tack hammer, even if it costs the same as a sledgehammer. And sometimes you want a nail gun. It's good that we've got a lot of tools to choose from.

Re:Unfortunately for Arduino (2)

Mike Buddha (10734) | about 2 years ago | (#41724127)

Wait a minute. I don't get it. Is a tack hammer some kind of new car?

Re:Unfortunately for Arduino (1)

arglebargle_xiv (2212710) | about 2 years ago | (#41725349)

For some jobs, you need a tack hammer, even if it costs the same as a sledgehammer. And sometimes you want a nail gun.

Particularly if there's zombies around. A tack hammer barely slows them down.

Re:Unfortunately for Arduino (1)

havana9 (101033) | about 2 years ago | (#41723739)

The Pi is not a microcontroller. It's a general purpose personal computer aimed to teach programming to schoolchildren. It has a GPIO connection, but doesn't have all the shields and software libraries that Arduino has. It has a full fledged operating system as default, you could also try to program the bare hardware but it's not the standard programming way. The Arduino has a simple control program and some libraries and most important the usage of the i/o is fully and clearly documented. By the way the official Gertboard I/O for the raspberry han an atmega 328 installed "arduino style".

Re:Unfortunately for Arduino (1)

BisexualPuppy (914772) | about 2 years ago | (#41723807)

And how much power does your sledge hammer consume ? (Ok, bad example.)

Re:Unfortunately for Arduino (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about 2 years ago | (#41724753)

No, it's a pretty good example, human power is still power. Try using a sledgehammer to shingle a roof or install hardwood flooring and you will quickly understand how important power consumption can be (while the guy with the purpose-built hammer is still going strong, and the guy with the nail driver is already finished).

Re:Unfortunately for Arduino (1)

makomk (752139) | about 2 years ago | (#41724131)

The Pi can't accomplish the same tasks though. In fact, I don't think you can even run code that has relatively relaxed soft real time requirements on it (such as, say, controlling a 3D printer or CNC mill) because its SD card and USB drivers do horrible things to interrupt latency. A desktop PC might actually be more capable of accomplishing some traditional microcontroller tasks than the Pi.

Re:Unfortunately for Arduino (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41724327)

Not sure what SD card would have to do w/ this situation.
What about using GPIO instead of USB?

Re:Unfortunately for Arduino (1)

tibit (1762298) | about 2 years ago | (#41725669)

Given that USB runs on a fixed schedule like any hard-realtime PLC would, and doesn't require any excessive interrupt-time processing, I don't have the slightest idea WTF you're after. FUD much? If you're transmitting via USB to, say, any FTDI chip, then it's quite trivial to update the outputs on a rock solid 1ms timebase (or an integer multiple of that period). Given that, it's quite easy to maintain streaming for various bit-bang modes that modern FTDI chips support.

Re:Unfortunately for Arduino (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41725731)

You misunderstand the problem. It's not about sending data over USB (or the SD interface). It's that in certain conditions the drivers hold the CPU (with interrupts off) for a long time (many milliseconds at a time). Or at least they used to. They are working on it and it may have improved recently.

Re:Unfortunately for Arduino (1)

GrahamCox (741991) | about 2 years ago | (#41724141)

If all hammers were the same price, I'd pick the sledge hammer.

Your analogy undermines your argument. In fact hammers are, more or less, to within an order of magnitude, the same price, but there are lots of different types. You wouldn't pick a sledgehammer if you could have only one, and the task at hand was driving small nails or doing fine work. I own about five different hammers, they all get used on very different jobs.

I'd pick the right microcontroller for a job likewise. This looks like a good boost for Arduino - the older models are nice for certain jobs and are easy to program, but I have wished they were a bit faster and had more memory at times.

Re:Unfortunately for Arduino (2)

0100010001010011 (652467) | about 2 years ago | (#41724275)

The Pi runs a RTOS? The M3 the Due runs has a port of FreeRTOS.

I'd put the Due in my car to run it. I'd put the Pi in to run the stereo. Because the last thing I want when going down the highway is the ethernet subsystem decide it needs to hiccup and the subsystem to fire the spark fails.

Re:Unfortunately for Arduino (2)

Narishma (822073) | about 2 years ago | (#41724899)

The Pi does have a port [stevebate.net] of ChibiOS/RT [chibios.org] .

Re:Unfortunately for Arduino (1)

scourfish (573542) | about 2 years ago | (#41724293)

There is a noticeable difference in power consumption as well as startup time when comparing a low power chip vs something like the Raspberry Pi.

Re:Unfortunately for Arduino (1)

petermgreen (876956) | about 2 years ago | (#41724725)

If all hammers were the same price, I'd pick the sledge hammer.

Would you really? The sledgehammer is great when you want to apply a lot of force but it's going to be a disaster for many jobs because of lack of precision, it's also likely to be very tiring to use.

So it is for the Pi, In terms of raw CPU grunt it easily beats microcontroller based boards and having a linux environment, an ethernet interface and plenty of memory means you can do things like web interfaces easily and well for moderate user loads. However that comes at a price. Latencies will be much higher and less predictable (especially if you run an OS on it). There is GPIO but it runs at 3.3V, is NOT 5V tolerant and we don't have any proper specifications for it's electrical characteristics. Power consumption is also much higher than traditional 8-bit microcontrollers and significantly higher than the high end 32-bit micro-controllers.

Re:Unfortunately for Arduino (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41722891)

The Pi isn't a microcontroller. Will you people stop equating them.

Microcontroller != chip. A "microcontroller" can include one or more microcontroller chips plus supporting circuity. The Pi is the best microcontroller on the planet for certain applications. Will you people stop constraining yourselves with pedanticism.

Re:Unfortunately for Arduino (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | about 2 years ago | (#41724259)

> The Pi is the best microcontroller on the planet for certain applications.

No. no it is not. The guy that designed the BrewPi [brewpi.com] doesn't even use the Pi to control the low level PID. It's not stable enough. He uses a real microcontroller at the bare level and the PI is pretty much just a debian computer running rrdtool and the web front end.

Re:Unfortunately for Arduino (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41722937)

The Pi isn't a microcontroller. Will you people stop equating them. They're tiny and they're boards but one is not the other.

Ok. Have it your way, then: Arduino Due costs ten times too much for a microcontroller. Happy now?

Re:Unfortunately for Arduino (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | about 2 years ago | (#41724263)

It's a proto tool. You never leave a Due where you design it for. You figure out how slow of a processor you can get away with. You figure out how much IO you really need and you get the smallest Atmel or TI chip that supports that.

Re:Unfortunately for Arduino (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about 2 years ago | (#41724849)

Not really, it's mostly a hobbyist tool. People who use Arduino's *often* leave it where it was designed in.

If you are a company who is going to mass produce a product and buy lots of Atmel or TI chips you can just get the Atmel or TI reference kits.

Re:Unfortunately for Arduino (1, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | about 2 years ago | (#41723281)

the Pi IS a microcontroller. Just ask the company that sells them.

Just because by your definition it's not does not change the fact that the rest of the world considers any of the cellphone processors to be microcontrollers.

Re:Unfortunately for Arduino (1)

cheater512 (783349) | about 2 years ago | (#41724379)

I think the difference in this context is microcontroller vs microprocessor.
Microcontroller doesn't run a OS, a microprocessor does.

On a Arduino you are running on bare metal. On the Pi you are running on Linux.

Re:Unfortunately for Arduino (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about 2 years ago | (#41724921)

The Pi has an SoC based on an ARM core with cache, MMU, DMA, multimedia co-processor, and GPU w/ 3D support. *That's* the reason it's a "System on a Chip" and not a microcontroller, not the software that happens to run on it...

Re:Unfortunately for Arduino (1)

cheater512 (783349) | about 2 years ago | (#41724967)

Well you could run code on the bare metal and in that case it would function very similar to the Arduino. You could nearly make the code fairly compatible.
Because that isn't the recommended way to operate it however, I think that is the biggest difference. Like running a x86 on the bare metal.

Re:Unfortunately for Arduino (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about 2 years ago | (#41725011)

Yeah, that's my point... running DOS on an x86 doesn't make it a microcontroller ;)

But in fact your statement is not really true anyway - so start, the BCM SoC uses DRAM (and has a cache, and MMU, etc) which requires a fair bit of setup, etc, compared to the SRAM on the Arduino. And all of the peripherals are completely different. "Running on bare metal" means the code (at some level) is not abstracted by an OS so you have to deal with the differences yourself, making it very NON compatible...

Re:Unfortunately for Arduino (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41725335)

> Microcontroller doesn't run a OS, a microprocessor does.

Huh? Since when do you have to run an OS on a microprocessor? The Motorola 68k series got used in a lot of devices that didn't have an OS, like laser printers. You can use microprocessors as DSPs, and dedicated DSPs don't run OSes.

Or did you mean you CAN run an OS on a microprocessor, but not a microcontroller?

Re:Unfortunately for Arduino (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about 2 years ago | (#41724891)

The Pi is just a Broadcom 2835 on a PCB with a bunch of connectors. I have worked with half a dozen BRCM SoCs over more than a decade and no one has *ever* called them "microcontrollers".

It's all silly semantics anyway, but if you want to go with industry convention (which defines the silly semantics) no, the rest of the (professional) world does not consider them to be microcontrollers.

Re:Unfortunately for Arduino (1)

davydagger (2566757) | about 2 years ago | (#41725539)

no its really not. its a general purpose computer, thats just really really really small.

Re:Unfortunately for Arduino (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41722819)

Stellaris LaunchPad is out of its intro pricing now, and costs $13, but that's still a hell of a lot cheaper than $49!!

Stellaris is Cortex-M4F, not Cortex-M3, so it's better suited for DSP and math operations (built-in floating point unit) too...

Re:Unfortunately for Arduino (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41723185)

No, the intro pricing is still available: see here [ti.com] . This is for the MSP-EXP430G2 - MSP430 LaunchPad Value Line Development kit. $4.30 total.

Re:Unfortunately for Arduino (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41723695)

Er, scratch that, you're right: the stellaris launchpad isn't $5 anymore, I was referring to a different board.

Re:Unfortunately for Arduino (4, Informative)

mako1138 (837520) | about 2 years ago | (#41722841)

To be fair, the Stellaris Launchpad is obviously a loss leader. The earlier MSP430 Launchpad never really gained a foothold in the hobbyist community despite its low price, so it remains to be seen how TI will manage this time around. Perhaps they don't care.

Re:Unfortunately for Arduino (4, Informative)

Spirilis (3338) | about 2 years ago | (#41722885)

They certainly tried, and I personally looked at the MSP430 launchpad as a fun distraction last spring ... and ended up ditching Arduino altogether, seeing as most of my projects didn't need the space. What TI was missing was Arduino's IDE, as hideous as it sounds, but they have it now--in the form of Energia (http://www.energia.nu). Still not as established as Arduino though.

Another big hit was the chips they released initially--the 1st gen "value line" chips were hideously underpowered, like 2KB flash/128 bytes of SRAM, more ATTiny-like in size. The current "v1.5" LaunchPad you buy comes with 3rd-gen value line parts, up to 16KB flash, still not quite arduino but doing a lot better (and with hardware UART).

I hope the Stellaris LaunchPad catches on quicker, it looks like OpenOCD is starting to work with it so I have high hopes a UNIX-based environment can be easily deployed for Stellaris development soon. What I am personally more impressed with is the LaunchPad's BoosterPack form factor ( http://processors.wiki.ti.com/index.php/BYOB )--they have thought of a simple and straightforward way to expand the capabilities, while retaining (in theory) some backwards compatibility with boosterpacks made for the MSP430 for example. Much nicer than Arduino's "shield" layout IMO.

Re:Unfortunately for Arduino (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 2 years ago | (#41723299)

Because the MSP430 was a complete Pain in the ass to use.

Re:Unfortunately for Arduino (1)

chebucto (992517) | about 2 years ago | (#41723097)

$5 is insanely cheap. I just bought one and have no idea what I'm going to use it for. Looking forward to it though!

Re:Unfortunately for Arduino (3, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | about 2 years ago | (#41723307)

You shoud try Microchip PIC's then. $1.95 makes $5.00 look like a overpriced piece.

Re:Unfortunately for Arduino (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41723871)

Link?

Re:Unfortunately for Arduino (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41724597)

Search google for microchip PIC you lazy bum.

Re:Unfortunately for Arduino (2)

sfm (195458) | about 2 years ago | (#41724345)

Yes, PIC's are cheap, but have an absolutely hideous instruction set.

I'll take an Atmel processor any day, even if the cost is 75 cents more.

Re:Unfortunately for Arduino (1)

davydagger (2566757) | about 2 years ago | (#41725551)

extremely fun too. I've got experiance with the 8-bit versions.

35 command instruction set. talk about a REAL RISC machine.

that said, I've got the entire instruction set memorized.

Re:Unfortunately for Arduino (1)

citizenr (871508) | about 2 years ago | (#41723129)

The TI Stellaris Launchpad ($5, free shipping, 80 MHz) and Raspberry Pi ($30, 700 MHz) beat the living hell out of the Due on price and processing power

Launchpads are $13 now, Pi was always $32-39 ($42 if you order from Poland)

Re:Unfortunately for Arduino (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41723851)

It's still (less than) $5 - Link:

http://www.ti.com/tool/msp-exp430g2

There are also Stellaris (Arm Cortex M) launchpads for $13 and C2000 (DSP for real time control) lunchpads for $17

Amazing to see how many don't get it (5, Interesting)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 2 years ago | (#41723183)

The Arduino was never about price or performance. If you really want a led display, you can get fastly more powerfull and usuable device by simply buying a dedicated device. Same for a remote control robot, even programmable ones.

But with an Arduino even those NOT blessed with a background in electronics could make it work. There are even interfaces for it where you program it completely through a icon interface like this http://www.electronics-lab.com/blog/?p=5865 [electronics-lab.com]

Yes, there are more powerful devices out there, there are cheapers devices there are even more powerful AND cheaper devices out there. And they ALL didn't succeed to even come close to the support Arduino had. Even if you have no programming experience and never messed around with a battery and a led, the Arduino community is able and willing to give you a hand.

It is the difference between Ubuntu and Debian, between Linux and BSD, between PHP and Python. Sure, the "experts" look down on it, but the first are the stuff that gets used by noobs who might or might not become experts (if they even have a desire too) while the second are the stuff people TELL you you must use before they even consider talking to you.

I know some people who never coded anything yet messed around with Arduino after buying a kit and did some silly little projects that won't amaze anyone bit it was fun for them, not unlike the electronic kits you could buy when I was a kid. Sure sure, if you all did it from scratch with a soldering iron, you no doubt ended up a much better kind of human being but us mere dregs had to make due with simpler tools. And get things done.

When it comes time for you to move on, as you outgrow the Arduino, you can go for the more specialist tools and hopefully overcome the lack of manuals and guides. But some people need the training wheels and sneering at them is only get you complete and utter contempt from all the non-pricks in this world.

Like I have utter contempt for a person who lists as an alternative a board that isn't available at the stated price anymore and another board that has a shipping time of anywhere from a week to a month depending on what the supplier feels like and neither has anywhere near the 3rd party support.

Let me know when I can give away an arduino kit and have someone make something immediatly even if it is as trivial as a led lighting up to a light sensor but THEY did it, themselves and get that makers spirit burning in another product that is both as forgiving AND as flexible, THEN you can come back.

No doubt people like taktoa scoff at childrens books too because for less you can buy great literature, in latin!

Re:Amazing to see how many don't get it (5, Interesting)

Xenna (37238) | about 2 years ago | (#41723485)

I got an Arduino Uno starter kit 6 months ago. Then a PIC based flyport (with Wifi). Then an Atmega32u4 based Teensy 2.0. Last week I even got a Parallax Propeller, also very interesting.

Last year I hardly knew how to hold a soldering iron, now I'm having smd and through hole PCB's made of my own design in China and I'm planning on controlling various parts of my home with them.

I'm a software engineer by trade, but I'm really starting to enjoy this hardware thing. Thanks to Arduino and its competitors there's lots and lots of info out on the web to lift a complete newbie up to a surprising (to me) level.

Re:Amazing to see how many don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41723567)

But with an Arduino even those NOT blessed with a background in electronics could make it work.

You're an optimist! Unfortunately my venture into the world of microcontrollers was short and expensive and I'm a programmer by trade.

But all the confusion around whether to use JTAG or ISP programmers, chips that just didn't respond, chips that returned error codes when the one next to it worked fine, chips that stopped working... and tutorials that had no concepts of possible error conditions or suggestions on how to debug.

Dumped them in the bin and went back to x86!

Re:Amazing to see how many don't get it (1)

taktoa (1995544) | about 2 years ago | (#41724005)

Wow. I wrote one sentence that was a statement of fact, and you responded with a diatribe on how wrong I am. Notice that I said "beats the hell out of the Arduino on price and processing power". I said absolutely nothing about ease of use, community support, or software compatibility.

FWIW, I think the Arduino platform is pretty great, but pricing the board at $50 is utter bullshit. What I would really like is a POSIX-type API that allows anyone to make a layer between Arduino code and the microprocessor of choice, thus allowing use of Arduino syntax in arbitrary systems.

Re:Amazing to see how many don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41724091)

*Sigh* And your response is why he wrote the diatribe in the first place. And it's why several other people got modded up in making much the same point. You don't get it.

Frankly I'm grateful that all these projects (Pi, Arduino, and yes even TI's effort) exist. They serve different audiences but all contribute to helping us n00bs learn without frying very, very expensive equipment. They are similar, but vastly superior to the Radio Shack 200 in 1 and those kits when I was a kid. In a way, it brings us back to the age of invention (Edison, Tesla, Ford) before the barriers to entry rose up in cost again.

Re:Unfortunately for Arduino (1)

locopuyo (1433631) | about 2 years ago | (#41723837)

The Raspberry Pi only has 4 IO pins. The new arduino has 54. The whole point of arduinos is the IO stuff. It isn't supposed to be used as a general purpose computer.

Re:Unfortunately for Arduino (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 2 years ago | (#41725175)

and has horrid support, an IDE that gets you a saleman phonecall every fucking month, missing libraries, a clusterfuck of a website to navigate and clowns who dont even know what they are shipping on the disk they gave you

I dont like anything that has to do with TI or ARM, might as well just shit in my hand, its just as useful.

Don't need a desktop (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about 2 years ago | (#41722787)

Look out for the Due in projects that once would have needed something more like a desktop machine

There are a lot of microcontrollers that bridge the gap between a 16MHz Arduino and a desktop machine.

WAV ? (4, Interesting)

alvieboy (61292) | about 2 years ago | (#41722791)

"It can even play back WAV files without any help."

Well, ZPUino [alvie.com] does this for a long time (14.4KHz, stereo, and more), and it's also opensource (actually, BSD for hardware, and GPLv2/v3 for software). Runs at 96MHz, and it's fully customizable (even the chip is customizable: see SoundPuddle [slashdot.org] for example, or the Rectrocade synth) [kickstarter.com] .

What Arduino users were actually expecting (well, I was), was a proper IDE. I don't think writing proper applications for the Due platform with current Processing IDE is feasible. So far everyone has been quiet about this (there were rumours other IDE would be on the forge).

But the price tag is indeed attractive.

Alvie

Re:WAV ? (2)

MangoCats (2757129) | about 2 years ago | (#41722897)

We were playing back 44.1KHz WAV files using a 68HC11 a big PROM chip and a DAC, probably before you were born.... Now get off my lawn!

Re:WAV ? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41723077)

You and your dorm buddy also spent your Saturday nights circle-jerking to your Heather Lochlear bikini poster and smearing the results all over your Star Wars bedsheets while alvieboy was getting fit pussy at frat parties and night-hikes. What were you so proud of again?

-- Ethanol-fueled

Re:WAV ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41723421)

You make an excellent point .... however, I sense that the purpose of your post was to hurt the feelings of another, which I cannot condone.

Re:WAV ? (1)

geoskd (321194) | about 2 years ago | (#41723163)

We were playing back 44.1KHz WAV files using a 68HC11 a big PROM chip and a DAC, probably before you were born.... Now get off my lawn!

I can remember trying to get near and far calls working with the GCC cross compiler back when the B32 version of the HC12 came out. Damn that was obnoxious. It was that or write custom calling routines in 68HC12 assembler. God help you if your project wouldn't fit in the low 64K... The alternative was to cough up $500 for a green hills license.

-=Geoskd

Re:WAV ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41722913)

If you want to write proper programs, forget about using the Arduino libraries and IDE and just use a real one instead. There are several for AVR. It is probably the most widely supported microcontroller architecture.

Re:WAV ? (1)

dmitrygr (736758) | about 2 years ago | (#41722935)

Playing WAV is doable on 8-bit AVR or PIC The 2012 ADK (same cpu as due) I got ogg decoding to work in realtime, and bt's audio codec too (SBC). That sort of things does need more CPU power than the AVRs have

Re:WAV ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41723653)

The IDE is crap, yes, but is it unusable? No. It edits, compiles and flashes ardupilot, which is to my knowledge the largest and most complex arduino project to date.

But still, almost none of the developers use it.

Re:WAV ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41725673)

Just for reference, the Arduino is more than capable of playing wave's directly. I used one with its internal 8mhz clock to play a wave of my wifes favorite song in the box I put her engagement ring in. Open it, it plays the song, close it, it shuts off. The only external components besides the speaker are the battery, the SD card to hold the wave file, a single transistor 'amp' and an 8 ohm tiny speaker.

Also, I don't know anyone that programs Arduino's with the GUI they provide. I'm sure some people start off that way, but its WAY more powerful to drop all their crap libraries and do it yourself as soon as you get a little experience.

Re:WAV ? (1)

hamster_nz (656572) | about 2 years ago | (#41725755)

It can't be the IDE.

If it was, then other more powerful Arduino-like products such as Digilent's ChipKit [digilentinc.com] would have taken the market by storm... Arduino IDE, Arduino form-factor, 80 Mhz 32-bit MIPS CPU, 512K Flash. 32K SRAM, 42 I/Os, works just like a really fast 3.3V Arduino for $35. I've got one, and they are all that they say they are, but somehow they just are not Arduino,

I suspect the "Due" will somehow be "just not Ardunio" too.

Maybe there is a herding mentality where the first thing people ask themselves when deciding on a controller to use in a project is "can I do it with an Arduino?", but maybe it is just that everybody has them in their box of toys...

this or rasberry pi? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41722813)

is the pi better, or is that just limey bombast?

Why Arduino again? (3, Informative)

geoskd (321194) | about 2 years ago | (#41722831)

All I can say is that Arduino was ok for its time, but there are plenty of other better alternatives out there. Take the Digilent line of uController boards [digilentinc.com] For example. the MX3CK is basically the Arduino Due with a whole ton better IO. If you want really advanced, jump to the MX7CK and kick the crap out of that Arduino. For additional fun take a look at their Pmods. Point being, there are plenty of better alternatives to the Arduino out there already; alternatives that compete and defeat on features and cost.

-=Geoskd

Re:Why Arduino again? (5, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 2 years ago | (#41723305)

I'll tell you 'why arduino': its the community, the examples, the help, the web blogs that have snippets you need to integrate and get a product working, fast.

THAT's why.

its not about the chip. there were always better chips.

the abstraction, community support is what makes the system a winner.

Re:Why Arduino again? (2)

geoskd (321194) | about 2 years ago | (#41724155)

I'll tell you 'why arduino': its the community, the examples, the help, the web blogs that have snippets you need to integrate and get a product working, fast.

THAT's why.

its not about the chip. there were always better chips.

the abstraction, community support is what makes the system a winner.

Funny, but I always thought those were the things that made the Arduino platform the weakest.

My sister is an artist. She is involved with Film/Video, and as such has high exposure to Information technology. She recently undertook a project involving a low end video switcher, and an Arduino board. The project was relatively simple, but involved more I/O than a stock Arduino is capable of. She had two halves of the project working by virtue of being able to get the code from two other projects, but had no idea how to integrate the whole. Worse, because the Arduino board she got has very limited I/O, there was no way she could use it without some kind of add-on board to break out more I/O. She got frustrated because it was nowhere near as easy as she was told it would be (Not having basic understanding of circuits is a critical limitation). Several of her artist friends had heard about the Arduino and had her convinced that the whole thing would take her a day or two of tinkering at the most. At the end of three weeks, and many hundreds of dollars in books and parts invested, she came to me with her tail between her legs asking for help. The "community support", you are so fond of just told her that her project was too big for her to handle. The reality was that the Arduino board was simply too limited for what she wanted to do. The Digilent line I listed above was just the ticket. One Digilent u board, with three PMods, and she was off and running. The sample code was enough to get her moving, and I taught her the circuitry basics she no longer needed just in case she wanted to try some advanced stuff. In all, she could have saved three weeks and several hundred dollars if she hadn't been lied to by the Arduino community who told her that embedded design is easy enough for anyone to handle without any kind of formal training. The reality is that most people without any kind of programming grounding do not have the foundation they need to be able to handle anything more complicated than making the Arduino behave as a glorified light switch. Sure there are lots of cool programs out there, but putting two or more of them together is not practical because of the boards limitations. Using any one of them by itself, it would be cheaper to buy a commercial product to do just that one function (No tinkering necessary). That's why the PMods are so great. The bigger boards can handle many of them at once, allowing your to build your project lego style. Integrating it all will still require some programming skill, but the Digilent line collapses the problems almost entirely into the software domain.

-=Geoskd

Re:Why Arduino again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41724721)

Cool story bro. How 'bout some line breaks next time? Judging by the beginning of your brain fart, you were capable of putting in at least one.

Re:Why Arduino again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41725641)

Or, you know, you could have just bought her a video switcher.

Re:Why Arduino again? (2)

Lumpy (12016) | about 2 years ago | (#41723345)

Yeah. call me when you have one of those this small...

https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10999 [sparkfun.com]

I am integrating this stuff into insane tiny things and making a mint. Steampunk people have a buttload of money and when you make something that "works" they will pay any price for it. no other platform has a drop in and go board this small and this cheap that has so many libraries that I don't even have to write a program, most of what I look for is already done.

Anyone can do a monster board... Give me the boards that are so small you could lose them if you sneeze.

Re:Why Arduino again? (1)

geoskd (321194) | about 2 years ago | (#41724211)

Yeah. call me when you have one of those this small...

These [digilentinc.com] are almost exactly the same dimensions, and can support two 12 pin PMods, or five 6 pin PMods. You could hook up the OLED display PMod to one of these things without any wiring necessary at all, plug and play. Instant 128 X 32 pixel display. Try doing that with an Arduino and let me know how that turns out for you.

-=Geoskd

How many adc? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41722881)

TFA mentions 12-bit ADCs but appears to have a blank space in the spec chart. I`m also wondering what it has for timers.

With all of that speed and I/O it seems like this could be a better and cheaper board to use in place of Megasquirt for fuel injection. It would need the software written for it and it would need power transistors, etc. but for $49 damn! The lowliest Megasquirt board costs over $100 in kit form and the Megasquirt 3 which has comparable CPU speed is $400 or more if I remember right.

A bit expensive? (3, Informative)

echusarcana (832151) | about 2 years ago | (#41723007)

It is a great learning tool, but the Arduino always seemed a little overpriced: especially the Mega 2560 version. On the Uno you inevitably run out of I/O pins when you are building anything remotely useful. I've switched over to the Teensy for my projects. A much better value: http://www.pjrc.com/teensy/ [pjrc.com]

And how do you plug a led straight into that (3, Interesting)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 2 years ago | (#41723247)

You just don't get it, what made the Arduino so popular is that you could do things with it straight out of the box, without first having to solder on pins like the cheapest Teensy. Just put in a led, write some simple code and the Arduino ran. That is what sold it. The arduino is something a kid could take to work for show and tell and that I find an amazing idea in this day and age when most kids are raised with black boxes.

All the experts and people that knew what they were doing could already buy all the electronics they wanted and put it together, the Arduino filled no gap for them, it was for all the people who aren't experts that this kit exists. For all those who want to try their hand at it but don't have the patience and/or knowledge to start messing about with setting up something completely from spare parts. The Arduino is a kit just a tiny bit under the electronic kits sold in toy stores. The teensy would be sold in a hobby store. Different level. Some devices help people cross over. That is why Lego is so immensly powerful, sure, you can make far better stuff with raw material and a toolset but it helps people get started.

And it doesn't help anyone get started if all the "experts" sneer at the choice of starter tools. It is the reason makers areas succeed or fail by the attitude of their founders. Some can be really hostile to any newby who comes in all excited but makes the mistake of having only a 9 bucks soldering iron. Oh NO! SHUN HIM!

Meanwhile the maker area's that welcome people are exploding and running out room.

Re:And how do you plug a led straight into that (1)

aXis100 (690904) | about 2 years ago | (#41724845)

"All the experts and people that knew what they were doing could already buy all the electronics they wanted and put it together, the Arduino filled no gap for them"

I dunno. I *could* have built a board from sratch, but it's just not worth my time. When people are making arduino compatible clones and LCD breakouts for $15 each it's a no brainer, grab their board and concentrate on the rest of the interfacing circuitry.

MIssing the point (5, Insightful)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about 2 years ago | (#41723091)

The point that everyone - manufacturers and users alike - seem to be missing is the toolchain.

The popularity of the original Arduino was entirely due to the free IDE released by Atmel for their chips. Since then many other companies have released micro boards hoping to hop on the bandwagon, mostly with little success.

Micro boards have been available since the 1980s. I've personally used 68HC11 single-board computers ($50 each) in that era for personal projects. They are programmed in assembler, because the C compiler can cost several thousands of dollars - upwards of $10,000 depending on vendor and capabilities.

Look through back-issues of Hackaday [hackaday.com] to see all the neat, new single-board computers which have been released - none of them rise to the popularity of the Arduino.

Open source enthusiasts may mention that you can use GCC, but that's a compiler not a toolchain. Open-source tools require an investment of learning and trial-and-error to get things working correctly, and most of the time it's a large investment that people don't want to make. The standard practice for open source is to find a tutorial, follow every step, and then google for answers when it doesn't work.

When the [whatever other board you happen to like] comes with a plug-and-play IDE that lets developers concentrate on the code instead of getting the code onto the board, then you'll have something.

Re:MIssing the point (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#41723359)

I wish I had mod points. You've hit the nail on the head with a hammer even Thor would respect.

Re:MIssing the point (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41723717)

A related point: Even when a board comes with a GCC toolchain /w Eclipse and whatnot (like the Stellaris dev. kits), it's often overly complicated and voodoo-ish to get everything installed and configured.

I would like to think that a simple (?) embedded board could be made to work with similar or less effort than setting up e.g. a basic C compiler or assembler in Windows or Linux.

Here's my ideal recipe, which I have never seen any vendor try to follow:

- One compiler binary: 'compiler.exe'.
- One set of C runtime library source + headers. Precompiled library + source files. All headers in a single directory.
- One, small, simple, set of board support files. All as C source.
- You run the compiler on your input C files. You reference the CRT header files + board support header files. You link it to the C runtime and low-level board support runtime, if such a thing is required (hint: it shouldn't. if you can't make your MCU 'go' without a bunch of extra crud holding things together, maybe you should take another look at your VHDL code).
- You upload the compiled binary over e.g. serial, USB or whatever. The board contains a 'hard' loader and flasher, so no fancy extra crap is needed for this stage.
- You reset the board. The binary runs.

It's not so hard! It's basically just manufacturers being lazy and/or engineers thinking "if I have to suffer through N proprietary toolchains and crap, so should my end-users'.. Grr!

Still light on RAM (1)

Animats (122034) | about 2 years ago | (#41723193)

It's an ARM CPU, but with only 96KB of RAM. That's very small for a CPU of that power.

Re:Still light on RAM (1)

AdamHaun (43173) | about 2 years ago | (#41723427)

It's an ARM CPU, but with only 96KB of RAM. That's very small for a CPU of that power.

Not for a Cortex-M3 it isn't. This isn't a high-end application processor like they have in the iPhone. 96 kB of SRAM is a lot for a microcontroller.

uhh hmm... (1)

ThorGod (456163) | about 2 years ago | (#41723229)

Do we need "more powerful" embedded devices, or do we need smaller, more efficient devices?

Re:uhh hmm... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41723535)

yes

Re:uhh hmm... (1)

silas_moeckel (234313) | about 2 years ago | (#41725057)

More powerful, as it stands an arduino can only marginally deal with a tcp/ip stack. Getting IPv6 running on one works but with a pile of limitations. Making blinky lights is fun and all but the real power comes from making them communicate.

Moore's law in decline? Or Arduino? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41723443)

This is not good news for the Arduino line. With a doubling every 18th month as prescribed by Moore's law, we'd either have had a 128bit or a 256 MhZ arduino by now.
Alternatively, you can factor in price. the Due specs, with an average improvement of 4,6 represent 2,2 years of Moore's law. (2^2,2 = 4,6) You can then take out the remaining 3,8 years in a price drop. Since 1/(2^3.8) = 0.07, the manufacturing costs of Arduino Due processor board should be only 7% that of its predecessor.

I'd rather go for the Papilio board than the Due, but moreso, I'd be curious to know why they've all got Italian names. (Papilio is italian for butterfly)

Re:Moore's law in decline? Or Arduino? (1)

akgooseman (632715) | about 2 years ago | (#41723713)

I'd be curious to know why they've all got Italian names

My guess is because it started as a project in Italy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arduino#History [wikipedia.org]

Learn English... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41723597)

Damn Americans.

"replaces the 8-bit, 16MHz Uno BY a 32-bit, 84MHz processor"

It's "replaces... WITH a 32-bit, 84MHz processor".

Re:Learn English... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41724053)

Using "BY" in this context is a very British construct. Indians in my office are constantly using "BY" in the context of a replacement...

Replace A by B and so on.

So I guess Slashdot has outsourced its editing to India. I guess it's the corporate thing to do.

micro USB (1)

Catmeat (20653) | about 2 years ago | (#41723693)

Really nice but...

It acts as a host though a microUSB. And exactly how many mice, keyboards, memory-sticks etc use that?

So it looks like the first job on getting one would be to de-solder the socket and try and replace it with a full size USB.

Re:micro USB (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41724145)

Why not use a Micro-USB to USB OTG Adapter Cable [cellphoneshop.net] ?

Ecosystem - real example. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41723719)

Did a project for a friend of mine. Simple, he wanted some solar power/battery lights to come on 30 minutes after dusk, stay on three hours, turn off. (Far end of a very large backyard - no mains power)

Yes, plug together modules like timers and relays are available, but total cost would have been around $100.
I used a mega initially because shaving $15 off the cost wasn't worth the extra hassles during development, dual relay board $4, precision light sensor $6.
O.K. dev time was several $100, but he has a lathe and a better workshop than mine :), so I'll get that back in favours.

Parts $50 including the case - and the lights RELIABLY turn on 30 minutes after dusk, stay on exactly three hours and turn off, no matter what you do (short of shining a torch into it all night) it works reliably - UNLIKE the commercial units.

Point is, all the bits I needed were readilly available and CHEAP for Arduino, even volume it'd be cheaper to buy the Arduino parts than do a custom board.

The IDE for Arduino on Linux is a breeze to use, yes, you do need to know how to program, but it's a very easy environment to work in.

And I'd have to say, there's no POINT trying to make it easy for fools to program, if you can't think logically and clearly and you can't count to twenty without taking your shoes and socks off, you won't be able to program embedded devices no matter how pretty the tools are. (Java programmers need not apply)

Not bad, but... Teensy3.0 is also nice. (1)

scharkalvin (72228) | about 2 years ago | (#41723773)

Once again Arduino has taken a nice chip and cut off it's legs while mounting it on an compatible platform. It looks like almost half of the Due CPU's available IO pins are NOT accessible on the board (unless you are good at soldering fine wire to .4mm spaced pins by hand). They did the same thing on the Arduino Mega with the atmega1280 and atmega2560 parts (leaving out at least 16 of the IO pins, including the XCK signals so you CAN'T use the usarts in SPI mode!).

If you want to go ARM, you might consider the Teensy3.0 which DOES make all of the I/O pins available (though you will have to solder some wires to pads on the bottom of the board, but at least the pads are there!). The Teensy 3.0 is also about $15 cheaper than the Due.

Cheaper M3 alternatives to play with (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41723823)

There is a £10 Cortex-M3 reference board STM32 DISCOVERY that has a couple of USB interfaces, stereo amp and headphone, microSD slot and a few buttons plus I/O pin availability with lots of examples from STM and programmable over USB.

Seems like a cheaper and similarly capable alternative?? Available from Farnell in the UK

Agree that these are miles away from a Linux-based product, but both serve a part of the embedded market

bare metal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41725231)

silly rabbits don't understand what the phrase "bare metal" means.
a rasberry pi is a compact computer. i suppose you COULD program it bare-metal.

Still has the freaking retarded pin spacing (2)

BitZtream (692029) | about 2 years ago | (#41725743)

Seriously .... FIX THE FUCKING PIN SPACING YOU ASSHOLES.

I know thats going to kill what little karma I have, but for fucks sake the pin spacing the digital pins with that nice little nonstandard gap is freaking obnoxious to all hell and back making it practically impossible to use with say .... a normal freaking prototyping board.

Yes, it will break shield compatibility but it'll make it work with all sorts of other non-Arduino boards and moving forward the damn shields will be fixed too.

No, I didn't use enough cuss words and caps in this post. Someone should be strung up for taking a nice little prototyping board and fucking it up. Douche.

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