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Arduino introduces new boards ? Uno and Mega2560

2017-11-25 05:56  
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Arduino is well known platform among electronics hobbyists because of its simplicity, robust and intuitive design and ease of use even for non electronics enthusiasts. This time instead of introducing new PCB variants or different microcontrollers on board they made some significant upgrades in Arduino concept. New changes came with two new Arduino boards so called Uno and Mega2560. Probably biggest change is USB to serial converter. They decided to replace seemed to be hard positioned FTDI chip FT232RL with microcontroller Atmega8U2 that has hardware USB interface. With this upgrade Arduino board become much more flexible as microcontroller driver can be configured to be more that simple USB to serial converter. It also is able to convert Arduino to standard keyboard, mouse, MIDI and mass storage device. So, there is much more ways to use Arduino now.

But this is not over yet. Arduino decided to change bootloader too with new Optiboot firmware that brings some improvements as well. New bootloader occupies 1.5kB less code space leaving it for applications and loads firmware to flash faster.

After removal of FTDI chip there were no 3.3V source left that was driven from FT232RL chip directly. So there external 3.3V voltage regulator appeared that can source up to 150mA current that is needed by some shields. FYI older boards can provide only up to 50mA – this is what FTDI chip is limited to.

New Arduino boards are still compatible to all shields and also code can be ported from older versions. Regular users should not feel any difference especially with UNO board. Extreme Mega2560 will bring additional resources that include more memory, more I/O’s and more peripherals. For more information about these boards also refer to laylada site, that made great analysis of these new boards. Check out – Dealextreme have these really cheap!

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