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Arduino Boards

Arduino Boards

The number of Arduino boards have increased over the years; some have been discontinued while others are still available. The choice of which board to use depends on several factors: price, features, availability, ease of use, etc. Here’s a summary of all Arduino boards with their pros and cons.

Arduino UNO

Pros: Often the starting board for those new to the Arduino platform as it has all the bare essentials for microcontroller-based projects. It’s cheap but you can go cheaper as it’s the most cloned Arduino board. It is also fairly easy to use and set up.

Cons: Limited features; no IoT capabilities; limited number of pinouts.

Price: $22

Specs:

Microcontroller ATmega328P
Operating Voltage 5V
Input Voltage (recommended) 7-12V
Input Voltage (limit) 6-20V
Digital I/O Pins 14 (of which 6 provide PWM output)
PWM Digital I/O Pins 6
Analog Input Pins 6
DC Current per I/O Pin 20 mA
DC Current for 3.3V Pin 50 mA
Flash Memory 32 KB (ATmega328P) of which 0.5 KB used by bootloader
SRAM 2 KB (ATmega328P)
EEPROM 1 KB (ATmega328P)
Clock Speed 16 MHz
LED_BUILTIN 13
Length 68.6 mm
Width 53.4 mm
Weight 25 g

Arduino Leonardo

Pros: About the same size as the Arduino UNO but has more digital and analog pins. This board comes with a microUSB port instead of a USB Type C port. It also uses only one ATMega microcontroller which makes it a bit cheaper than the UNO.

Cons: Limited features; no IoT capabilities.

Price: $20

Specs:

Microcontroller ATmega32u4
Operating Voltage 5V
Input Voltage (Recommended) 7-12V
Input Voltage (limits) 6-20V
Digital I/O Pins 20
PWM Channels 7
Analog Input Channels 12
DC Current per I/O Pin 40 mA
DC Current for 3.3V Pin 50 mA
Flash Memory 32 KB (ATmega32u4) of which 4 KB used by bootloader
SRAM 2.5 KB (ATmega32u4)
EEPROM 1 KB (ATmega32u4)
Clock Speed 16 MHz
Length 68.6 mm
Width 53.3 mm
Weight 20 g

Arduino 101

Pros: An Intel-powered version of the UNO with added Bluetooth connectivity and built-in accelerometer and gyroscope.

Cons: Limited number of pinouts.

Price: $30

Specs:

Microcontroller Intel Curie
Operating Voltage 3.3V (5V tolerant I/O)
Input Voltage (recommended) 7-12V
Input Voltage (limit) 7-17V
Digital I/O Pins 14 (of which 4 provide PWM output)
PWM Digital I/O Pins 4
Analog Input Pins 6
DC Current per I/O Pin 20 mA
Flash Memory 196 kB
SRAM 24 kB
Clock Speed 32MHz
LED_BUILTIN 13
Features Bluetooth LE, 6-axis accelerometer/gyro
Length 68.6 mm
Width 53.4 mm
Weight 34 gr.

Arduino Nano

Pros: Technically the same as the Arduino UNO but smaller and can be mounted on a standard breadboard.

Cons: Limited features; no IoT capabilities; limited pinouts; no DC power jack.

Price: $22

Specs:

Microcontroller ATmega328
Architecture AVR
Operating Voltage 5 V
Flash Memory 32 KB of which 2 KB used by bootloader
SRAM 2 KB
Clock Speed 16 MHz
Analog IN Pins 8
EEPROM 1 KB
DC Current per I/O Pins 40 mA (I/O Pins)
Input Voltage 7-12 V
Digital I/O Pins 22 (6 of which are PWM)
PWM Output 6
Power Consumption 19 mA
PCB Size 18 x 45 mm
Weight 7 g
Product Code A000005

Arduino Micro

Pros: The smallest Arduino board and technically the same as the Arduino Leonardo. Just like the Arduino Nano, this board fits on a breadboard. Also since it uses the same microcontroller as the Leonardo, it has more digital and analog pins than the Pro Mini.

Cons: Limited features; no IoT capabilities; no DC power jack.

Price: $20

Specs:

Microcontroller ATmega32u4
Operating Voltage 5V
Digital I/O Pins 20
PWM Channels 7
Analog Input Channels 12
DC Current per I/O Pin 40 mA
DC Current for 3.3V Pin 50 mA
Flash Memory 32 KB (ATmega32u4) of which 4 KB used by bootloader
SRAM 2.5 KB (ATmega32u4)
EEPROM 1 KB (ATmega32u4)
Clock Speed 16 MHz
Length 48.0 mm
Width 17.7 mm

Arduino Mega2560

Pros: This is the Arduino board to choose if you want more pins! Besides the 54 digital pins and 16 analog pins, it also has 4 UART terminals. It is also the most used board for robotics because of its 16 PWM outputs (not to mention it has eight times the program space size of the UNO)

Cons: No IoT capabilities. A bit pricey (although there are a lot of cheaper Chinese clones)

Price: $38.50

Specs:

Microcontroller ATmega2560
Operating Voltage 5V
Input Voltage (recommended) 7-12V
Input Voltage (limit) 6-20V
Digital I/O Pins 54 (of which 15 provide PWM output)
Analog Input Pins 16
DC Current per I/O Pin 20 mA
DC Current for 3.3V Pin 50 mA
Flash Memory 256 KB of which 8 KB used by bootloader
SRAM 8 KB
EEPROM 4 KB
Clock Speed 16 MHz
LED_BUILTIN 13
Length 101.52 mm
Width 53.3 mm
Weight 37 g

Arduino Due

Pros: This is powered by a 32-bit ARM microcontroller which makes it almost six times as fast and twice the program memory space as the similarly designed Arduino Mega. Surprisingly, it’s a bit cheaper than the Mega.

Cons: All pins use 3.3V which limits the compatible modules and shields; no IoT capabilities.

Price: $37.40

Specs:

Microcontroller AT91SAM3X8E
Operating Voltage 3.3V
Input Voltage (recommended) 7-12V
Input Voltage (limits) 6-16V
Digital I/O Pins 54 (of which 12 provide PWM output)
Analog Input Pins 12
Analog Output Pins 2 (DAC)
Total DC Output Current on all I/O lines 130 mA
DC Current for 3.3V Pin 800 mA
DC Current for 5V Pin 800 mA
Flash Memory 512 KB all available for the user applications
SRAM 96 KB (two banks: 64KB and 32KB)
Clock Speed 84 MHz
Length 101.52 mm
Width 53.3 mm
Weight 36 g

Arduino Zero

Pros: If the Due is the 32-bit ARM version of the Mega, then this board is the 32-bit ARM version of the UNO.

Cons: All pins use 3.3V which limits the compatible modules and shields; no IoT capabilities.

Price: $42.90

Specs:

Microcontroller ATSAMD21G18, 32-Bit ARM Cortex M0+
Operating Voltage 3.3V
Digital I/O Pins 20
PWM Pins All but pins 2 and 7
UART 2 (Native and Programming)
Analog Input Pins 6, 12-bit ADC channels
Analog Output Pins 1, 10-bit DAC
External Interrupts All pins except pin 4
DC Current per I/O Pin 7 mA
Flash Memory 256 KB
SRAM 32 KB
EEPROM None. See documentation
LED_BUILTIN 13
Clock Speed 48 MHz
Lenght 68 mm
Width 30 mm
Weight 12 gr.

Arduino Yun

Pros: Containing both a microprocessor and a microcontroller, this board can run a Linux distro named Linino. But the most distinctive feature of the Yun is its Ethernet and WiFi connectivity.

Cons: Limited number of ports; Some reported WiFi connectivity issues. Pricey.

Price: $74.95

Microcontroller Specs:

Microcontroller ATmega32U4
Operating Voltage 5V
Input Voltage 5 V
Digital I/O Pins 20
PWM Output 7
Analog I/O Pins 12
DC Current per I/O Pin 40 mA on I/O Pins; 50 mA on 3,3 Pin
Flash Memory 32 KB (of which 4 KB used by bootloader)
SRAM 2.5 KB
EEPROM 1 KB
Clock Speed 16 MHz

Microprocessor Specs:

Processor Atheros AR9331
Architecture MIPS
Operating Voltage 3.3V
Ethernet 802.3 10/100Mbit/s
WiFi 802.11b/g/n 2.4 GHz
USB Type 2.0 Host
Card Reader Micro-SD
RAM 64 MB DDR2
Flash Memory 16 MB
SRAM 2.5 KB
EEPROM 1 KB
Clock Speed 400 MHz

Arduino Tian

Pros: This board is an improved version of the Yun. The added Bluetooth connectivity allows for more IoT-based projects.

Cons: Pricey.

Price: $95.70

General Specs:

Input Voltage 5 V
PWM Output 12
Power Consumption 470 mA
PCB Size 53 x 68.5 mm
Bluetooth CSR8510, Bluetooth with EDR / BLE 4.0
Weight 36g
Product Code A000116

Microcontroller Specs:

Microcontroller SAMD21G18
Architecture ARM Cortex-M0+
Operating Voltage 3.3V
Flash Memory 256 KB
SRAM 32 KB
Clock Speed 48 MHz
Analog I/O Pins 6
DC Current per I/O Pins 7mA (I/O Pins)

Microprocessor Specs:

Processor Atheros AR9342
Architecture MIPS
Operating Voltage 3.3V
Flash Memory 16MB + 4GB eMMC
Ram 64MB DDR2
Clock Speed 560 MHz
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n 2.4 GHz dual-band
Ethernet 802.3 10/100/1000 Mbit/s
USB 2.0 Host

Arduino Lilypad

Pros: This board is designed for wearable projects. Technically the same as an Arduino UNO

Cons: Can be tricky to use as it requires some accessories to work.

Price: $19.95

Specs:

Microcontroller ATmega168 or ATmega328V
Operating Voltage 2.7-5.5 V
Input Voltage 2.7-5.5 V
Digital I/O Pins 14
PWM Channels 6
Analog Input Channels 6
DC Current per I/O Pin 40 mA
Flash Memory 16 KB (of which 2 KB used by bootloader)
SRAM 1 KB
EEPROM 512 bytes
Clock Speed 8 MHz

That’s it for the main line of Arduino boards. There are in fact a lot more boards but they have now been officially retired (not available on the official store). Here’s some of them:

  • Arduino Pro
  • Arduino Fio
  • Arduino Pro Mini
  • Arduino Robot
  • Arduino Ethernet
  • Arduino Leonardo Ethernet
  • Arduino Industrial 101
  • Arduino M0
  • Arduino Esplora

Next, we’ll look at Arduino Shields.

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