Arduino™ is a hardware and software environment for making interactive objects that can sense and control the physical world. Since 2005, a worldwide community of “makers” has gathered around this open source platform. Microchip MCUs were there from the outset, providing first the AVR MCUs, and later the SAM MCUS as the hardware side of the equation. Artists, designers, inventors, engineers, musicians and even school children use Arduino with boards designed around AVR® or ARM®-based MCUs to turn brainstorms into real working things.
By delivering a unique combination of performance, ease of use and a free GNU GCC compiler, Microchip MCUs perfectly complement Arduino and the needs of makers. Microchip MCUs and Arduino—the original duo at the heart of the global maker movement.
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On May 23, 2011, Microchip Technology and Digilent Inc. announced the release of two new development boards, the chipKIT UNO32™ and the chipKIT MAX32™. Both boards featured Microchip Technology’s PIC32 microcontrollers that utilize the MIPS® M4K 32-bit Core.
These two platforms were developed specifically to introduce 32-bit functionality to the Arduino™ community that up until that time was limited to 8-bit. Special attention was made during the development to ensure users could move into the 32-bit space while still enjoying the code references, application examples and other resources that exist on the main Arduino™ site with little to no modification.
The Arduino ecosystem provides a large array of development boards and tools. Our featured development boards help get you started. More information on Arduino can be found at: www.arduino.cc
The reference standard in the Arduino development environment. The Arduino UNO is based on the Microchip ATmega328P microcontroller. This is usually the entry point into the Arduino ecosystem and is supported by thousands of examples, projects and tutorials on the web.
The board's form factor, now in its third major revision, is known throughout the Maker community as Arduino Shield R3. The ATmega328P is a member of the high-performance AVR microcontroller family and is one of the most popular microcontrollers in the Maker/DIY space.
The Arduino Micro is a small form factor board that is based on the ATmega32u4 instead of the ATMega328P. The ATmega32u4 is in the same family at the ATmega328P, but also features a USB 2.0 low/full speed USB interface on chip. This board is supported by a large number of examples and projects in the Arduino environment.
The Arduino Nano is essentially a clone of the Arduino UNO in a small DIP-like package similar to the Arduino Micro. The Nano is, like the UNO, based on the ATmega328P and provides an external USB serial bride chip (located on the bottom side of the board). This board, along with the Arduino Mini, is a very popular choice for wearables projects because of its small size.
Arduino Mini 05
The smallest form factor UNO-based variant is presented as the Arduino Mini 05. Based on the ATmega328P microcontroller, it essentially only provides an Arduino-based microcontroller target with only the bare minimum of components to support operation. An external USB serial bride board must be used to program this board.
Arduino Mega 2560
The Arduino Mega 2560 is the largest ATmega AVR-based Arduino platform. For those projects running out of program space and GPIO pins, the Mega 2560 is the end of the line for the 8-bit based Arduino family.
Based on the ATmega2560 microcontroller, there are so many IO pins available from the 100pin package that a new Shield format was introduced to support it. The ATmega2560 provides 256kB of program memory, 8kB of RAM and multiple copies of basic peripheral interfaces such as UART, SPI and I2C channels. The Arduino Mega 2560 continues to be one of the base processor platforms for many 3D printers because of the large number of GPIO pins available.
The Arduino Zero is the next step up in performance in the standard UNO R3 shield format. Based on the Microchip SAMD21G18 microcontroller the Arduino Zero provides true 32-bit processing power. This board is suitable as a core platform for both IoT and advanced control system applications.
The SAMD21G18 is a member the ARM Cortex M0+ family, offers 48 MHz operation with 256 kB of program flash and 32 kB of SRAM.
As applications become more complex so does debugging them. The Arduino Zero also has an on board debugging system that is fully supported by the Atmel Studio 7 IDE sketch import function just like the Arduino UNO family. This allows unprecedented debug visibility of Arduino sketches.
Arduino MKR 1000
The Arduino MKR 1000 is the first MKR based form factor board introduced by Arduino. The MKR format is similar to, but not the same as the Nano, Micro and Mini footprints of the smaller Mega AVR based platforms and now a smaller form factor more suitable not only for wearable projects but also for more Pro Maker projects that require a more robust and compact form factor.
The Arduino MKR 1000 is based on the SAMW25 Wi-Fi SOC. This is a FCC certified module that combines the SAMD21G18 microcontroller with the WINC1500 low power 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi controller. Also provided by the module is the ECC508A Crypto Authentication engine which supports AWS, for secure connectivity to the Amazon cloud.
Arduino MK Zero
The SAMD21 based Arduino MKR Zero is the MKR footprint based version of the Arduino Zero with some extra connections provided to take advantage of the I2S digital audio interface. The micro SD socket allows digital audio files to be stored externally in standard MS-DOS file system formats. This is a very popular audio based wearables platform.
The primary github repository for the Arduino development system can be found here:
The github repository for the Optiboot, which is the smallest bootloader for the AVR based Arduino products, can be found here:
The Microchip user communities where enthusiasts help each other:
http://www.AVRfreaks.net (AVR and SAM MCU information)
http://www.microchip.com/forums/ (PIC MCUs and many(!) other Microchip products)
The Microchip community project based on G Forge can be found here:
Microchip’s YouTube channel features a lot of tutorials