Arduino Leonardo Released

Back in September of last year, the Arduino team announced a new, low cost Arduino board based on the Atmega32u4 titled  “Arduino Leonardo”. The time has finally come and the Leonardo is going to start showing up in stores in the next few weeks. It is similar to the UNO but with a simpler circuit. Here is how it stacks up to the Arduino UNO:

Operating Voltage5V5V
Input Voltage (recommended)7-12V7-12V
Input Voltage (limits)6-20V6-20V
Digital I/O Pins1420
PWM Channels67
Analog Input Pins612
DC Current per I/O Pin40 mA40 mA
DC Current for 3.3V Pin50 mA50 mA
Flash Memory32 KB32 KB
Clock Speed16 MHz16 MHz

More information about the hardware is available at the hardware page:

Besides the difference in the pins, the major feature this has over the UNO is the ability for the Leonardo to emulate USB devices. It can appear to a computer as a mouse, keyboard, serial port and more. A great potential use for this feature is RFID logon for a PC. You could set it as a USB keyboard and when it detected the correct RFID fob it would enter “CTRL+ALT+DEL” then you credentials.

As with any computer peripheral you will need drivers. There are some included in the Arduino IDE and I’m sure the community will be developing some pretty interesting ones once the board comes out. To learn more about how the whole process will work, checkout the guide:

You will also need the 1.0.1 version of the Arduino IDE available here:

2 thoughts on “Arduino Leonardo Released

  1. If they can keep the prices for these under $20, or maybe even cheaper in some kind of bulk, this might finally be the impetus some folks need to make their projects permanent. I know I kinda balk at the idea of paying $30-35 for an Uno for every project I want a microcontroller in. Of course, with a $15 programmer I can just pop chips out into a new circuit and then buy a replacement chip for my Uno, but not everyone has that know-how.

    Of course, if the Uno is a very small part of the expense of your project, like making a 3D printer or CNC machine or something like that, then none of this really matter.

    • It looks like Sparkfun and Adafruit have them priced at $25, so not much of a discount on the UNO. I have the same issue with leaving the Arduino boards in projects. My solution is to use ATtiny chips running Arduino code if it’s a relatively simple build. I did a post about it a while back:

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