I made the trip to New York last weekend for The World Maker Faire. In the past this event has produced some big announcements from the Arduino team so understandably I spent a lot of time around the Arduino events. I was not disappointed, there were several exciting announcements out of the event that I’m really looking forward to.
The biggest announcement is something I’ve been waiting for since September of last year: The Arduino DUE! It’s expected to hit stores on October 22nd and is going to be around $50. As expected it has a 32bit ARM processor and the footprint resembles the Arduino Mega. This is major change in hardware from existing Arduino boards so questions of compatibility were asked several times. Thankfully Massimo Banzo assured the crowd that compatibility was a key concern when developing the DUE. It is compatible with the physical R3 layout published last year and the software team did a lot of work under the hood of the IDE to make sure that the user has the same experience regardless of the hardware used. This all adds up to an existing element of interoperability where you can swap shields, libraries or the Arduino board and with existing sketches be able to compile and upload seamlessly.
The Arduino DUE also has some really cool new features that will be a lot of fun to experiment with:
- The DUE has a USB On-The-Go port allowing USB devices (like mice, keyboards, USB flash drives, etc) to be used directly with the Arduino. This opens huge possibilities for affordable and interesting add-ons for inputs and outputs. Later in the day Massimo did a simple demo of using a mouse as an input for a synthesizer type device. Using these devices will require libraries so don’t expect everything to work out of the box but the community will certainly step in and expand the field once the DUE comes out.
- Multi-tasking is an option on the DUE. As expected the increased horse power of the ARM processor allows for running multiple tasks. Essentially you create multiple loops and run them at the same time. There are a few caveats though: it is cooperative multitasking meaning that the different threads need to take turns on the processor and the library is still experimental but they expect it to be developed quickly.
- It supports CAN bus which is the protocol that subsystems within cars use to communicate. Expect to see some exiting instrument cluster replacement based on Arduino.
For more of the technical specs here is the flier they were handing out: ArdunioDUE
Also to hear about this and some of the other new stuff out of the Arduino camp you can check out the full session here: