Meet Digispark, the smaller and cheaper alternative to Arduino

By on August 20, 2012, 5:00 PM

Kickstarter has served as a hotbed of tech innovation all year and if the latest project to gain media attention is any indication, there’s no sign of letting up anytime soon. The Digispark campaign launched 10 days ago as a tiny alternative to the versatile Arduino development board, easily surpassing project founder Erik Kettenburg’s goal of $5,000 to fund the first round of devices.

The Digispark came to life after the design team became frustrated with having to leave their pricey Arduinos behind when moving on to another project or worse, having to pull one from an old project to build something new. Furthermore, they felt the Arduino was too big and powerful for many projects where a smaller, cheaper and less powerful device would suffice.

The result is the Digispark, a device that is fully compatible with Arduino so many of the great things about the original like the community, ease of use and the IDE all remain common ground.

Specifications for the quarter-sized development board are as follows:

  • Support for the Arduino IDE 1.0+ (OSX/Win/Linux)
  • Power via USB or External Source - 5v or 7-35v (automatic selection)
  • On-board 500ma 5V Regulator
  • Built-in USB (and serial debugging)
  • 6 I/O Pins (2 are used for USB only if your program actively communicates over USB, otherwise you can use all 6 even if you are programming via USB)
  • 8k Flash Memory (about 6k after bootloader)
  • I2C and SPI (vis USI)
  • PWM on 3 pins (more possible with Software PWM)
  • ADC on 4 pins
  • Power LED and Test/Status LED (on Pin0)

As of writing, Digispark’s Kickstarter campaign has generated well over $100,000. But instead of just pocketing the extra funds, the team has implemented stretch goals that provide extra discounts once certain milestones have been surpassed. For example, after passing the $100,000 mark, they were able to slash 50 percent off the price of RGB shield kits.

There’s still 20 days left in the campaign should you wish to get your order in for a Digispark. The $10 option has already sold out but you can be one of the first to receive a unit for only $12 – and it ships free to anywhere in the US.




User Comments: 13

Got something to say? Post a comment
nickblame said:

sorry but could you possible tell us what it is? Alternative to Arduino does not ring any bells..

Holyscrap said:

The Arduino is an open source hardware platform used by programers for various projects. Its a small pcb with a processor that can be used for pretty much anything (not for playing Crysis2 of course) especially university projects.

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

sorry but could you possible tell us what it is? Alternative to Arduino does not ring any bells..

You could also see the video which shows a couple of things that you can do with an "alternative to arduino".

nickblame said:

You could also see the video which shows a couple of things that you can do with an "alternative to arduino".

I can always search the internet and find out what it is (like I did) thank you. My point is, a newspost should be more informative about not so popular things.

Staff
Jesse Jesse said:

You could also see the video which shows a couple of things that you can do with an "alternative to arduino".

I can always search the internet and find out what it is (like I did) thank you. My point is, a newspost should be more informative about not so popular things.

It's extremely popular. Stop being lazy.

Leeky Leeky said:

@prismatics Not sure how @nickblame is being lazy?

People are allowed to express an opinion or give feedback regardless of whether it is positive or negative as long as it remains in line with the forum guidelines. Offensive remarks of a personal nature are not tolerated, however.

Criticise opinions, not the person please.

Staff
Jesse Jesse said:

@Leeky Not sure how I'm being offensive.

He was uninformed and expected the author to explain the whole thing. News articles are not intended to be a full review of a product, reviews are. You don't read an article on CNN about the GOP National Convention and expect them to give you all the details from the last year of the Romney campaign just because some readers don't follow politics.

Staff
Jesse Jesse said:

Well, I just noticed that you are from the UK, so the National Convention may have not been the best analogy, but my point stands.

I'm just frustrated that you would call me out for this given the amount of low quality posts that get posted in articles. Sorry if I offended anyone.

nickblame said:

@Leeky Not sure how I'm being offensive.

He was uninformed and expected the author to explain the whole thing.

I was uninformed that is true. That is why I enter techspot to get informed. I didn't expect the author to explain the whole thing at all. One phrase would have suffice like the one in the second comment by Holyscrap. The request was for a little context in the news post so that one can read and understand what he is reading about. I bet that people that haven't come across Arduino or Digispark, clicked on the title to read more and find out what it is all about. Why would the author not spare a couple of lines to clarify?

You said it is extremely popular. Where? The site is worldwide and I live in east europe.

Anyway lets give this a rest.

Leeky Leeky said:

@prismatics I think enthusiasts and or those that work in the tech industry occasionally come across something they don't totally understand -- that should be expected. The "stop being lazy" comment wasn't necessary, and it's precisely the reason I replied, because I'd have been offended if you replied with that statement to me.

You might be frustrated with some of the comments in replies to news articles on TechSpot, but people with all levels of experience are invited to discuss the news we publish. Not everybody is a fully fledged expert on all subjects relating to technology, and that's okay.

You don't have to reply to comments or threads that you disagree with, but if you do you need to follow the guidelines regardless of the comment you're replying to.

Zoltan Head said:

@Leeky - judging by your avatar, you've already been flamed?

Leeky Leeky said:

It seemed fitting given my skills (read: misfortune) at setting ablaze computers and components. Its kind of an ongoing joke around these parts though.

Staff
Jesse Jesse said:

Fair enough. Thanks for your constructive feedback.

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.