There seems to be no shortage of hobby boards available to program on these days. Most, like the popular Arduino and Raspberry Pi boards, started life as a tool to teach students about programming and electronics in general. They’ve since gained a strong following among enthusiasts that have come up with all sorts of creative projects.
If there’s one gripe about these boards, it’d probably be the fact that most offer very little performance. Arduino looks to change that with the release of their latest hobby kit, the Arduino Due.
This new kit replaces the eight-bit, 16MHz ATmega328 microcontroller found on the original with a beefier SAM3X8E processor from Atmel, based on the 32-bit Cortex-M3 architecture clocked at 84MHz. The Due also includes a USB 2.0 interface running at 480 Megabits that allows it to act as a USB host to connect devices like mice, keyboards, cameras, etc.
The increased processing power should help designers be able to push their projects to new limits. Previous Arduino offerings featured a theoretical ADC speed of 15 ksps (kilosamples per second). The Due, however, is capable of 1,000 ksps and is the first to feature a pair of digital-to-analog converters.
If you’re just getting started with programming, Arduino co-founder Massimo Banzi says the classic Uno is still the best board to learn on since they are very simple and extremely stable to use.
The Arduino Due is scheduled to go on sale at some point today for $49 although as of writing, it still hasn’t shown up on their website.