Top 5 Arduino Baseboards

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Arduino was first introduced in 2005 based on an Atmel 8-bit microcontroller. The purpose was to provide a low cost and easy way to non-professionals to program a microcontroller. Indeed, it comes with an IDE and an Arduino language that is much easier to program than the C language, and it is not necessary to understand the architecture of the microcontroller in order to program it. No soldering is required, as the layout is standardized and any Arduino base or Arduino shield will have a standard pin out.

The Arduino platform targeted makers at the beginning, but it became so successful that it has since then become a professional tool use to create prototypes and run tests very quickly. This article presents the top 5 Arduino boards from major microcontroller vendors.

The Arduino Uno revision 3 pin mapping is the most common and is used by all the boards presented below.

1. NUCLEO-F401RE from STMicroelectronics

STMicroelectronics, a leader in microcontrollers, sensors, motor control, and wireless components, draws on the Arduino form factor in their strategy for development tools. They have many shields available for the Arduino ecosystem. Several microcontrollers are available, but ST was a pioneer with the STM32F401, a high performance access line with an ARM Cortex-M4 core.

The STMicroelectronics board is integrated into the STMicroelectronics microsystem and comes with many C code examples.

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NUCLEO-F401RE STMicroelectronics Microcontroller

STMicroelectronics Embedded System Development Boards and Kits View

2. YSSKS7G2E30 from Renesas

The Renesas Synergy™ SK-S7G2 Starter Kit is an extremely low-cost way to access the entire Synergy Platform, enabling full development using the vast majority of all the Synergy Software Package (SSP) functions. You can take advantage of secure connectivity over Ethernet, USB, and CAN, plus wireless connectivity to mobile internet devices via BLE 4.1 can be exercised and tailored to your needs. Color graphics, audio, and the capacitive touch user interface features of SSP are operative with the ability to exercise the SSP’s Application Framework to balance simultaneous connectivity and user interface activities, all managed by the ThreadX® RTOS. Within minutes, you can experience the capabilities of the S7 Series S7G2 MCU and all the elements of the Synergy Platform. Again, to expand the capabilities of this board, Renesas chose to add an Arduino pin mapping connector to the SK-S7G2 board.

3. FDRM-KW41Z from NXP

NXP combines the history of the Philips and Motorola semiconductors that paved the way to microcontrollers. Philips was the inventor of the 8051 core that dominated the microcontroller market for many years, and Motorola, which became Freescale, was a pioneer with microcontrollers and microprocessors, being the supplier of Apple for many years. Today, NXP has developed the Freedom development boards, which are small, low power, and cost effective evaluation and development platforms perfect for quick application prototyping … Hence, the Arduino R3 pin layout is designed on the board.

NXP offers a unique board called FDRN-KWZ41Z, which integrates the Thread and BLE stacks for smart home applications for instance.

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NXP Semiconductors RF/Wireless Development Boards and Kits View

4. NRF52-DK from Nordic Semiconductor

Nordic Semiconductor is the pioneer in low power wireless communications. The parts can be programmed with various stacks for Bluetooth low energy, Ant, or a proprietary 2.4GHz or sub GHz protocol. Low power wireless networks were designed to send the few bytes coming from sensor measurements. Many Arduino sensor shields are available, so it is then no surprise the last development board from Nordic Semiconductor, the NRF52, has the Arduino Uno Rev 3 connector.

This development also includes an NFC antenna to enable NFC tag functionality. This technology is often used to share keys to enable security and encryption in a low power wireless network. The NRF52-DK allows for the prototyping of many full feature IoT devices.

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Nordic Semiconductor RF/Wireless Development Boards and Kits View

5. CY8CKIT-042 BLE Pioneer Baseboard

Cypress is famous for its PSOC creator and its user interface that allows you to drag components and configure them easily. In fact, it can meet the requirements of professional engineers or simply makers who only know the basics of C language and don’t need to know all the tricks about embedded programming. With such a large public, it is almost obvious that the CY8CKIT-042BLE pioneer baseboard includes Arduino connectors.

This baseboard also includes a capacitive touch sensor and an extra socket to plug in a Bluetooth low energy PROC or PSOC. Hence, it is possible to quickly design an IoT prototype. Plug in any Arduino sensors shields available on the market and a PROC or PSOC daughter board integrating a Cortex M microcontroller with its Bluetooth low energy stack, and the hardware portion of the prototype is finished!

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