Tag Archives: dev board

Modulowo launches Explore boards for Atmel Xplained

Modulowo’s new boards want to make IoT development a breeze.

Development tools are becoming increasingly popular and are often used for prototyping, designing new devices, educating and programming. Well, one Poland-based startup has decided to take it one step further by devising a solution to streamline the process for Makers and engineers alike. Modulowo has announced the availability of their new Explore boards for the Intel Edison and Atmel Xplained platforms.


The Modulowo Explore E is an IoT dev board for Intel Edison Compute Module (with dual-core Intel Atom, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth LE), compatible with Arduino, Linux, C, C ++, Python and JavaScript. Meanwhile, the Modulowo Explore X is a dedicated board for Atmel Xplained.


The Explore is equipped with a connector for Intel Edison platform, two Modulowo duoNECT connectors for expansion modules, GPIO, SPI, UART and I2C interfaces connectors, two microUSB (USB OTG and USB/UART converter), 12-bit ADC (optional 16-bit) for measuring analog signals, logic level translators (tolerates +3,3V/+5V signals), a battery charger (only for Intel Edison) and a connector for additional power supply to the add-ons.


One of Modulowo’s most notable features is that its modules can be mounted via pin connectors or directly on the board by castellated holes. These add-ons include sensors, tactile switches, motor controllers, LED drivers, GPS, wireless communication and Wi-Fi connectivity with the ATWINC1500.

Intrigued? You can head over to Modulowo’s page to explore the wide range of development boards.

The Metro Mini is a tiny dev board powered by an ATmega328

The brainchild of Adafruit, Metro Mini is an easy-to-use, breadboard-friendy chip with USB-to-Serial built in.

Inspired by the countless years of tinkering around with AVR MCUs, Adafruit has unveiled a brand-spanking new, tiny development board for Makers. Dubbed Metro Mini, the breadboard-friendly, easy-to-use chip can be programmed with the Arduino IDE.


Based on the versatile ATmega328, the Metro Mini packs 32KB of Flash, 2KB of RAM, a clock speed of 16Mhz and comes pre-loaded with the Optiboot bootloader. The slick black and gold unit includes 20 GPIO pins — six of which are analog as well and two reserved for the USB-Serial converter. What’s more, there is also total of six PWMs available on three timers.

“We sure love the ATmega328 here at Adafruit, and we use them a lot for our own projects. The processor has plenty of GPIO, analog inputs, hardware UART SPI and I2C, timers and PWM galore – just enough for most simple projects,” the Adafruit crew writes. “When we need to go small, we use a Pro Trinket 3V or 5V, but if you want to have USB-to-Serial built in, we reach for an Adafruit Metro Mini.”


Another nice feature is that, measuring just 0.7″ x 1.7″ x 0.2″ in size, the Metro Mini is small enough to be implemented in a wide range of projects. In addition, the device boasts 5V on-board regulator with 150mA out and 3.3V 50mA available via its FTDI chip. Rounding out the beautifully-designed piece are a series of four indicator LEDs for easy debugging and hardware SPI, I2C and UART-to-USB ports.


“The Metro Mini comes as a fully assembled and tested board, with bootloader burned in and also a stick of 0.1″ header,” Adafruit notes. “Some light soldering is required if you’d like to plug it into a breadboard, or you can solder wires or header directly to the breakout pads.”

Sound like a dev board for your next project? Head over to its official page here to get started. Looking for something just a little bit bigger? You can always try its larger sibling, the Metro.


WIOT is an open-source, Arduino-compatible dev board for the IoT

WIOT is an Arduino-compatible board with an ESP-8266 interface and lithium-ion battery support.

The brainchild of Ubld.It Electronics’ Chris Cockrum, WIOT is an open-source, rechargeable development board for the Internet of Things.


Based on an ATmega32U4, WIOT features integrated Wi-Fi capabilities through an on-board ESP-8266 module. The extremely compact device, which measures just 3.82” x 1.02” in size, is also entirely Arduino-compatible. This lets users design and develop their connected project within the Arduino IDE.

“I designed this board to be an easy-to-use way to get connect to WiFi from an Arduino-compatible board. This will allow anyone to write Arduino compatible sketches that can easily use 802.11b WiFi using the ESP-8266 (ESP-01) Wi-Fi module,” Cockrum writes.

The Li-Ion battery powered device operates at a voltage of 3.3V with a recommended input voltage of 5V, and can run for approximately 40 hours on no sleep. Meanwhile, on-board switching enables complete power-down of the ESP-8266. In terms of I/O, WIOT includes nine digital pins, five PWM channels and six analog input channels.

“With proper power management and intermittent Wi-Fi usage, the battery can last for days to months (depending on sleep time, Wi-Fi usage, Wi-Fi transmit usage, and other peripherals) without recharging,” Cockrum adds. “Since the board auto switches between external and battery power, a USB solar charger may be connected to power the unit indefinitely.”


Key specs include:

  • MCU: ATmega32U4
  • Flash memory: 32KB
  • SRAM: 2.5KB
  • Clock speed: 8MHz
  • On-board lithium-ion battery management
  • Automatic switching from external 5V power to battery
  • Any 5V (500mA) source may be used to power and charge the unit
  • ESP-8266 Wi-Fi module (ESP-01) with updated firmware
  • Uses a through-hole mini-USB connector

Interested? WIOT is currently selling on Tindie for $45, while Cockrum has provided details on the board here.

Qiyang’s QY-A5D3XEK is a SAMA5D3 dev board

Based in Hangzhou, China, Qiyang Technology (杭州启扬智能科技有限公司) is a company that specializes in embedded hardware solutions such as the QY-A5D3EK development board which was recently featured on CNX-Software.

The platform comprises a base board (IAC-A5D3X-MB) and computer-on-module (ICA-A5D3X_CM) equipped with the following specs:


Atmel SAMA5D3 ARM Cortex A5 @ 536 MHz
  • 256 MB DDR2 @ 333 MHz
256MB NAND flash + 2MB dataflash on CoM, 2x SD card slot on baseboard
  • VGA and 16-bit TFT LCD (24-bit compatible) interface up to 2048×2048
AC97 codec, 1x mic input, 1x LINE in, 1x LINE out
  • 10/100M Ethernet
  • 5x RS232 ports including one as a debug port (DB9), 2x RS232/RS485 ports
  • 1x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB OTG port
  • Headers – GPIO, PWM, SPI, I2C, JTAG, EBI CAN bus, 8×8 keyboard matrix header (also used as 4-wire resistive touchscreen I/F)
  • Wake-up and reset buttons
  • +12V power supply, supports +6V to 23V input
  • -20 to 70 C (operating) temperature range

“The company provides support for Linux 3.6.9 + Qt4, as well as Android 4.0 for the board which are provided with the documentation and tools on a DVD,” a CNX-Software writer noted.

“[Plus], Qiyang offers various LCD panels compatible with their board from 4.3″ to 10.4″, as well as optional TTL to LVDS or TTL to VGA modules.”

The IAC-A5D3X-KIT is currently available, with a sample price of $180 per unit.

Interested in learning more? You can check out the product’s official page here.

ATmega64 dev board surfaces on Electronics Lab

Radek Malina has introduced an ATmega64 development board on the Electronics Lab website.

Interestingly, the hardware was developed in the Czech Republic at a time when Arduino boards wasn’t locally available.

“It can be used to easily develop custom AVR firmware or as an introduction board to microproccessors and programming,” Malina explained.

“A development board is better to be used instead of a breadboard setup as it facilitates the connection of the different components using PCB headers.”

Key specs and features of the dev board include:

  • Atmel ATmega64 MCU – all ports available via pins, a different crystal can be connected (optional frequency crystal)
  • DS3231 RTC, real-time IC / I2C
  • Temp. DS1820 1wire Temp. sensor
  • USB Port FT232RL USB/RS232 converter
Buttons 8x -16x LED
  • Connect LCD Display 16×2 
7segment-LED Display
  • N-FET For PWM
  • ISP Programming connector

“All module pins are labeled for easy connection with the processor and there are separate connectors and jumpers for all MCU ports so you can easily connect, test and debug your firmware. Also there is an ISP programming connector J2,” 

 Malina added.

“[Plus], the PCB can be powered via the USB connector, or with a voltage regulator through an external adapter.”

Interested in learning more? You can check out the project’s official page here.

Arduino and Atmel debut Zero dev board

Arduino and Atmel have debuted the Zero development board – a simple, elegant and powerful 32-bit extension of the platform originally established by the popular UNO.

The Zero board expands the Arduino family by providing increased performance to fuel the creativity of the Maker community,” said Massimo Banzi, Arduino co-founder and CEO.


“The flexible feature set enables endless project opportunities for devices and acts as a great educational tool for learning about 32-bit application development.”

Indeed, the Arduino Zero board packs Atmel’s versatile SAMD21 microcontroller (MCU), which features a 32-bit ARM Cortex M0+ core. Additional key hardware specs include 256kb of flash, 32kb SRAM in a TQFP package and compatibility with 3.3V shields that conform to the Arduino R3 layout.

The Arduino Zero board also boasts flexible peripherals along with Atmel’s Embedded Debugger (EDBG) – facilitating a full debug interface on the SAMD21 without the need for supplemental hardware.


In addition, EDBG supports a virtual COM port that can be used for device programming and traditional Arduino bootloader functionality.

According to Atmel exec Reza Kazerounian, the Zero board aims to provide creative individuals with the potential to realize truly innovative ideas for smart IoT devices, wearable technology, high-tech automation and robotics.

“Leveraging more than 15 years of experience since the inception of AVR, simplicity and ease-of-use have been at the core of Atmel’s technology,” Kazerounian added.


“[We are] pleased to see the continued growth of the global maker community stemming from the increasing access and availability to open source platforms such as Arduino. We enable Makers, but the power lies within the Makers themselves.”

Interested in checking out an Arduino Zero prototype? You can get up close and personal with the very first prototypes at Maker Faire Bay Area 2014 in San Mateo on May 17 and 18 at the following booths:

  • Arduino booth: #204
  • Atmel booth: #205
  • ARM booth: #405

We’ll see you there!

Aery32 dev board gets reviewed

The folks at TronixStuff have posted a review of the Aery32, a development board powered by Atmel’s AVR32 UC3A1 128KB microcontroller.

Described as a “painless way to get into AVR32 programming and development,” the Aery32 is completely open source – on both a hardware and software level.

“The specifications of the Atmel AVR32 UC3A1 show that it is an incredibly powerful microcontroller. One could say that there is everything you need [on the Aery32] – and nothing you do not,” writes the reviewer.

“Looking at the front of the board, apart from the MCU there is an LED for use, the mini-USB for programming and a switch for changing modes between the bootloader and program. On the rear are the pin references, and on the right-hand side solder pads (on both sides) for the JTAG debugger.”

As the reviewer notes, Aery32-specific information and help is easy to find, with extensive documentation, numerous examples and a designated dev area.

“From my perspective this board was very easy to set-up and get working. Not having to worry about downloading hundreds of megabytes of IDE was great and allows programming from lightweight machines,” the reviewer concluded.

“And there is no doubt about the power or I/O features of the AVR32 UC3A1. Now I’ll get myself a good AVR32 book. So if you’re looking for a powerful and well-supported AVR32 development board, the Aery32 is a good start.”

You can order the Aery32 dev board directly from the Aery website here.