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What is Arduino?

Arduino is a single-board microcontroller, intended to make the application of interactive objects or environments more accessible.[1] The hardware consists of an open-source hardware board designed around an 8-bit Atmel AVR microcontroller, or a 32-bit Atmel ARM. Current models feature a USB interface, 6 analog input pins, as well as 14 digital I/O pins which allows the user to attach various extension boards.

Before we can fully understand what Arduino is, it’s important to realize what it isn’t. An Arduino is not a computer (the way Raspberry Pi is). It can’t be programmed independently; it needs to be plugged into a computer. It is not especially powerful either—the Arduino Uno has 32 KG of memory, while the average Macbook has about 8 gigs.

Arduino_Uno_-_R3 Continue Reading…

It used to be that the number of different microcontroller chips available to the hobbyist was pretty limited. You got to use whatever you could manage to buy from the mail-order chip dealer, and that narrowed down the choice to a small number of chips.

But times have changed. Digikey lists over 16000 different line items under a ‘microcontroller’ search. Which one should a hobbyist with no particular prior experience choose? Continue Reading…