Why you need a smart lighting control system

Today, nearly every organisation is trying to reduce its energy costs. A lighting control system helps you maximise energy efficiency, and enhance comfort and productivity.

Lighting needs to be flexible − it needs to react to what’s happening in the building. When there’s no one around it might not be needed at all – and you can’t always rely on people switching the lights off.

Spaces are flexible too. For example, you might have a conference room that doubles as a ballroom, or a large office with frequent layout changes – With our lighting control system, you can have pre-set lighting configuration. Because it helps you be more environmentally friendly, it’s easier to comply with energy legislation and building regulations – such as BREEAM and LEED − and to be a green citizen.
Okystar smart lighting control system helps you save energy, and save money:
  • 19% of a building’s energy use is lighting – lighting controls can help you cut that by up to 70%.
  • Room sensors are a worthwhile investment − they can yield a payback in less than one year.
Any question welocme to contact our sales representative Eason Cai. Thanks.

Smart Switches vs Smart Lights: Which is best solution?

Understanding Your Home’s Wiring

 

One of the biggest challenges consumers face when building a new smart home is understanding the wiring behind their walls. For instance, did you know that you need a C-Wire to turn your thermostat into a smart thermostat? Well, you do and most consumers don’t realize this little detail until after they’ve purchased a smart thermostat and start installing the device. The same is true for installing smart switches and outlets. According to CMoo Systems, 90 percent of the homes worldwide (and 50% in US and CA) are not capable of powering today’s smart home devices at the light switch location unless the homeowner re-wires their house. That’s key. So GearBrain decided to outline why this is, and come up with options so you can get smart switches up and running.

Traditional wall light switches.How does the wiring work?

In terms of wiring, all homes use AC power (Alternate Current). In the US and Canada, this is known as a single phase 110V/240V system. The AC voltage has two wires, a hot and neutral (There’s often a ground wire, as well, in new homes.). A hot wire, usually black, carries the current from your electrical cabinet to the load (i.e. light bulb). The neutral wire, usually white, carries the current from the load back to your electrical panel. The electrical panel, which is usually located in a closet in the basement or garage, houses all the power in the house. This is how the flow of power works behind your walls. However, as simple as this might be, the flow of power for smart devices or switches gets very complicated.

Standard switches and outlets have only two wires as we described above, a live and neutral. When the switch is on, the current flows from the electrical panel to the live wire to the load and back to the electrical panel via the neutral wire. When you turn the switch off, the current is interrupted by cutting the flow of electricity from the live wire and the load or light bulb turns off. This is called “open” wires. This is very simple, right?

Example of wiring for a switch in an older home.Many electronic gadgets including IoT devices run on a low voltage DC Power (Direct Current). Most of these devices come with a battery power, which is DC current (Direct current) or a standard power supply, such as a transformer, that can convert AC Power to DC Power which is are usually 12 volts or 24 volts instead of the standard 120 volts. All current consumer electronics (i.e. TVs, microwaves, etc.) have this type of power supply built into their products. Here is the problem we face in our homes today if we are to add smart switches. You need at least one more wire or possibly more wires to connect to DC Power. This wire, which is another neutral wire, which is usually low voltage, DC current, is used to send a signal to run your IoT devices. Almost all existing thermostats do not have this wire, known as a C wire or common wire. According to CMOO, 50% of the homes in the United States and Canada, and up to 90% homes in Europe, don’t have this third wire in their homes. (To learn more about how thermostats need a C-Wire, check out GearBrain’s What You Need To Know About Smart Thermostats & C-Wires )

Options If No Neutral Wire

If you are a homeowner and want to install smart switches, there are options if you don’t have this third wire behind your walls. Here are four options to utilize if you want to turn you home into a smart home:

  • Add and additional wire or wires to your existing wiring in your home. You can call an electrician and have them pull new wires behind your walls for every switch, outlet or thermostat. This can be a very costly and messy solution. If doing home improvements and your walls are exposed, this would be the time to re-wire your rooms. It would also be less expensive sine your electrician would have an easier time connecting the wires.
  • Install new switches that work without a neutral wire. These switches work by stealing current to get the devices to work properly. This option does have limitations and drawbacks. For instance, you need to have specific type of LED bulbs for this option to work. If you don’t, your lights will glow even if the smart switch is off. You need to have a minimum of 25 watts of power for these devices to work properly. Make sure you know which LED bulbs you need and how much they cost before buying these smart switches. You can also add a “bypass” device near your LED bulb. This can help stop the flickering but you might need an electrician to install it. Another added cost.

Insteon Smart Switch works with existing wiring.

  • These smart bulbs give you control at the bulb. Phillips Hue, GE and Lifx are manufacturers of smart LED bulbs which can be controlled by a smartphone or through a connected hub. You can even control them using your voice if you own a digital assistant like Amazon Echo or Google Home. This option does not require any re-wiring of your switches. However, you need to keep in mind you need to always have your light switch turned “on”. And, if your smartphone dies, you will have problems controlling the light from your switch in some cases. Lastly, this option can get very expensive. If you have a lot of lights in a room or a chandelier and want to install smart bulbs, it can cost you a lot of money. The range in cost for smart LED bulbs is as low as $15 per bulb to as high as $80 per bulb. The average cost for a standard LED bulb is $6 per bulb.
  • Buy a smart LED with a battery powered switch. It  offer a battery powered light switch which is also a dimmer. This type of switch acts just like a remote control for your lights. Just secure it on our wall and use either the switch or your smartphone to control your lights. But make sure you keep track of the battery power in the switch. This can be done through the light switch’s app. Though this is a convenient option with easy installation, it does have its drawbacks. For example, you can only control one device with the remote.

Example of battery powered light switch by SwitchmateWhile some solutions vary in difficult, some can be short term options to get you, at the least, started. One company, CMoo Systems, promotes smart lighting architecture that does not ‘close’ the current loop via the load/bulb and is agnostic to the load size/type. CMoo’s solution’s has no ‘minimum load’ and even 1 watt LED will work perfect without flashing / glowing effects as it happens with all other smart light switch products supporting 2 wires / no Neutral. Major switch manufacturers use its technology, which is expected to hit the market soon for consumers and works with existing wiring — and without extra installation costs. While this will be great, home owners still need to decide how to best run their connected devices.

Do you want a switch or outlet to control the room’s devices or have a smart plug handle it? Do you want a central hub to control your entire house and its devices like smart blinds? Is it cheaper to replace switches/outlets than buy LED smart light bulbs for every room? Once you make these decisions — and know whether you need to re-wire the house or not — you’ll be able to determine the best path, for you, to a new connected life.

Summary

Building a smart home today has its challenges, with many moving parts. When deciding if a smart switch is better for you than smart light bulbs, understanding the wiring in your walls is just the first step. You need to figure out if your wiring can power smart connected devices or if you need to hire an electrician for additional wires. And — is the price of an electrician to update wiring a cost efficient option? You’ll also want to consider what level of control you want to have in the home, and if you want to control devices from the switch, sensor, or a smartphone? Finally, there’s the question of the cost: How many bulbs do I need to replace and is that cheaper than changing wall switches? Answering these questions gets you closer to the true benefits new connected devices offer today whether that’s smart switches, smart lights or anything else you choose to install in your home. Good luck.

If you need smart home lighting control system please check the following link:

Does Arduino with Wifi have a future?

Arduino, as an open-source electronic platform for fast prototyping, helps electrical engineers prototype/design their projects, with the intention that they will turn into commercial products down the road. In 2005, Massimo Banzi needed a teaching tool to introduce students to electronics and the result was Arduino. It’s also a great tool for students or individuals who don’t have an electrical engineering background—they can learn about microcontrollers and programming when using Arduino’s kits and the Arduino library.

Currently, Arduino’s focus is directed more toward Internet of Things (IoT) communications. OKY3361 is an NRF24L01+ 2.4GHz Antenna Wireless Transceiver Module.

 

 

More detail welcome to contact with our sale team.
Edit by  Eason Okystar
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Arduino introduceert twee nieuwe IoT-ontwikkelkits

Arduino heeft twee nieuwe ontwikkelkits voor IoT-toepassingen gelanceerd. Een ervan maakt voor het eerst gebruik van een FPGA-chip voor extra flexibiliteit. Arduino wil met beide kits zijn portfolio verder uitbreiden om de zogenaamde ‘Maker’-groep te kunnen bedienen.

Arduino heeft twee nieuwe ontwikkelkits beschikbaar gesteld voor IoT-toepassingen: Vidor 4000 en Uno Wifi Rev2. Vooral de Vidor 4000 is een heel interessante kit omdat het gebruik maakt van een FPGA-chip van Intel. Het is de allereerste keer dat Arduino de chip integreert in één van zijn kitjes. Het voordeel van FPGA is dat de chip helemaal zelf kan worden geprogrammeerd zodat er het maximale uit kan worden gehaald.

FPGA-chip

Microsoft gebruikt FPGA-chips in Azure voor AI-toepassingen, maar de chip kan nog veel meer. Arduino wil nu in de DIY-community aftasten wat iedereen met deze chip zal doen en noemt het zelf de interessantste toevoeging in jaren aan zijn line-up.

Verder is er de Uno WiFi Rev2-kit, een IoT-bordje met een verbeterde AVR-microcontroller van Microchip. Belangrijkste vernieuwing is de verbeterde centrale processor met meer computerkracht en geheugen om IoT-applicaties te draaien.

Beide kitjes zijn nog niet beschikbaar, maar je kan je online registreren om een melding te krijgen wanneer ze leverbaar zijn.

IoT-boom

Arduino wil met beide kitjes mee genieten van de IoT-boom in technologieland. Het laat aan IoT Institute weten dat de nieuwe ontwikkelkits niet de huidige industriële apparatuur vervangt. Arduino ziet het eerder als een toevoeging voor een bestaand systeem waar ze meer willen doen met de data dan nu mogelijk is. Die data willen ze begrijpen, analyseren en wanneer er fouten zijn willen ze daarop kunnen reageren. Dat is de toepassing waarop Arduino mikt met de nieuwe kitjes.

 

Posted by Geplaatst op 

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Microcontrollers You Should Know for Arduino

2MSP430 LaunchPad

LaunchPad is a low-cost, low-power-consumption microcontroller from Texas Instruments, the manufacturer of BeagleBone. The Value Line LaunchPadis available for $4.30 in a kit that comes with a second chip. The MSP430 chip also offers a power-saving mode that awakens almost instantly, which may be perfect for remote sensors. At a fraction of the price of Arduino, LaunchPad looks like a good alternative, at least for relatively simple projects. However, it packs 512 bytes of RAM compared with Arduino Uno’s 2 kB, so Arduino might still win out for more complicated work.

3Nanode
Nanode is designed to work like an Arduino, but is made specifically for Internet-connected projects. It features the same ATmega328 processor that the Arduino Uno uses, and you can program it with the Arduino IDE. Nanode uses the open-data API Cosm to connect to the Web for tasks including sending data to the cloud, following online feeds, or acting as the server for a small, simple website. It makes a good development tool for Web-connected sensors, monitors, or controls. The Nanode RF sells for $56.57, a higher price than Arduino. And some assembly is required, so get your soldering iron ready.
4Pinguino PIC32

This is a solid prototyping tool originally designed for art students. The Pinguino is the same size and shape as the Arduino Uno, and like Arduino, Pinguino has open-source hardware to run an open-source IDE. Despite the similarities, though, Arduino and the Arduino forums do not provide support for Pinguino, and the company advises buyers that Pinguino may not work with Arduino libraries or sketches. Pinguino sells for $25.99, but the company recommends that buyers ensure they are experienced and comfortable with the technology first—Pinguino is not a microcontroller for beginners.

5STM32 Discovery

STM32 Discovery from STMicroelectronics is another low-cost alternative; it sells for about $9.88. This one packs a bit more power than the other budget microcontroller on our list, however; Discovery features a 32-bit ARM Cortex M3 core running at 24 MHz with 8 kB of RAM. Be prepared for a smaller user community and less documentation to help you along, however.

6Teensy 2.0
Teensy 2.0 and its counterpart, Teensy++ 2.0, run Arduino software and can support Arduino libraries and sketches, making them a good fit for experienced users who are making a transition from Arduino. Speaking of fit, the Teensy microcontrollers live up to their names; Teensy 2.0 is roughly the size of a quarter, with 25 I/O pins, and Teensy++ 2.0 is only slightly larger. This makes either Teensy a good choice for embedding into projects without a lot of space. Teensy 2.0 sells for about $20, and Teensy++ 2.0 sells for about $27.50. Both feature 16 MHz AVR processors.
Posted By Kiona Smith

STEM Learning in The Early Years

How early should educators be introducing children to the basics of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and engaging them in STEM-related learning activities? An Australia-wide research project is zeroing in on preschool.

The Early Learning STEM Australia (ELSA) Pilot launched in Term 1 involves more than 300 educators and 3300 children in 100 preschools. The play-based program is aligned to the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) and includes digital apps to support students, educators and families.

The year-long pilot is being led by the University of Canberra’s Centenary Professor of Education, Tom Lowrie, and run by its STEM Education Research Centre (SERC). Lowrie, who is the Director of SERC, tells Teacher the aim of the project is to explore the extent to which the program can engage preschool students – generally aged four – in learning activities associated with STEM thinking.

‘As you know, in an early years environment, there’s not specific STEM curricula. So our take on STEM is somewhat different than the way in which it’s defined elsewhere,’ Lowrie explains, adding the focus is on practices that underpin STEM. ‘It’s theoretically based on the concept of “practice architectures”. Basically that, in any given situation, you need to be thinking about methods, values and ideas, and there has to be this interaction between [them].

‘So for us – What are important STEM methods? What are important STEM ideas? What are important STEM values?’

The program is designed to use play, having fun, experimentation and investigation to help children familiarise themselves with STEM practices and thinking. For the digital element, the team is developing an educator app for assessment and monitoring, and a family app that gives parents and carers ideas for how their children can engage with STEM practices at home. ‘Things to do on holiday, things to do on rainy days, things to do at the beach, things to do near the river … so that parents can feel engaged in the program.’

There are also four apps for the students, but Lowrie says the program doesn’t rely on this method of delivery – around 80 per cent of the learning is off-app. He stresses the team is very mindful of screen time issues, and the general rule of thumb is if an activity can be done just as well in a play-based environment then it should be off-app.

The pedagogical framework is based around an ERA model: Experiences (children undertake experiences before they get to use the app); Representation (the app representation of those experiences); and Application (children applying those experiences through play-based engagement beyond the app). ‘So, rather than just develop four learning apps we’ve develop a program for a STEM engagement for four terms of the calendar year.’

The first app, engages children with patterns and relationships. The second is based around location and arrangement to engage children’s spatial reasoning. ‘There’s a body of literature that says people who go into STEM professions (we’re talking about 24-year-old plus) – the biggest predictor is their spatial reasoning ability. [There’s also] a lot of work that says children with well-formed spatial reasoning skills at preschool and school age are highly likely to have really good numeracy and mathematic skills by Grade 6. And then there’s another body of research that says those that move into STEM professions, whether it’s engineering or coders or actuaries or mathematicians, are likely to have these high spatial skills.’

Giving an example of how the program aligns with engineering and the STEM method of designing and making, Lowrie explains the third app focuses on how children decode and encode information and features a range of hands-on activities, including making musical instruments and then creating instructions so others can make their designs.

Although the target audience is preschoolers, educators are encouraged to introduce specific vocabulary. ‘… children can spell Pokémon and Pikachu … and all sorts of different Pokémons and they can name all those characters and name all of their attributes and characteristics and strengths and weaknesses at [age] four. So we don’t dumb it down. We give them very explicit spatial language, we give them very explicit verbal language and we give them very explicit contextual language, but of course we do it in ways that are authentic, connected to what they’re doing, and we don’t hide from it at all.’ For example, in one spatial skills app activity ELSA characters are taking photos of one another and children have to interpret the 2D photo and decide which character was behind the camera. ‘We explicitly talk to the children about perspective taking and orientation and rotation, which are really important spatial concepts.’

The fourth app is still in early production. It’s an investigation tool to engage students with logical reasoning – interpreting evidence, making informed decisions based on the evidence and having the flexibility to change tack once more evidence comes to light. ‘It’s a really good way of introducing to them some really important STEM values – that is, that you can make an informed decision based on the evidence that you have, but when you have more evidence, you have to have that flexibility of being able to change that way of thinking once the extra evidence comes,’ Lowrie says.

The project is being funded under the Australian Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda.

Stay tuned: We’ll be speaking to one of the educators involved in the early years STEM pilot.

Editor by Jo Earp

New Arduino Engineering Kit Unveiled For Education

 

Teachers and educators may be interested in a new official Arduino Engineering Kit launched this week and created to enable students and teachers to incorporate core engineering concepts such as control systems, inertial sensing, signal/imaging processing, and robotics with the support of MATLAB and Simulink programming. Check out the video below to learn more about the new Arduino Engineering Kit which is being created by the official Arduino development team.

Arduino Engineering Kit

The Arduino Engineering Kit is now available to purchase directly from the official Arduino online store and contains everything you need to build three “cutting-edge”, Arduino-based projects with each one designed to teach students how to build modern electronic devices.

– Self-Balancing Motorcycle – This motorcycle will maneuver on its own on various terrains and remain upright using a flywheel for balance. It’s very exciting to build and to see in action.
– Mobile Rover – This vehicle can navigate between given reference points, move objects with a forklift that’s controlled by computer vision, and much more. It’s very fun to make and use.
– Whiteboard Drawing Robot – This amazing robot can take a drawing it’s given and duplicate it on a whiteboard. It’s most impressive.

“In addition to the hardware, after registering online, students and educators will have access to a dedicated e-learning platform and other learning materials. The kit also includes a one-year individual license for MATLAB and Simulink, providing the user with hands-on experience in system modeling and embedded algorithm development.”

To purchase your very own Arduino Engineering Kit jump over to the official Arduino website where the kits are currently available to preorder at a reduced price of €199 offering a considerable saving of the recommended retail price of €249 which will take effect once the kit is officially launched. For more information jump over to the official Arduino online store by following the link below.

VIDEO OF THE ARDUINO FPGA BOARD DEMO AT MAKER FAIRE

This week, Arduino announced a lot of new hardware including an exceptionally interesting FPGA development board aimed at anyone wanting to dip their toes into the seas of VHDL and developing with programmable logic. We think it’s the most interesting bit of hardware Arduino has released since their original dev board, and everyone is wondering what the hardware actually is, and what it can do.

 

This weekend at Maker Faire Bay Area, Arduino was out giving demos for all their wares, and yes, the Arduino MKR Vidor 4000 was on hand, being shown off in a working demo. We have a release date and a price. It’ll be out next month (June 2018) for about $60 USD.

But what about the hardware, and what can it do? From the original press releases, we couldn’t even tell how many LUTs this FPGA had. There were a lot of questions about the Mini PCIe connectors, and we didn’t know how this FPGA would be useful for high-performance computation like decoding video streams. Now we have the answers.

The FPGA on board the Arduino Vidor is an Altera Cyclone 10CL016. This chip has 16k logic elements, and 504 kB memory block. This is on the low end of Altera’s FPGA lineup, but it’s still no slouch. In the demo video below, it’s shown decoding video and identifying QR codes in real time. That’s pretty good for what is effectively a My First FPGA™ board.

Also on board the Vidor is a SAMD21 Cortex-M0+ microcontroller and a uBlox module housing an ESP-32 WiFi and Bluetooth module. This is a really great set of chips, and if you’re looking to get into FPGA development, this might just be the board for you. We haven’t yet seen the graphic editor that will be used to work with IP for the FPGA (for those who don’t care to write their own VHDL or Verilog), but we’re looking forward to the unveiling of that new software.

SparkFun and the Future of Arduino

SparkFun and the Future of Arduino

Much has been made about the on-going (and seemingly far from over) Arduino v. Arduino SRL saga.

On one side is Arduino, which was founded by Massimo Banzi, David Cuartielles, David Mellis, Tom Igoe and Gianluca Martino back in 2009. This is the Arduino where you have probably gone to participate in forums, download the Arduino IDE and more.

On the other side of the battle is the manufacturing side of the project founded by Gianluca Martino, known as Arduino SRL. This outfit used to be called “Smart Projects” but changed their name to Arduino SRL in November 2014. From early on, they’ve been a large manufacturer of Arduino boards. Recently, they popped up under the domain Arduino.org.

We could hash out the specifics of the argument, but that’s been done ad nauseam in many places. If you want to get caught up, Hackaday did a nice job summarizing the story in this article. So which side of the dispute does SparkFun Electronics stand on? Well, as with many legal disputes, it’s not cut and dry.

SparkFun’s number one priority is, and always has been, our customers. Besides the very obvious fact that it’s your purchases that keep the doors open and the lights on, the truth is, many of us in this building exist in the very same stratosphere as you guys and gals. We’re DIY hobbyists, and engineers, and wearable-enthusiasts, and high-altitude balloon pilots. So, at the end of the day, we want to have the coolest, best, and most reliable products available for our customers to build the projects they (and we!) want.

So with that in mind, we’re kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place. Right now, we are actively buying (and will continue buying for the time being) Arduino Uno’s from Arduino SRL. Are we siding with them? Not necessarily – but currently this is the only source we have for the Arduino Uno, a board that you, our customers, love. The alternative is to not stock this board, which isn’t much of an alternative at all.

We are just as worried about where this is heading as you are. Is Arduino going to be around in a year? We believe the community will never die but we’re nervous about the hardware. Hardware is hard and spinning up contract manufacturers takes considerable effort and time.

Above you’ll see the SparkFun RedBoard. We created this board in 2012 because our Inventor’s Kit, which used the Arduino Uno, was becoming more and more popular. Around that time Arduino came out with the Uno R3 revision that caused, overnight, all our documentation to become obsolete. It was decided then that we needed to be in control of our supply chain for our most popular products. So we made the RedBoard, which takes some of our favorite features from various Arduino boards (like the Optiboot bootloader and the stability of the FTDI from the old Duemilanove). Needless to say we are thankful the SIK and the RedBoard are shielded from the current Arduino events.

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The RedBoard hooked up to our PIR Motion Sensor

Since its inception we’ve offered to pay royalties on the RedBoard. We’ve been building and will continue to build hundreds of thousands of the official Arduino ProPro MiniFio, and LilyPad. The royalties will continue to go to Arduino.cc, the folks we license the US trademark from. Recently we’ve offered to license and manufacture the other official Arduino boards: Zero, Uno, Mega, Due.

We are here to support the community as much as possible. We don’t want mom and dad to fight – it’s bad for the community but it happens. We will continue to buy the boards we don’t internally produce from whatever source necessary so that our customers can get what they need and, ultimately, vote with their dollars.

So that’s it. Is that a non-stance, stance? Sort of. But, ultimately, our “side” isn’t with Arduino or Arduino SRL – it’s with our customers. We will continue to do our best to bring you the products you want and need to make your electronics projects possible.

ARDUINO JUST INTRODUCED AN FPGA BOARD, ANNOUNCES DEBUGGING

Today ahead of the Bay Area Maker Faire, Arduino has announced a bevy of new boards that bring modern features and modern chips to the Arduino ecosystem.

Most ambitious of these new offerings is a board that combines a fast ARM microcontroller, WiFi, Bluetooth, and an FPGA. All this is wrapped in a package that provides Mini HDMI out and pins for a PCIe-Express slot. They’re calling it the Arduino MKR Vidor 4000.

Bringing an FPGA to the Arduino ecosystem is on the list of the most interesting advances in DIY electronics in recent memory, and there’s a lot to unpack here. FPGA development boards aren’t new. You can find crates of them hidden in the storage closet of any University’s electronics lab. If you want to buy an FPGA dev board, the Terasic DE10 is a good starter bundle, the iCEstick has an Open Source toolchain, and this one has pink soldermask. With the release of the MKR Vidor, the goal for Arduino isn’t just to release a board with an FPGA; the goal is to release a tool that allows anyone to use an FPGA.

The key to democratizing FPGA development is Arduino’s work with the Arduino Create ecosystem. Arduino Create is the company’s online IDE that gives everyone the ability to share projects and upload code with Over-the-Air updates. The MKR Vidor will launch with integration to the Arduino Create ecosystem that includes a visual editor to work with the pre-compiled IP for the FPGA. That’s not to say you can’t just plug your own VHDL into this board and get it working; that’s still possible. But Arduino would like to create a system where anyone can move blocks of IP around with a tool that’s easy for beginners.

A FACELIFT FOR THE UNO WIFI

First up is the brand new Arduino Uno WiFi. While there have been other boards bearing the name ‘Arduino Uno WiFi’ over the years, a lot has changed in the world of tiny radio modules and 8-bit microcontrollers over the past few years. The new Arduino Uno WiFi is powered by a new 8-bit AVR, the ATMega4809. The ATMega4809 is a new part announced just a few months ago, and is just about what you would expect from the next-generation 8-bit Arduino; it runs at 20MHz, has 48 kB of Flash, 6 kB of SRAM, and it comes in a 48-pin package. The ATMega4809 is taking a few lattices of silicon out of Microchip’s playbook and adds Custom Configurable Logic. The CCL in the new ATMega is a peripheral that is kinda, sorta like a CPLD on chip. If you’ve ever had something that could be more easily done with logic gates than software, the CCL is the tool for the job.

But a new 8-bit microcontroller doesn’t make a WiFi-enabled Arduino. The wireless power behind the new Arduino comes from a custom ESP-32 based module from u-blox. There’s also a tiny crypto chip (Microchip’s ATECC508A) so the Uno WiFi will work with AWS. The Arduino Uno WiFi will be available this June.

But this isn’t the only announcement from the Arduino org today. They’ve been hard at work on some killer features for a while now, and now they’re finally ready for release. What’s the big news? Debuggers. Real debuggers for the Arduino that are easy to use. There are also new boards aimed at Arduino’s IoT strategy.

THE FUTURE OF ARDUINO

As you would expect in the world of embedded development, the future is IoT. Last week, Arduino announced the release of two new boards, the MKR WiFi 1010 and the MKR NB 1500. The MKR WiFi 1010 features a SAMD21 Cortex-M0+ microcontroller and a u-blox module (again featuring an ESP-32) giving the board WiFi. The MKR NB 1500 is designed for cellular networks and features the same SAMD21 Cortex-M0+ microcontroller found in the MKR WiFi 1010, but also adds a u-blox cellular module that will connect to LTE networks using Narrowband IoT, but the module does also support Cat M1 networks.

But IoT isn’t the only thing Arduino has been working on. On the leadup to the World Maker Faire this weekend, I had the opportunity to speak with Fabio Violante, CEO of Arduino, and Massimo Banzi, Co-founder of Arduino, and what I heard was remarkable. There’s going to be an update to the Arduino IDE soon, and real debugging is coming to the Arduino ecosystem. This is a significant development in Arduino’s software efforts, and when Fabio was appointed CEO last July, this was the first thing he wanted to do.

Also on deck for upcoming bits of hardware is a slow upgrade from ARM Cortex-M0 parts to Cortex-M4 parts. While this change isn’t exactly overdue, it is a direct result of the ever-increasing power of available microcontrollers. The reason for this change is the growing need for more compute power on embedded platforms, and simply the fact that more powerful chips are cheaper now.

Massimo, Fabio, and the rest of the Arduino team will be showing off their latest wares at Maker Faire Bay Area this weekend, and we will be posting updates. The FPGA Arduino — the MKR Vidor 4000 — will be on display running a computer vision demo, and there will, of course, be fancy new boards on hand. We’ll be posting updates so keep your eye on Hackaday!