Hackaday reports:

After a years-long wait, an ARM powered Arduino is finally due. The Arduino Due will finally be released this coming Monday.

On board the Arduino Due is an Atmel-sourced ARM Cortex M3 microcontroller running at 84 MHz. The Due has an impressive list of features including a USB 2.0 host, compatibility with the Android ADK (lest you still need an IOIO), 12 analog inputs with 12-bit resolution, 2 analog outputs running at 12 bits, a CAN interface, and more input pins than you can shake a stick at.

For a full list of features, you can grab this PDF we picked up when we saw the Due at Maker Faire NYC

This hardware update to the Arduino platform makes a lot of very cool builds very possible for even the beginner hardware hacker. Of course the Due will be used for controlling drones and UAVs, laser cutters and 3D printers, and playing WAV files from the analog outputs. The much improved hardware opens up a lot of other possible builds including making your own guitar pedals – DSP is a wonderful thing – and reading the telemetry from your car in real-time via the CAN bus.

Although it’s not available right now, you will be able to buy an Arduino Due for $49 USD this coming Monday at your favorite electronics retailers. 

The ArduCopter/ArduPlane team is currently focused on porting the code to our PX4 board, which is based on a much faster and more capable ARM chip than the DUE and has other cool stuff like a RTOS already up and running. But one of the cool things about the Arduino DUE release is that includes some improvements to the Arduino IDE to support a wider range of hardware. So our near-term priority will be to see if the Arduino IDE can be modified to support PX4, which will allow us to retain the accessibility of Arduino without having to support two different ARM-based hardware platforms.

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Admin
Comment by Thomas J Coyle III on October 20, 2012 at 11:13am

@Chris,

Why are they pricing the Due cheaper than the Mega? Will this kill the Mega boards?

Just a thought.

Regards,

TCIII

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on October 20, 2012 at 11:26am

Yeah, I was pleasantly surprised by the price too!

Comment by Jack Crossfire on October 20, 2012 at 2:49pm

The energy going into porting Ardupilot 1st to ATmega, then to ARM, then to Arduino on ARM is called putting a lot of focus on just supporting developers, but if you want to sell something made of bare boards, without hundred thousand dollar finished plastic prototyping, a lot of work has to target specifically developers.  Would be interesting if all the work on Arduino porting to support developers is really creating an edge over the Chinese versions or if they're just going to buy the Chinese hardware & lift the software from Arducopter.

Comment by Scott Plunkett on October 20, 2012 at 2:52pm

@Chris - This is cool to see.  I bounced back here after another long time away because I got a friend of mine interested in the ArduCopter projects (always good to have more folks involved!)  It got me thinking about the Bluetooth-XBee project we were working on, so I pinged the team and they said it was shelved because of some feature creep and overlap with the new Ardustation project...which in turn was delayed because of the delays in the Due.  So does this mean it is full steam ahead on a new Ardustation? If so, let me know, I'd love to jump back in with both feet!

Comment by Jiro Hattori on October 20, 2012 at 3:07pm

I would like to know the progress of the ArduCopter/ArduPlane development team on PX4 and what you are you going to consider next APM3?. 

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on October 20, 2012 at 3:43pm

Would be interesting if all the work on Arduino porting to support developers is really creating an edge over the Chinese versions or if they're just going to buy the Chinese hardware & lift the software from Arducopter.

That is exactly what they're doing.  There's a whole movement of guys doing this, porting Arducopter to other boards, I think mostly made in China.  Google "Ardupirate".  I haven't decided yet how I feel about this.  It feels "wrong", but for no good reason I can think of.

I guess a big part of it is 3DR supports the developers.  But then these other guys are just getting a free ride with $90 boards built in China.  They aren't contributing anything to the ecosystem.  Just parasites, not symbiotic.

I've got no problem with OpenPilot, AeroQuad, or any of the others.  They are their own little ecosystems.  But then you have this group which does nothing but port these programs to run on cheap Chinese boards.

Comment by Lance ray goad on October 20, 2012 at 6:39pm
Well if this is suppose to be used like the amp I believe you would have to also get the ArduIMU since it doesn't have any built in IMU on the board. That would be another $80, but I'm very new to arduino and was about to order my first amp today till I saw this, I'll have to do some more research to see what my best option is.

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on October 20, 2012 at 6:53pm

Jack: our discussions with the Arduino team give us hope that porting the IDE to support PX4 should not be too hard. Remember that Arduino is just the Processing IDE, the standard GCC compiler, and a bootloader on the board. The code is just C/C++. PC4 already uses GCC, so the Arduino mods could be as little as a new "boards" file for the IDE and porting the bootloader to PX4 (no doubt that's a bit of a simplification, but you get the point). 

Of course the standard Arduino libraries are specific to Atmel boards, but we've had our own custom libraries for a while. Part of the port of ArduCopter/Plane to PX4 has been to build our own hardware abstraction layer in that code so we can support a range of hardware, starting with the current ST line of ARM cores and eventually supporting full Linux boards. 

The point is, as you suggest, to minimize codebase fragmentation and wasting developer time supporting more hardware platforms than are necessary, while still retaining the easy accessibility of Arduino. 


Moderator
Comment by Roberto Navoni on October 21, 2012 at 1:07am

@Chris,

i agree with Chris , now the Arducopter work yet on different platform . AVR (APM board) and STM32 (PX4 and VBRAIN and MP32), so the limit is not the hardware but the firmware development. I think that this community doing a great work , and choose other powerfull platform for develop great functionality is the right choice.

The limit of arduino hardware could not the limit of our community . The STM32 performance is incredible a lot better of Arduino Due. But the problem now is not hardware but the limit of developer :)

@Jack

on the market i see a lot of new development based on STM32 micro controller , a lot of people from china , india  download vr ide pro and STM32 firmware from virtualrobotix repository , i could be very happy if all that people join to development , but i discover some board that use our code without respect the limit of licence.

I know also that happen for Arducopter design APM2 and APM 2.5 without any permission use name and brande and clone the design . That's no good for our community and our developer.

My contribution to community was to port 2 years ago the firmware from 8 bit platform to 32 bit platform STM32f1 first and now STM32F4 . So under the scene there is a lot of work . That is doing for passion and sell some board for continue our development ... So discover that some people clone your work and don't support the community is no good :(

Why buy APM2 or MP32 if by china seller you can buy it for 1/3 of price ? It's simple because the other 2/3 is for support and develop the community with new product and new code opensource for all the people that would increase their background in this great application:)

Best

Roberto

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on October 21, 2012 at 4:47am

@ramboky: there is actually very little where we draw anything from other projects.  Since I've been on the devteam (a little less than a year now) I've never seen anything on Arduplane, and very little on Arducopter.  I know we have looked at the acro controller of Multiwii, but did not do a straight port.  It was just to get some inspiration of what is wrong with ours, and what direction to head.  Meanwhile, Multiwii has said they used our automatic mode code quite heavily in creating their own.  And that's fine.

Open Source is supposed to be a two-way street and for the most part it is.  But there seems to be a one-way street heading to China.

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