Friday, October 5, 2012

Ok, it could be cool, but...

The other day I wrote about the Arduinos and other processors, sowing some doubt.  I could be wrong with my forecasting but I would like to see good things happen in coming days.

The Arduino Due recently made an appearance at Maker Faire in New York this past week.  Samples were not generally available though but the timeline seem to point to a release in a month.

This would be the last of the three products announced over a year ago.  The Leonardo came out followed by the new Wifi Shield.

I would concur there is a market for these products - I've been looking for the Wifi Shield since I saw it in Making Things Talk.  But on arrival it seems rather expensive and it has a rather complex processor to drive it all.

The 32 bit Due will drive innovation in the larger microcontroller market that has exploded beyond earlier designs like the Beagleboard/Beaglebone.  The later board set a point at the $89 dollar level.  A number of other boards followed with the latest, the Teensy 3.0 just released at $28.  But a huge bar was set this Summer with the introduction of the Raspberry Pi.  At $35 it has a 32 bit processor, 256MB ram, ethernet, 2 USB, and GPIO.  Not quite as flexible as many 32 bit microcontrollers but it is a self-contained linux compatible system.

I hope the Due comes in at a price point that is competitive with currently released systems and not something like the 'bone - anything above $50 could be an impediment to wide adoption (Makers are a rather frugal bunch).  But if it provided needed power at a good price, it could rise to a new standard.

My tone may have held doubt - I would be happy to change my tune - good luck Due.