Figure 1: Alternativs of Arduino
There is so much fuss about Arduino in the market and of course its ability to integrate with every projects so easily certainly makes it a desirable product. The embedded platform of everybody’s choice is Arduino, specifically the pro mini, further it provides a low barrier of entry for beginners and makes rapid prototyping really easy. But its low power is a hassle, interrupts are limited, and the high level API that keeps you abstracted away from the hardware and thus doesn’t make it a true embedded development.
There are a number of different alternatives to check out for Arduino and the most accessible one is the bare AVR chips as all the hardware needed is available with everyone to get it started. Next is PIC family by Microchip Technologies, which is a popular alternative in the hobbyist arena. The ARM family of microcontrollers is also a good option and the STM32 Nucleo with ARM development boards shares the same connectors as Arduino developmental boards and can be reused for shields. The Nucleo is also very competitively priced at more than half the cost of an Arduino Uno.
Tony Baker in his latest experiments of embedded development worked with MSP430 by Texas Instruments, whose launchpad boards are about half the price of an Arduino uno and have jumpers that allow easy use of the board as a standalone programmer.
The world of embedded systems for everyone who are interested in this program is a lot more than just the world of Arduino. There is a wide range of new and interesting hardware and projects available in the market other than Arduino and one has just to spread their wings and explore other platforms. There are numerous curious adventure platform for a hobbyist in the field of embedded systems outside of Arduino along with developmental board’s experimentation and resources that will be helpful for breaking away from the Arduino platform.
Filed Under: Reviews