What is Arduino & Types of Arduino Boards?

By | July 5, 2020
what is arduino

Arduino is an open-source platform for electrical and electronics projects. It was designed in the ivrea interaction design institute for those students who have no electronics background and programming concept. Now, these boards have grown up, from its present form 8-boards to IoT(internet of things) applications, embedded applications, and 3D printing. It is suitable for small and portable projects and sometimes used in big projects with external hardware components. It is mostly used in automation and in small computations. From the years it has been extensively used to make thousands of projects from daily life components and now used in scientific research projects. The community of peoples who use it includes artists, hobbyists, students, and experts of electrical and electronics work.

Basically, Arduino by self is not a microcontroller, it is a PCB board with a microcontroller and other peripheral devices like Crystal, I/O pins, LEDs and other connection ports. It can control relays, motors or anything depending on requirements and read sensors outputs.

what is Arduino board

 It is combined with software, which is the Integrated Development Environment (IDE), and it is used to write programming and upload computer code to the board using a USB cable. With respect to other microcontrollers, this board has no external devices to run, all the required things are already put in a single board. At the last, the programming language used in IDE is quite easy to learn which is the simpler version of C++. 

Why Arduino?

It is simpler than other microcontrollers working process in terms of use and programming. This is good for teachers, students, and beginners. It is flexible to run on Windows, Linux, and Mac. Teachers and students built multiple simple low cost and advanced instruments to prove physics and mathematics laws.

Different types of boards. The following list includes some popular types of Arduino boards.

  • Uno(R3)
  • Leonardo
  • LilyPad
  • Mega(R3)
  • Mini
  • Red Board
  • Gemma and many others.

Arduino Uno(R3):

Arduino Uno is a board based on microcontroller Atmega328P. This board has great things for those who are new to Arduino and probably it is most used than other boards because it is medium size not so expensive and has additional features. It has 14 I/O pins with 6 analog pins, 6 PWM pins, a 16Mhz ceramic crystal, an ICSP header, and a reset button. It also has space to hold up a microcontroller if you want to change it, a power jack, and a USB connection port with PC.


Arduino Leonardo:

It is the first development board by Arduino. It Is a microcontroller and based on Atmega32u4. This board has a USB port it’s mean it can directly be attached to PC and shared libraries. It has 20 I/O pins from which seven pins can be used as pulse width modulation and 12 pins can be used as analog input. There is a 16Mhz crystal oscillator, Reset button, and a power jack.


LilyPad Arduino:

LilyPad board has controller Atmega328 with Arduino bootloader and. It is specially designed for e-textiles and wearable projects, it has the same functions as other boards, lightweight and round shaped. It was developed by Leah Buechley and cooperatively designed bu Leah and Sparkfun. Each pad of this round board ard designed to have large pads to allow them to be able to sew into clothing. Like other boards, it also has various input-output pins, a power jack, etc.


Arduino Mega(R3):

Arduino mega board is a copy of Uno but bigger in size, it has a large number of I/O pins(54 digital I/O pins out of which 15 used as PWM, 16 as analog pins and unlike other boards it has 4 UARTs pins ). It is more helpful in bigger projects which require a large number of pins and has everything that other boards have(power jack, reset button, led connector, and power LEDs). This board based on the Atmega2560 controller.


Arduino Mini

Mini is small in size as shown by its name it has fewer I/O pins than other boards but it is important for that projects which are smaller and require fewer pins(as for small projects bigger boards costs expensive and pins remains useless). It is based on Atmega328P. You should not power it above 9V it probably kill by more voltages.


Arduino Red board:

It is easy to program because it has a Mini B USB connector. The connected USB has two purposes, one to power it and second to upload programs. It is a very friendly microcontroller platform for beginners. It is able to interface with sensors, control motors, display results, and calculations. You can do work on it without any previous knowledge of electronics and coding. Like other boards, It has I/O pins(which includes digital and analog pins), Reset button, Barrel jack connector, and power pins.


Arduino Gemma

It has similar features as LilyPad and based on attiny85. It is a mini wearable microcontroller board, programmed by IDE, just connect it to PC with a USB cable or power up with a battery to make wearable gadgets.


Arduino Boards Memory Processor Digital I/O pins Analog I/O pins Input Voltages
Arduino UNO(R3) 2KB SRAM,32KB Flash Atmega328 14 6 INPUT NO OUTPUT 7-12V
Arduino Leonardo 2.5KB SRAM, 32KB Flash Atmega32u4 20 12 INPUT NO OUTPUT 7-12V
Arduino LilyPad 1KB SRAM,16 KB Flash   14 6 INPUT NO OUTPUT 2.7-5.5V
Arduino Mega(R3) 8KB SRAM, 256 KB Flash Atmega2560 54 16 INPUT NO OUTPUT 7-12V
Arduino Pro Mini 2KB SRAM,32KB Flash Atemga328 14 6 INPUT NO OUTPUT 3.35-12V
Arduino Red Board 2KB SRAM,32KB Flash Atmega328 with Optiboot bootloader 14 6 INPUT NO OUTPUT 7-15V
Arduino Gemma 512bytes SRAM 8KB Flash Attiny85 3 1 INPUT NO OUTPUT 4-16V

Thanks for reading please comment if you want to know more about any boards.

Image credit goes to elprocus

2 thoughts on “What is Arduino & Types of Arduino Boards?

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