To cater to the rising demand of Internet of Things (IoT) and on-device machine learning, the Arduino team has announced a new board, Arduino GIGA R1 WiFi.
Why New Board?
The company responded at the launch, “Bridging you from great fun to amazing performance, it opens the door to infinite possibilities in robotics, IoT, music, computer vision, digital fabrication, and any kind of projects involving machines, interfaces, and real-time processing.”
Impressive Features On Board:
On the surface, the Arduino GIGA R1 WiFi looks remarkably similar to the Arduino Mega and Due family.
At its heart, though, beats a very different beast: an STMicro STM32H747XI dual-core asymmetric system-on-chip.
It’s “two brains in one” due to the dual-core microcontroller (Cortex-M7 core at 480 MHz and Cortex-M4 at 240 MHz) which allows you to run two Arduino programs simultaneously – or, why not, an Arduino program and a MicroPython one, explains the team.
Further, it has 1MB of static RAM (SRAM) and 2MB of flash storage. A Murata 1DX chip provides Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, too, while a USB Type-A connector can be used to host external USB devices.
“With this architecture, you can separate higher-level logic such as displays, interfaces, and networking from time-critical tasks such as motor control. It’s the perfect tool for artists, gamers, sound designers, researchers and more, to step up their game, level the playing field, and add power to their play.”
There are 76 digital input/output pins on the board (of which 12 analog, 13 PWM, 4 serial ports, 3 I2C, 2 SPI, 1 FDCAN, 1 SAI) along with 12 supporting pulse-width modulation (PWM) and 12 analog input pins across two DACs.
There are four UART, three I2C, and two SPI buses in hardware. The Arduino GIGA R1 WiFi also includes two new pins, not seen on its Mega and Due predecessors: a VRTC pin to keep the real-time clock ticking when main power is removed and an OFF pin which shuts down the board.
Finally, there’s a USB Type-C connector for data and power, a 3.5mm input/output jack for analog audio, a JTAG connector, and a 20-pin connector for Arducam camera modules plus dedicated display pins.
Those looking to take advantage of the new board’s potential are advised, however, that it’s not a direct drop-in replacement for Arduino Mega and Due boards. While the pin-out has been kept the same, with additional pins placed in the middle, the Arduino GIGA R1 WiFi uses 3.3V logic — though it can be powered from supplies offering 6-24V DC, up from the 12V maximum of the older boards.
Now Available for Order:
The Arduino GIGA R1 WiFi is now available to order on the Arduino Store, priced at $72.82 — nearly twice the price of an Arduino Mega 2560 Rev3 or Arduino Due. However, it’s still cheaper than the Arduino Pro Portenta H7 Lite Connected which shares the same wireless connectivity and dual-core STM32H7 microcontroller.