Arduino Announces New Product


We don't typically do weekend updates, especially with Maker Faire going on this weekend. However, Arduino made a big announcement today and in case you didn't hear, there are two new Arduino boards available. The beloved Duemilanove has been replaced with the Uno and the Mega has been replaced with the Mega 2560.

Many of you know that we really like Arduino. Personally, I can say that I wouldn't be tinkering around with all this great stuff if it wasn't for the simplicity of learning on Arduino. For beginners, it's the ideal platform. And now that it's certain that the open source hardware revolution is here to stay (and continues to explode), Arduino decided to polish things a bit. They've released a fancy new logo (and website design) and announced some new products.

The two new boards keep their form factor and remain largely unchanged. However, they have both done away with the FTDI chip and replaced it with an Atmel ATmega8U2 which allows for much greater speed and flexibility. Your Arduino board will now show up in Windows with a unique ID, rather than a generic USB port. This allows for the Arduino (with some code) to show up as a variety of USB devices (Keyboards, Mice, Joysticks, MIDI etc). The Mega 2560, as the name indicates, has gotten a new IC, allowing for 256k of flash memory, doubling its predecessor, and also shares the new ATmega8U2.

Also, we should be seeing a new version of Arduino's IDE very soon. Ultimately, it's nice to see that Arduino has established itself in the world of open source hardware and we can keep expecting great things from them. Read more about the official announcement here.

Also, we have another small product announcement. We have been getting numerous (understatement) calls and emails asking about the Arduino and breadboard holder. Well, the long wait is over, we now have them in stock! For everyone that bought the previous inventor's kit without the holder, you can get it separately here.  And we now include it with the new SparkFun Inventor's Kit.

Thank you everyone for being patient and waiting for this to come out. It's taken seemingly forever, but we have it now. Enjoy!


Comments 51 comments

  • Too bad; looks like a small change.
    I would have liked something like a Teensyduino-more functionality for the price.

  • The thing that is absolutelly is out of my understanding in the new Arduino is the bootloader. With 8K of flash on the USB chip they could include normal software ISP programmer and eliminate bootloader at all to give the users whole flash for the sketches and control over fuses. Why they didn’t do that?

    • Have to agree. It just seems brain dead for the 8U2 to not operate as an ISP programmer. Don’t get me wrong…I think OptiBoot is the greatest thing since sliced cheese…when the use of a serial chip dictated the need for a bootloader at all. Was the Uno designed by a government committee?

  • the “greater speed” with the ATmega8U2 is a lie. You might get less over-head time but you are not ever going to change the serial port speed of the bootloader.
    I totally agree with VTguy’s comment about the need for the bootloader.
    I can’t believe Uno didn’t take any cues from any of the clones on the market, it still has all of its previous problems. The USB-B connector is too tall, shields cover up the reset button, the 3V3 supply is still junk, and the headers still have that odd spacing.

    • It’s not a lie - the serial link speed is increased to 115kbps.

    • Please tell me they fixed the header spacing.

      • The header spacing is here to stay, like it or not. It’s far too established to be changed. If it changed we would have to redo every shield we ever made (as would everyone else).

        • The odd spaced IO should stay for the reason you mention, but there can be an additional row with properly spaced pins, just like the seeeduino http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/seeeduino-v22-atmega-328p-p-669.html?cPath=79_80 . People asked for it repeatedly from the start. Instead of trying to voluntarily create legal problems for the clone makers (with the USB Vendor ID), they could have used the power of open source design and integrate ideas from others to enhance their product.
          Instead, it seems like too many marketing & business gurus steered the design away from what made it successful in the first place.

  • Can somebody explain to me why this new design DOESN’T eliminate the need for a bootloader? To me, that would be a very valuable feature. Not because of the extra space that would be freed up, but the fact that we have to pay more for ATmegas with bootloaders pre-installed. Am I wrong in thinking that the additional uC on the board could act like a USB programmer?

  • No! I just bought my Duemilanove a week ago!
    Oh well, doesn’t look like this is a huge step up for my purposes, since I’m on a Mac and I won’t really benefit from the speed.

  • Uno ATmega328 chips are on eBay already. Will they work with Duemilanove board?

    • I don’t think anyone can verify if an ATmega328 from eBay is legit. Arduino isn’t selling them alone, so who knows what it is.

  • Mine was delivered today. It’s awesome.

  • Great….now sparkfun will be taking even more of my disposable income.

  • Something even more heretical - how about an LPC1342 Cortex M3 as the USB chip… at least once a free USB serial driver exists? About the same price ($2 in volume from digikey), but twice the flash and quite a bit faster.
    And wiring up the ISP port would be useful in any case.

  • If you really need more ram consider buying an atmega1284 that as 16Kb of ram, or as others said, use the external ram acess.

  • Hey, I’m all for Arduino making some profit off of their boards. The amount of cost reduction and ease of use that they’ve introduced to the DIY world makes me want to buy my boards from them to support their great work.
    Does anyone else find it mildly amusing that Arduino hired a design firm to get that logo? Really, guys? You couldn’t come up with that? Geez.

    • FYI, the design firm is closely related to Arduino (supporters and such). And regarding the logo, that can be said about almost every design. I mean, we just have a little flame and ‘SparkFun Electronics’ after that… Who can’t come up with that? But it’s about actually coming up with it, not being able to.

  • I purchased my arduinos with the problem from Pololu who get their stock of arduinos from YOU. I have already told them about the problem through the proper channels and they indeed could reproduce it:
    http://forum.pololu.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=3083
    I expect they have informed you about it already and are waiting for your fix.
    I commented here about the Uno because I am simply trying to find a working alternative to build my projects on.

    • Pololu has indeed contacted us; they and many other distributors purchase Arduino inventory from us. We are working to verify the exact nature of the issue and go from there.

  • I normally use a 9V - 12V power supply and the problem is most definitely there in the Duemilanove as I have measured it myself. Did you even test the Uno? 5V going TO the USB port of the computer like this is never normal. Sadly if someone would have just tested their design in the first place before production it would have saved this embarrassing result.

    • Email us directly at techsupport@sparkfun.com. We would like to verify the problem personally. We have been unable to replicate the problem.

      • Hello.
        On the Arduino Duemilanove with the newer T1 MOSFET (the smaller 3-pin part with the marking of “340” on the package), the T1 MOSFET never turns off, even in the 7-12 input voltage range, allowing current to flow into the USB port.
        You can verify this by measuring the current through a 1k resistor between USB VCC and GND. You will measure current flowing, even in the recommended VIN voltage range, because T1 never turns off.
        I spoke with Mike Grusin about this problem, and he said he was looking into it. I am surprised he hasn’t told you about it.
        -Ryan

        • We were contacted about this on Friday, and since then there has been substantial discussion at SparkFun about this issue. Our engineers have identified that this is a problem if the external power supply is < ~7V. This matches the experiences of others who have investigated the problem and posted on other forums, as well as reports of problems from people using unregulated 9V supplies.

          • Ok, more concrete info. With a solid 9 volts on the power supply, you get 8.3v at the input to the voltage regulator and 3.7v at the gate of the MOSFET.
            However, that is giving 5v at the USB port. To ensure that wasn’t a spurious reading due to the high input to the meter, I put a 330 ohm shunt across the meter leads, and I still get 5v.
            The NDT2955 is spec'ed to have a minimum Vgs(on) of -2.0v, which works out to a gate voltage of 3v in this application. Thus, it should work fine, but the replacement part clearly isn’t.

          • I checked this on 2 Arduino 2009’s powered by fresh 9v batteries, and measured +5v at the USB connection. I want to do a little more poking before I say it’s definitively leaking out the USB connection, but I don’t think you can blame it on <7v supplies.

  • I would love to start using the UNO but before I can you must assure me that they do not have the same power switching problem recently discovered in the Duemilanove: http://www.arduino.cc/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1284034373
    Please pull one from your stock and note the MOSFET and test to see if the USB and external power is being switched properly as described here:
    http://www.david-laserscanner.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=2261
    I am very curious and look forward to hearing about your results.

    • If using the Arduino in the specified input range (7-12v), you will not have a problem. Using anything outside of their recommended ranges is asking for trouble.
      Also, USB ports are very well protected, and an Arduino will not blow a USB port or a motherboard. Tens of thousands of Arduinos have been sold and this is not a documented issue.
      And yes, the new Uno uses the same IC.

  • Unimpressed.
    This new version might have lower USB latency, but the complexity and BOM went up, dual processor, dual Xtal, 3.3V regulator, the 8U2 seems like overkill, half of it’s pins are not even connected.
    As it’s wired, it does not allow to program bare 328 chips, they could have done that easily. The LM358 chip consumption prevents the board from being used in very low power sleep mode.
    Also, this is still 5V only (no full 3.3V version), no 0.1" grid second pin row and the mega is still overpriced. Ok, it got a new logo …
    As the saying goes, the devil is in the details, a point that could be a problem is the Arduino Vendor ID that’s now required (was previously “embedded” in the FTDI chip). According to USB Implementers Forum (http://www.usb.org/developers/vendor/) vendors are not allowed to distribute or allow the use of their IDs by third parties. This would make variants or clones illegal, unless their maker purchase their own Vendor ID and have their driver certified by Microsoft for Windows compatibility. This seems like open hardware, with a catch.

  • Is no one else sad to see the FTDI chip go? I for one made good use of the d2xx library to access the Arduino from my Object C OSX, and Windows C++ programs. What’s the equivalent for the USB AVR?

  • Nothing new in this boards.
    Main keyword for this “buy new”.
    New colors, box and market materials.

    • I have to agree. The maker/Open source movement is a bit interesting! All about ‘helping others to learn and get making’ as long as we can make a profit off of it…

      • I would see it a different way. Both Arduino (and ourselves) freely offer all our firmware and Eagle files. We even offer BatchPCB which would allow you to make your own boards and cut out the middle man (us). We even give you tutorials on how to do so. Some people would rather not bother with it, so we sell it pre-made.
        And seeing as the new Arduino is the same price, I don’t see how this is in any way aimed at getting more money. See it as a running revision if you want.

  • Huh, so the Uno actually has two AVRs on it, only one of which is usually user-reprogrammed?

    • The Uno’s ‘8U2 looks to have the ISP header broken out, just not populated. You could certainly reprogram it, just not with the Arduino IDE (Since it’s the middle man between the Arduino IDE and the ATmega328).

      • ‘The ATmega8U2 firmware source code is available . The ATmega8U2 is loaded with a DFU bootloader, which can be activated by connecting the solder jumper on the back of the board (near the map of Italy) and then resetting the 8U2'
        http://arduino.cc/en/Main/ArduinoBoardUno
        looks like there is a USB based bootloader on the 2nd avr, allowing it to be programed without the ISP header

  • The doubling of Flash memory in the Mega 2560 gives me double the reason to love Arduino, but I still hate how there is only 8kB of RAM when I need twice that amount most of the time for some projects.

    • I haven’t looked at the schematic yet, but depending on the ‘2650’s breakouts, you can add up to 64KB more SRAM to the thing externally. It has external memory support. Address and Data busses are muxed together on port a, and the high order address byte is on port c. !ALE, !WR, and !RD are available on port g. Give'r a look!

  • Maybe you can start selling this USB AVR (ATmega8U2) on its own breakout board.

    • Seconded. They’re really cool, and there is some example code online for using them as a COM port so people can start off with the familar before jumping into USB comms.
      I made a board with an older USB AVR chip and its pretty sweet. Cheaper than an FTDI chip and it includes the microcontroller! Fewer external components too!
      Hobbyists really need to start moving away from COM ports and these simple USB AVRs are perfect for learning that!
      -Taylor

  • Are you guys selling these new beauties with the original boxes? I loved them!!

  • Sweet! Time to sell the old one and get this one.

  • Nice!


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