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!