A very small narrow-DIP-sized, Arduino Zero compatible USB dev board (OTG enabled), with integrated buck and boost power supplies!
The Arduino ecosystem provides an invaluable resource of hardware and software, which allows quick development of a myriad of projects thanks to its fruitful community.
Several Arduino-compatible boards came out in the past years, to increase the versatility or to reduce the size of the original Arduino boards. However, in our opinion this has not come without compromises.
- Some cheap boards, while being small enough, lack of a proper integrated power supply. In other words, the developer has to implement it externally, reducing the benefits of low cost and small size. In other cases, linear regulators are used, making them unsuitable for low power applications or when you need to provide a decent amount of current for the external circuitry.
- Other boards use microcontrollers with limited memory, pin count or peripheral set, which make them unsuitable for more complex applications.
- And finally, some boards are not breadboard compatible, and, to date no Cortex M0+ board features 0.3” spacing between rows, wasting precious breadboard space.
We wanted a device that solved all these problems without compromises.
Then we came up with our idea! We wanted a dev board:
- USB based, capable of being programmed without requiring expensive external programmers, just like Arduino and many other dev boards.
- With a powerful microcontroller with plenty of RAM and FLASH.
- With a rich set of peripheral.
- Capable of acting both as an USB host and Device.
- With integrated buck and boost power supplies.
- USB- or externally-powered.
- Capable of providing an external programmable (3.3V or 5V) high-current power supply, when powered by USB.
- Breadboard compatible, with a narrow DIP footprint (0.3” spacing).
- And, of course, low cost.
We worked hard, to optimize everything, and our result is uChip!