What is an Arduino? Arduino - Overview

Arduino - Overview

Arduino is a prototype platform (open-source) based on an easy-to-use hardware and software. It consists of a circuit board, which can be programed (referred to as a microcontroller) and a ready-made software called Arduino IDE  (Integrated Development Environment), which is used to write and upload the computer code to the physical board.
The key features are −
  • Arduino boards are able to read analog or digital input signals from different sensors and turn it into an output such as activating a motor, turning LED on/off, connect to the cloud and many other actions.
  • You can control your board functions by sending a set of instructions to the microcontroller on the board via Arduino IDE (referred to as uploading software).
  • Unlike most previous programmable circuit boards, Arduino does not need an extra piece of hardware (called a programmer) in order to load a new code onto the board. You can simply use a USB cable.
  • Additionally, the Arduino IDE uses a simplified version of C++, making it easier to learn to program.
  • Finally, Arduino provides a standard form factor that breaks the functions of the micro-controller into a more accessible package.

Board Types

Various kinds of Arduino boards are available depending on different microcontrollers used. However, all Arduino boards have one thing in common: they are programed through the Arduino IDE.
The differences are based on the number of inputs and outputs (the number of sensors, LEDs, and buttons you can use on a single board), speed, operating voltage, form factor etc. Some boards are designed to be embedded and have no programming interface (hardware), which you would need to buy separately. Some can run directly from a 3.7V battery, others need at least 5V.
Here is a list of different Arduino boards available.
Arduino boards based on ATMEGA328 microcontroller
Board NameOperating VoltClock SpeedDigital i/oAnalog InputsPWMUARTProgramming Interface
Arduino Uno R35V16MHz14661USB via ATMega16U2
Arduino Uno R3 SMD5V16MHz14661USB via ATMega16U2
Red Board5V16MHz14661USB via FTDI
Arduino Pro 3.3v/8 MHz3.3V8MHz14661FTDI-Compatible Header
Arduino Pro 5V/16MHz5V16MHz14661FTDI-Compatible Header
Arduino mini 055V16MHz14861FTDI-Compatible Header
Arduino Pro mini 3.3v/8mhz3.3V8MHz14861FTDI-Compatible Header
Arduino Pro mini 5v/16mhz5V16MHz14861FTDI-Compatible Header
Arduino Ethernet5V16MHz14661FTDI-Compatible Header
Arduino Fio3.3V8MHz14861FTDI-Compatible Header
LilyPad Arduino 328 main board3.3V8MHz14661FTDI-Compatible Header
LilyPad Arduino simple board3.3V8MHz9450FTDI-Compatible Header
Arduino boards based on ATMEGA32u4 microcontroller
Board NameOperating VoltClock SpeedDigital i/oAnalog InputsPWMUARTProgramming Interface
Arduino Leonardo5V16MHz201271Native USB
Pro micro 5V/16MHz5V16MHz14661Native USB
Pro micro 3.3V/8MHz5V16MHz14661Native USB
LilyPad Arduino USB3.3V8MHz14661Native USB
Arduino boards based on ATMEGA2560 microcontroller
Board NameOperating VoltClock SpeedDigital i/oAnalog InputsPWMUARTProgramming Interface
Arduino Mega 2560 R35V16MHz5416144USB via ATMega16U2B
Mega Pro 3.3V3.3V8MHz5416144FTDI-Compatible Header
Mega Pro 5V5V16MHz5416144FTDI-Compatible Header
Mega Pro Mini 3.3V3.3V8MHz5416144FTDI-Compatible Header
Arduino boards based on AT91SAM3X8E microcontroller
Board NameOperating VoltClock SpeedDigital i/oAnalog InputsPWMUARTProgramming Interface
Arduino Mega 2560 R33.3V84MHz5412124USB native

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