A new “Arduino Zero Pro” board has been listed on Arduino.org, which looks very similar to the Arduino Zero board announced last year, with Atmel ATSAMD21G18 ARM Cortex M0+ MCU, and that is still listed as “Coming Soon” on Arduino.cc website. So it feels a little odd Arduino would release a board with basically the same features.
Arduino Zero Pro key specifications are indeed exactly the same:
- Microcontroller – Atmel ATSAMD21G18 32-bit ARM Cortex M0+ MCU @ 48 MHz with 32 KB SRAM, 256 KB flash, up to 16KB EEPROM (By emulation). 48-pin LQFP package.
- Digital I/O Pins – 14, with 12 PWM and UART
- Analog Input Pins – 6, including 5 12bits ADC channels and one 10 bits DAC
- DC Current per I/O Pin – 7 mA
- USB – 2x micro USB ports
- Debugging – USB via Atmel’s Embedded Debugger (EDBG) on-board debugger, and JTAG
- Misc – reset button, 5 LEDs (Tx, Rx, L, On, Debug)
- Operating Voltage – 3.3V
If you look closer at the boards there are some small changes including different passive components, and SWD header is soldered, but all connector placements are the same. So what is going on here?
HackaDay has the explanation, and this is a case of Arduino vs Arduino, as there seems to be a rift in the original Arduino team, split into Arduino LLC (US) and Arduino Srl (Italy), both fighting for the Arduino trademark, and having different views about manufacturing. The US company (Arduino.cc website) wants to license manufacturing of the Arduino boards to third parties, while the Italian company (Arduino.org) wanted to keep manufacturing in Italy and list the company on the stock market.
So from a technical perspective Arduino Zero and Arduino Zero Pro have just the same functionalities, but it’s just the money that apparently flows to different parties. We’ll have to wait for the outcome of the court case to find out who comes on top, or if the companies can find a win-win compromise.
Arduino Zero Pro is said to be available now, but I could only find it on little known website Semaf Electronics for $47.95, and using Arduino Zero pictures.
Thanks to Freire for the tip.