Arduino boards are normally programmed using Arduino “programming language” that’s more like an API using C/C++ language. But when I started in high-school I remember learning Pascal and BASIC programming languages.
Bruce Eisenhard also learned BASIC in the past, so he decided to port his company’s ARM BASIC compiler to Arduino Zero, and it should also work on other boards based on Microchip SAMD21G Arm Cortex-M0+ microcontroller.
The compiler includes floating-point, strings, inline assembly, interrupts, pre-processor, and the BASIC firmware supports direct access to hardware registers so you can control digital and analog I/Os, ADCs, and other peripherals using BASIC programming language. A runtime monitor also facilitates debugging.
The IDE used for development is called BASICtools that’s a free 30MB download which install programs and documentation. There are also libraries and examples from blinky to more complex code. It’s been possible to run interpreted BASIC on Arduino for a while, but Bruce notes compiled BASIC is at least 20 times faster, and about as fast as compiled C programs.
To complete development, and raise awareness of the project, he has launched a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. Pledges start at just $1 to receive an early beta version of the firmware, but there are also hardware rewards with BASIC firmware bundles with Protoneer Nano, Itaca uChip, or RobotDyn Zero boards. Some have already received the beta firmware, and hardware rewards are scheduled to ship next month.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.