What do you think of the new board on kickstarter? Prestissimo Uno+: Uno w/ more I2C UART SPI ADC IO PWM

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Hi All.

I've started this discussion because I would like to know what you guys think of this new development board on Kickstarter (the "Prestissimo Uno+"). The board features the new ATMEGA328PB microcontroller. There aren't too many development boards out for this microcontroller other than the official atmel Xplained boards. The board has Arduino hardware/software compatibility and is compatible with atmel tools. It provides access to additional PWM, digital io, analog inputs, PWM, SPI, UART and I2C. All of which are scare on the original arduino. I see this as simplifying many scenarios in HW/SW development and also proving extended capability to makers.

 

Kickstarter link:

 

https://www.kickstarter.com/proj...

 

Website:

 

https://www.prestissimoelectroni...

 

 

 

 

 

Last Edited: Mon. Nov 5, 2018 - 02:20 PM
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If you just replaced the 328P with 328PB on a Chinese Uno clone wiith switchable 3.3V, 5V you would have an attractive board.
The clones have unpopulated holes for extra headers.
If you replaced with the new 4809 and switchable 3.3V, it would be even better.
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Hey-ho. If your design is good, you will be cloned yourself.
.
David.

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Thanks for your feedback.

I have heard that that 3.3V/5V is in development in for future versions. The main obstacle is that it is my understanding that is you run an atmega of 3.3V then the clock speed is limited to 8Mhz which means we would need to provide selected 8 Mhz and 16Mhz oscillators.

BTW, would you really like a board using the atmega4809? We seriously were thinking of making that the MCU in out next board (if this one is successful). We hear that the the internals of the 4809 are more PIC like than AVR.

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researchTech wrote:
The main obstacle is that it is my understanding that is you run an atmega of 3.3V then the clock speed is limited to 8Mhz which means we would need to provide selected 8 Mhz and 16Mhz oscillators.

Of if running on 3.3v, set the cpu clock prescaler to /2, no need for additional external osc!!!

 

Jim

 

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Yes, you can always divide the clock. In practice, I have never worried about it. An AVR wiil run fine at 16MHz and 3.3V. Although I would probably not rely on it at extreme temperatures or shaky power supplies.
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My personal niggle is that Atmel-Microchip choose to rate the chips for different voltages. I would design and rate for 3.3V and refuse to say whether it can run faster at 5V.
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The mega4809 is like an Xmega. It should be (and is) nice to work with.
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I only know PIC16, PIC18. PIC16 is horrible. PIC24 and PIC32 might be (and probably are) quite pleasant.
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David.

Last Edited: Mon. Nov 5, 2018 - 03:06 PM
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This is a solution in search of a problem.  The Mega328PB in this $28 P_UNO is too similar to the $5 Mega328P UNO (and the $2 ProMINI) to be worth the great price differential.  If you absolutely had to have the extra options of the 328PB, then it would be cheaper simply to design a second Nano or ProMini to handle this IO onto your main system board.

 

I was wary of using the Software Serial port until I reviewed the library code.  It is excellent for communication with an external PC terminal even at 115K baud.  For UART data streams where the start bits of the next byte come immediately after the stop bit of the preceding byte, well, it doesn't perform as well (at 31K baud or higher) as the hardware-based USART.

 

As far as I know, it is rare to have the need for multiple I2C channels.  Most systems that will have multiple identical I2C ICs in one design (such as parallel I_0 ICs, and voltage/amperage meters) will be using I2C ICs that have jumper-configurable slave I2C addresses.  I've never seen the need for multiple SPI systems on the same CPU.

 

Instead of the 328PB selling for $28, I would rather see an Arduino system based on a 50MHz ARM with 64K+ Flash and 4K SRAM selling on eBay for about $5-8 per board.

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I think that given the existence of the Atmel Xplained Mini 328pb, the Pololu AStar328pb (https://www.pololu.com/category/239/a-star-328pb-micro), and the Elektor "Uno R4", I don't think that there is room for another 3rd-party full-priced Uno-sized board.  :-(   Unless you have a particular niche application (hmm. RPi-Zero daughterboard with the 2nd i2c port as the RPi link?  Unfortunately, the 2nd UART is not very conveniently placed (overlaps the original SPI pins.)

The Xplained board (~$10) is particularly de-motivating for would-be competitors.

 

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(There have been a couple reports of Chinese "Nano" clones (not so much clones, anymore) shipping with ATmega328pb chips on them instead of 328Ps.  To the confusion of users trying to burn new bootloaders.  That gives you some of the new features, except for the 2 pins that used to be power.)

 

 

I would rather see an Arduino system based on a 50MHz ARM with 64K+ Flash and 4K SRAM selling on eBay for about $5-8 per board.

You mean like the STM32F103-based "Blue Pill" boards?   I'd sort-of like to see a SAMC, Kinetis-E, or Cypress (5V) version...

You do understand that in order for "China" to manufacture a $5 board, it has to be "popular" FIRST?  Quite the chicken&egg problem.

As a hobbyist designer who has essentially no interest in profit, "manufacturing" or "order fulfillment", I think it would be GREAT if "China" picked up one of my OSHW designs and started selling it their typical prices.  But I don't think it's possible to have that happen without some intermediate *something*...

 

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You’re probably asking the wrong question to the wrong people! If we wanted a 328pb we would’ve done it already and modified an existing board to achieve it. The secret to marketing is understanding who would buy your board and it’s most likely not us. I dare say in time you’ll be able to share the lessons learnt and see if they line up with the above comments.

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A goal of $35,949 AUD...thats a bit high. Thats 1200+ units. Seems a bit high for a kick starter goal. 

"When all else fails, read the directions"

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    Now that the schematic for Arduinno Uno Wifi II is available, one needs to make one without Wifi, crypto, accelerometer, just plain and simple doable by Chinese companies at around same price as the regular one based on Mega328P.

 

    Mega328PB is somewhere in between Mega328P and Mega4809. At this moment, given the amount of flash memory, RAM, pin count, peripherals, price, the Mega0 series is probably the best 8 biter on the market. It is left to be seen if the RC oscillator stands up to the job of being reliable enough for UART use.

 

    Most Arduino users seem ok with the performance of the Mega328P. If more is needed, there is always a bigger brother like Mega256, ARM, up to Raspberry Pi.

 

    Mega3209 on a Nano, Mini, would be nice too, but the pinout is needed first.

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Yes, our board isn't as cheap as the Chinese clones selling on ebay but this is because we have opted to use an SMT production line in Australia rather than in china (so we have to pay for the labour to assemble the boards)

We thought we would bring out an AVR board because AVR has still remained popular despite the advent of 32-bit arm micros. 

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I run a small pnp machine in Australia.  I would not say that is what makes things expensive here, it is the fact that we can't, in Australia, buy the components as cheap as they can in china.

 

An Australian robot does not get paid much more than a Chinese robot.

 

Sadly KickTraq thinks you are only going to hit 10% of your goal.

 

The Kickstarter I ran was never intended to make money.  I think I ended up only being about $300 in the black on it.  However because I had a very modest goal and the community I was supporting all got behind it I scraped through.

 

Maybe if you fail this time you should try re-launching your Kickstarter with a less lofty target.

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ki0bk wrote:

researchTech wrote:
The main obstacle is that it is my understanding that is you run an atmega of 3.3V then the clock speed is limited to 8Mhz which means we would need to provide selected 8 Mhz and 16Mhz oscillators.

Of if running on 3.3v, set the cpu clock prescaler to /2, no need for additional external osc!!!

Jim

 

 Or maybe even use 328's internal 8 MHz oscillator? Then you can provide a 16 or 20 MHz external crystal for the applications that require higher speeds. Pretty much what XPro does.

 It'd also be nice to pay more attention to low power options. Arduino, although being a self-proclaimed IoT platform, is a poor choice for development of battery-powered devices. As noticed earlier, it requires 5 V to run. You can't measure energy consumption of target MCU. You can't physically isolate mEDBG.

 


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researchTech wrote:

Thanks for your feedback.

I have heard that that 3.3V/5V is in development in for future versions. The main obstacle is that it is my understanding that is you run an atmega of 3.3V then the clock speed is limited to 8Mhz which means we would need to provide selected 8 Mhz and 16Mhz oscillators.

BTW, would you really like a board using the atmega4809? We seriously were thinking of making that the MCU in out next board (if this one is successful). We hear that the the internals of the 4809 are more PIC like than AVR.

 

That's a tougher call, as you should choose the best MCU now.

 

Issues are :

* is the 328PB different enough, for the average buyer to care ?

* if you select 4809, are you different enough to compete with the CURIOSITY NANO at $10, and note that includes a real debugger

 

The new Ardunio uses Mega4809, and I believe it also includes a Debugger.  - The source code for that should be published ?.

 

There might be market space in all those trees, for a 328PB based unit, that included a debugger 

 

There, you have added Debug, without the larger step to a Mega4809, which may put some users off. The market push here is 328PB and Real Debug 

 

You could also look at a low-ppm clock source, as another point of difference ?

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researchTech wrote:
this is because we have opted to use an SMT production line in Australia rather than in china
Then surely the point you have learned is that this simply is not commercially viable?

 

Why would anyone pay $30 for something they could buy elsewhere for $5 ?

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Yeah, national loyalty has a price.... but not $25 each.

 

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia

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There's plenty of good, even if it's not what you wanted to hear, advice above. For me the problem is that the step up from 328P to 328PB isn't that big. Sure, if you need an extra serial port it'd be useful by then why not use a 324? Or go the whole hog and use a 1284P to give you loads of RAM and loads of Flash.

#1 This forum helps those that help themselves

#2 All grounds are not created equal

#3 How have you proved that your chip is running at xxMHz?

#4 "If you think you need floating point to solve the problem then you don't understand the problem. If you really do need floating point then you have a problem you do not understand." - Heater's ex-boss

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You could assemble in China if you wanted.    You just need to be realistic.    A kickstarter must be commercially viable.    This means attracting customers not just declaring a profit margin.

 

Actually,   Chinese Uno clones took a little while to emerge.     Subsequent competition seems to be pretty cut-throat.     Whether you are Arduino in Italy or a clone manufacturer in China,   it is only fair to have a healthy margin.

Clones adopting CH340 instead of FTDI/16U2 probably was the reason for the cost reduction.

 

I prefer the Uno footprint to a breadboard module.    However the breadboard module has less pcb cost and more SMD components.

I can buy SAMD21, ESP8266, ESP32,  STM32 Nucleo, NXP, ... boards with Uno footprint.    All at an attractive price.

Other hobbyists like the Nano / BluePill route.   (with no pin compatibility) 

 

I regret that Xmega never appeared in the Arduino world.     However a mega4809 board might take off.   But only if Chinese clone makers go for it.    It is always a chicken and egg situation.

 

David.

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I think eventually some kind of basic Arduino nano or Uno featuring a Mega-0 or Tiny-1 will appear. But first, someone needs to get Optiboot or some other bootloader ported to those chips.

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El Tangas wrote:
some kind of basic Arduino nano or Uno featuring a Mega-0 or Tiny-1 will appear
As gchapman keeps pointing out, it's possibly closer than you think:

 

https://store.arduino.cc/arduino...

 

 

The fact that is on arduino.cc rather suggests there will be "official" bootloader support.

Last Edited: Tue. Nov 6, 2018 - 04:27 PM
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El Tangas wrote:

I think eventually some kind of basic Arduino nano or Uno featuring a Mega-0 or Tiny-1 will appear. But first, someone needs to get Optiboot or some other bootloader ported to those chips.

+1 as in #11

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Exactly, as mentioned in #11, the UNO wifi has too much "stuff". I mean, there are at least 3 MCUs on that board (Mega, Mega-0, Xtensa). No way the chinese will clone that...

I suspect the UNO wifi uses mEDBG to upload programs, instead of a bootloader. The bootloader is a must for cheap clones, we can't have a 32U4 as auxiliary chip on a cheap board.

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Yes,  I agree.    The new Arduino board was announced months and months ago.    It still has not arrived.   

It is too complicated to clone.   And possibly too highly priced anyway.

 

A regular Uno format with mega4809 MCU and CH340 Serial chip would be attractive.   Especially if 3.3V/5V switchable.

 

A Nano-style format would have to compete with Curiosity.    But Chinese could do it cheaply with CH340.

 

If either hits the market,   the mega4809 will capture the hobbyist market.

 

David.

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El Tangas wrote:

No way the chinese will clone that...

 

Perhaps that's the intent?

--Mike

 

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The fact that is on arduino.cc rather suggests there will be "official" bootloader support.

It does upload via the mEDBG.

I've been playing with the Arduino Core/IDE using an Xplained Pro board - the upload is certainly very speedy without having to deal with the various bootloader timeouts!

 

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OP, 

 

Does not look good at this stage

 

http://www.kicktraq.com/projects...

 

Have you any more ideas about marketing this round?

 

Are you going to save resources and try relaunch later with a different price or strategy?