Arduino Uno R4 WiFi and Minima: features and price

The project Arduino was conceived in 2015 at theInteraction Design Institute Ivrea (IDII) of Ivrea, in Piedmont. The team led by Massimo Banzi was looking for an accessible way to enable work to be done without in-depth knowledge of programming and complex circuits. Since then Arduino has rapidly gained popularity due to its ease of use, active community of developers, and availability of online resources and tutorials. Arduino Uno R4 WiFi and Minima are the latest card models that have been presented.

Arduino Uno R4 Wi-Fi

Model R4 WiFi, as it is easy to guess from the name, also offers wireless support. Thanks to the presence of the coprocessor ESP32-S3. The version Minima it is based on the same ARM Cortex M4 processor but sees the absence of the ESP32-S3.

Arduino Uno R4 WiFi retains the layout of its predecessor products but presents an important novelty: instead of a large Atmel ATMEGA328P 8-bit microcontroller, there is a 12×8 LED matrix. The latter can be used to compose images and display texts.

Instead of the 16 MHz ATMEGA328P, there is the aforementioned CPU ARM Cortex M4 Renesas RA4M1 at 48 MHz, which provides improved performance. At least on paper. Alongside the microcontroller, the integrated ESP32-S3 provides functionality Bluetooth as well as WiFi support.

Arduino Uno R4 WiFi board view

Like many previous generation Arduinos, Uno R4 WiFi can also become a device HID USB. This means that the maker it can decide which input systems to use, then using the Uno R4 card as an interface. Custom keyboards, game controllers, and assistive technologies can be implemented on the new Arduino Uno R4 WiFi with just a few lines of code and some soldering.

A really welcome surprise is the introduction of the Qwiic connector (pronounced “quick“). It is designed to simplify connection and interoperability between different moduli e electronic sensors, reducing the need for soldering and simplifying the process of connecting components. The Qwiic connector uses a 4-pin connector which facilitates quick connection and disconnection of modules without the need for soldering or cumbersome cables. The four pins of the Qwiic connector provide thediet (VCC and GND) and bidirectional serial communication channels (SDA and SCL).

Thanks to the use of I2C protocol (Inter-Integrated Circuit), it is possible to connect several devices in cascade using the same serial bus, simplifying the circuit architecture and reducing the number of pins required for communication.

Currently Arduino Uno R4 WiFi is marketed at the final price of 25 euros.

Arduino Uno R4 Minima

The second board just presented is called Arduino Uno R4 Minima. The characteristics they are identical to the WiFi version, except for the aforementioned absence of the ESP32-S3 coprocessor and for the removal of the Qwiic connector. Level options pin GPIOhowever, are exactly the same as the “older sister”.

Arduino Uno R4 Minima board

Therefore, while lacking support for WiFi and Bluetooth, the Minima version can prove to be a good choice for a good number of application fields. It costs 18 euros, 7 euros less than the WiFi version.

Both cards have dimension pari a 68,85 x 53,34 mm.

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