What are the Different Types of Arduino Boards

Arduino board was designed in the Ivrea Interaction Design Institute intended for students without a background in electronics and programming concepts. This board started altering to adapt to new requirements and challenges, separating its presence from simple 8-bit boards to products for IoT (Internet of Things) applications, 3D printing, wearable, and embedded surroundings. All boards are entirely open-source, allowing users to build them separately and finally adapt them to their exact needs. Over the years the different types of Arduino boards have been used to build thousands of projects, from daily objects to compound scientific instruments. An international community of designers, artists, students, programmers, hobbyists, and experts has gotten together around this open-source stage, their donations have added up to an unbelievable amount of available knowledge that can be of immense help to beginners and specialists alike. This article discusses an overview of different types of Arduino boards and their comparison.

What are the Types of Arduino Boards?

Arduino board is an open-source platform used to make electronics projects. It consists of both a microcontroller and a part of the software or Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that runs on your PC, used to write & upload computer code to the physical board. The platform of an Arduino has become very famous with designers or students just starting out with electronics, and for an excellent cause.


Types of Arduino Boards
Types of Arduino Boards

Unlike most earlier programmable circuit boards, the Arduino does not require a separate part of hardware in order to program a new code onto the board you can just use a USB cable. As well, the Arduino IDE uses a basic version of C++, making it simpler to learn the program. At last, the Arduino board offers a typical form factor that breaks out the functions of the microcontroller into a more available package.

Why Arduino Boards?

Arduino board has been used for making different engineering projects and different applications. The Arduino software is very simple to use for beginners, yet flexible adequate for advanced users. It runs Windows, Linux, and Mac. Teachers and students in the schools utilize it to design low-cost scientific instruments to verify the principles of physics and chemistry. There are numerous other microcontroller platforms obtainable for physical computing. The Netmedia’s BX-24, Parallax Basic Stamp, MIT’s Handyboard, Phidget, and many others present related functionality.

Arduino also makes simpler the working process of microcontroller, but it gives some advantages over other systems for teachers, students, and beginners.

  • Inexpensive
  • Cross-platform
  • The simple, clear programming environment
  • Open source and extensible software
  • Open source and extensible hardware

The Function of the Arduino Board

The flexibility of the Arduino board is enormous so that one can do anything they imagine. This board can be connected very easily to different modules such as obstacle sensors, presence detectors, fire sensors, GSM Modules GPS modules, etc. The main function of the Arduino board is to control electronics through reading inputs & changing it into outputs because this board works like a tool. This board is also used to make different electronics projects in the field of electronics, electrical, robotics, etc.

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Features of Different Types of Arduino Boards

The features of different types of Arduino boards are listed in the tabular form.

Arduino BoardProcessorMemoryDigital I/OAnalogue I/O
Arduino Uno16Mhz ATmega3282KB SRAM, 32KB flash146 input, 0 output
Arduino Due84MHz AT91SAM3X8E96KB SRAM, 512KB flash5412 input, 2 output
Arduino Mega16MHz ATmega25608KB SRAM, 256KB flash5416 input, 0 output
Arduino Leonardo16MHz ATmega32u42.5KB SRAM, 32KB flash2012 input, 0 output

Different Types Of Arduino Boards

The list of Arduino boards includes the following such as

  • Arduino Uno (R3)
  • Arduino Nano
  • Arduino Micro
  • Arduino Due
  • LilyPad Arduino Board
  • Arduino Bluetooth
  • Arduino Diecimila
  • RedBoard Arduino Board
  • Arduino Mega (R3) Board
  • Arduino Leonardo Board
  • Arduino Robot
  • Arduino Esplora
  • Arduino Pro Mic
  • Arduino Ethernet
  • Arduino Zero
  • Fastest Arduino Board

Arduino Uno (R3)

The Uno is a huge option for your initial Arduino. This Arduino board depends on an ATmega328P based microcontroller. As compared with other types of arduino boards, it is very simple to use like the Arduino Mega type board. .It consists of 14-digital I/O pins, where 6-pins can be used as PWM(pulse width modulation outputs), 6-analog inputs, a reset button, a power jack, a USB connection, an In-Circuit Serial Programming header (ICSP), etc. It includes everything required to hold up the microcontroller; simply attach it to a PC with the help of a USB cable and give the supply to get started with an AC-to-DC adapter or battery.

Arduino Uno (R3)
Arduino Uno (R3)

Arduino Uno is the most frequently used board and it is the standard form apart from all the existing Arduino Boards. This board is very useful for beginners. Please refer to this link to know more about Arduino Uno Board

Arduino Nano

This is a small board based on the microcontrollers like ATmega328P otherwise ATmega628 but the connection of this board is the same as to the Arduino UNO board. This kind of microcontroller board is very small in size, sustainable, flexible, and reliable.

Arduino Nano
Arduino Nano

As compared with the Arduino Uno board, it is small in size. The devices like mini USB and Arduino IDE are necessary to build the projects. This board mainly includes analog pins-8, digital pins-14 with the set of an I/O pin, power pins-6 & RST (reset) pins-2. Please refer to this link to know more about Arduino Nano Board.

Arduino Micro

The Arduino Micro board mainly depends on the ATmega32U4 based Microcontroller that includes 20-sets of pins where the 7-pins are PWM pins, 12-analog input pins. This board includes different components like an ICSP header, RST button, small USB connection, crystal oscillator-16MHz. The USB connection is inbuilt and this board is the shrunk version of the Leonardo board.

Arduino Micro
Arduino Micro

Arduino Due

This Arduino board depends on the ARM Cortex-M3 and it is the first Arduino microcontroller board. This board includes digital I/O pins-54 where 12-pins are PWM o/p pins, analog pins -12, UARTs-4, a CLK with 84 MHz, an USB OTG, DAC-2, a power jack, TWI-2, a JTAG header, an SPI header, two buttons for reset & erase.

Arduino Due
Arduino Due

This board works with 3.3V where the highest voltage that the pins of input/output can stand is 3.3V because providing a high voltage to any I/O pin can lead to damage the board This board is simply connected to a computer through a small USB cable otherwise it can be powered through an AC to DC adapter. This Arduino Due board is suitable with all shields of Arduino at 3.3V.

LilyPad Arduino Board

The Lily Pad Arduino board is a wearable e-textile technology expanded by Leah “ Buechley” and considerately designed by “Leah and SparkFun”. Each board was imaginatively designed with huge connecting pads & a smooth back to let them to be sewn into clothing using conductive thread. This Arduino also comprises of I/O, power, and also sensor boards which are built especially for e-textiles. These are even washable!

LilyPad Arduino Boards
LilyPad Arduino Boards

Arduino Bluetooth

This Bluetooth mainly depends on the microcontroller like ATmega168 and this board is also called Arduino BT. This kind of board includes different components like digital pins-16, analog pins-6, crystal oscillator-16MHz, reset button, screw terminals, ICSP header. In this board, the screw terminals are mainly used for power. The programming of this Bluetooth microcontroller can be done with Bluetooth like a wireless connection.

Arduino Diecimila

The microcontroller board like Arduino Diecimila mainly depends on the ATmega168. This board includes digital I/O pins -14 where 6-pins can be used like PWM outputs & analog inputs-6, a USB connection, a crystal oscillator-16 MHz, an ICSP header, a reset button & a power jack. This board can be connected to a computer through a USB cable and it can be activated using a battery and an AC-DC adapter.

Arduino Diecimila
Arduino Diecimila

As the name suggests, the meaning of Diecimila in Italian is 10,000 which means that marks the truth that above 10k Arduino boards have been designed. In a set of USB Arduino boards, it is the latest one as compared with other versions.

RedBoard Arduino Board

The RedBoard Arduino board can be programmed using a Mini-B USB cable using the Arduino IDE. It will work on Windows 8 without having to modify your security settings. It is more constant due to the USB or FTDI chip we used and also it is entirely flat on the back. Creating it is very simple to utilize in the project design. Just plug the board, select the menu option to choose an Arduino UNO and you are ready to upload the program. You can control the RedBoard over a USB cable using the barrel jack.

RedBoard Arduino Boards
RedBoard Arduino Boards

Arduino Mega (R3) Board

The Arduino Mega is similar to the UNO’s big brother. It includes lots of digital I/O pins (from that, 14-pins can be used as PWM o/ps), 6-analog inputs, a reset button, a power jack, a USB connection, and a reset button. It includes everything required to hold up the microcontroller; simply attach it to a PC with the help of a USB cable and give the supply to get started with an AC-to-DC adapter or battery. The huge number of pins make this Arduino board very helpful for designing projects that need a bunch of digital i/ps or o/ps like lots of buttons. Please refer to this link to know more about Arduino Mega (R3) Board

Arduino Mega (R3) Board
Arduino Mega (R3) Board

Arduino Leonardo Board

The first development board of an Arduino is the Leonardo board. This board uses one microcontroller along with the USB. That means, it can be very simple and cheap also. Because this board handles USB directly, program libraries are obtainable which let the Arduino board to follow a keyboard of the computer, mouse, etc.

Arduino Leonardo Board
Arduino Leonardo Board

Arduino Robot

This kind of board is the first Arduino over wheels. This Arduino robot includes two processors on each of its boards. The two boards are the motor board and control board where the motor board controls the motors & the control board is used to read the sensors for operating. Every board is a complete Arduino board and its programming can be done through the Arduino IDE. These are microcontroller boards that depend on the ATmega32u4.

The pins of this Robot are mapped to actuators and sensors onboard.  The process of programming the robot is the same as the Arduino Leonardo board. It is also named a small computer and it is extensively used in robotics. This board includes the speaker, color screen, buttons-5, motors-2, a digital compass, an SD card reader, potentiometers-2 & floor sensors-5. The library of this robot can be used for controlling the sensors as well as the actuators.

Arduino Esplora

The Arduino Esplora includes a small computer known as a microcontroller including a number of inputs & outputs. The inputs of this board are a light sensor, four buttons, a microphone, an accelerometer, joystick, a slider, a temperature sensor, etc whereas the outputs are a 3 color LED, a buzzer. This kind of Arduino board looks like a videogame controller.

Arduino Esplora
Arduino Esplora

The programming of this board can be done using Arduino Software like IDE which takes the data from the inputs and controls the output like a keyboard or a mouse. As compared with all other types of Arduino boards, this esplora is totally different because the inputs, as well as outputs, are connected to the board already. So connecting the components like actuators or sensors is very simple. Thus, programming is somewhat different as compared with other types of Arduino boards. This esplora board includes its own library so that the data from the sensors & actuators are very easy to read and write.

Arduino Pro Mic

The Arduino Pro Micro board is the same as the Arduino Mini board apart from the ATmega32U4 Microcontroller. This pro mic board includes digital I/O pins-12, pulse width modulation (PWM) pins-5, serial connections of Tx & Rx &10-bit ADC.

Arduino Ethernet

The Arduino Ethernet board depends on the microcontroller like ATmega328. This kind of microcontroller board includes analog pins-5, digital I/O pins-14, RST button, an RJ45 connection, crystal oscillator, a power jack, ICSP header, etc. The connection of the Arduino board can be done through the Ethernet shield to the internet.

Arduino Zero

This is a powerful as well as simple 32-bit board and it provides the best platform for innovative projects like wearable technology, smart IoT devices, crazy robotics, high-tech automation, etc. This board expands by providing improved performance, permitting a range of project opportunities & performs like a great educational tool.

Arduino Zero
Arduino Zero

This board includes analog input pins-6, digital I/O pins-14, a power jack, AREF button, UART port pins, a USB connector & an In-Circuit Serial Programming (ICSP) header, a power header, etc.
This board is power-driven through the SAMD21 microcontroller based on Atmel. The main feature of this is EDBG (Embedded Debugger) based on Atmel and it provides a complete debug interface without using extra hardware.

Fastest Arduino Board

Designing one of the best Arduino development boards that are familiar with Arduino MEGA & UNO is the hifive1 board that includes a 320 MHz RISC-V microcontroller unit. This kind of fastest board has Cortex M-7 with a 400 MHz microcontroller unit.

  • Flash memory – upto 2Mbytes
  • RAM – 1 Mbyte
  • DMA controllers -4
  • Communication peripherals- Up to 35
  • 16-bit Max Resolution with 3× ADCs
  • D/A converters with 2× 12-bit
  • Hardware with JPEG Codec
  • Timers -22 & Watchdogs – 200Mhz
  • HW Calendar & RTC with Sub-second Accuracy
  • Cryptographic Acceleration

Hifive1 Board Features

The features of the Hifive1 board include the following.

  • Mega Form Factor or Arduino Uno
  • Charger for Battery
  • SD Card including Detection of Card Feature
  • Ethernet*
  • Optional QSPI Flash – 133Mhz
  • Interfaces – CAN, SWD, Camera
  • USB- OTG

The Arduino Shields

Additionally, Arduino shields are pre-built circuit boards used to connect to a number of Arduino boards. These shields fit on the top of the Arduino compatible boards to provide additional capabilities like connecting to the internet, motor controlling, providing wireless communication, LCD screen controlling, etc. The different types of Arduino shields are

Shields for Arduino Boards
Shields for Arduino Boards
  • Wireless Shields
  • The GSM Shield
  • The Ethernet Shield
  • The Proto Shields

Arduino Boards Comparison

The comparison between different Arduino boards includes the following.

Arduino BoardVoltage of SystemCLK SpeedDigital I/OAnalog InputsPWMUARTInterface of Programming
Arduino Uno – R3

5V

16MHz14146

1

USB through ATMega16U2
Arduino Uno R3 SMD

5V

16MHz14146

1

USB through ATMega16U2
RedBoard

5V

16MHz14146

1

USB through FTDI
Arduino Pro 3.3V/8MHz

3.3V

8MHz14146

1

FTDI-Compatible Header
Arduino Pro 5V/16MHz

5V

16MHz14146

1

FTDI-Compatible Header
Arduino Mini 05

5V

16MHz14148

1

FTDI-Compatible Header
Arduino Pro Mini 3.3V/8MHz

3.3V

8MHz14146

1

FTDI-Compatible Header
Arduino Pro Mini 5V/16MHz

5V

16MHz1486

1

FTDI-Compatible Header
Arduino Ethernet

5V

16MHz1466

1

FTDI-Compatible Header
Arduino Fio

3.3V

8MHz1486

1

FTDI-Compatible Header or Wirelessly via XBee†
LilyPad Arduino 328 Main Board

3.3V

8MHz1466

1

FTDI-Compatible Header
LilyPad Arduino Simple Board3.3V8MHz9450FTDI-Compatible Header

How to Select the Right Arduino Board?

There are different types of Arduino boards existing in the market today such as the FreeDuino & NetDuino. The best way to select the Arduino board is by checking and differentiating the trade names on the original boards. So getting low-cost Arduino boards is easy through online sites as well as electronic stores. These boards are available with different versions as well as specifications.

The programming of all the boards can be done with the Arduino IDE software that permits anyone to write as well as upload the code, but each board varies based on the inputs, outputs, speed, form factor, voltage, etc. The voltage required to operate these boards range from 3.7V to 5V.

Thus, this is all about different types of Arduino boards. We hope that you have got a better understanding of this concept. Furthermore, any queries regarding this concept or to implement an Arduino board based Projects, please give your valuable suggestions by commenting in the comment section below. Here is a question for you, what is the function of Arduino boards?

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