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Arduino 101

Arduino.cc and Intel have come together to make this new microcontroller board that I'm eager to try. Unfortunately, I can't get my hands on one yet, but it's likely to start showing up for sale the first quarter of 2016. What has me skeptical is the price. If it's going to be about $30 and that's quite a lot of change for a microcontroller board. Let's take a quick look at this new Arduino...

What would make it worthwhile? That Intel Curie is probably going to beat the pants off an AVR, but in comparison to something like the Due that uses an ARM microcontroller, this one is 5V tolerant on the I/O pins and has two processors (x86 Quark and ARC) clocked at 32Mhz. The Due has one ARM processor clocked at 84 Mhz and can't handle more than 3v3 on the I/O pins. The volt tolerance is nice, but the Arduino 101 can only handle a 4mA draw per pin, which is substantially less than a board such as the Uno (20mA per pin). Maybe it has some current protection (I really don't know yet), but I can see newcomers breaking their expensive boards by using LEDs powered directly from one of the I/O pins. What also makes this price more worthwhile is the 6-axis accelerometer / gyro combo sensor built-in, and Bluetooth LE.

I'll try and get one as soon as they're available, but until then I don't have much to say about it. In the U.S. they're called "Arduino 101", but if you're international it's the "Genunino 101." You can get more details on the specifications here: https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/ArduinoBoard101. The price tag is still hovering around in my mind. It's expensive, but would you buy a board with these features for that price? Maybe if you really need all of the features in one project and if the processor(s) on this board can beat something like the Due.