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Author Topic: Highly Anticipated 32-bit "Due" due When?  (Read 60693 times)
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nr Bundaberg, Australia
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Maybe wrap them in bags of coke to put them off the scent?
Would Pepsi work?

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Rob
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Rob Gray aka the GRAYnomad www.robgray.com

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Would Pepsi work?

Well, 8 out of 10 coke sniffer dogs said they preferred Pepsi after taking the Taste Challenge, so I don't see why not.
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I have mixed feelings on the Due price.

As a customer, of course I want the lowest price I can get.  When I saw Mouser had a low price, I immediately ordered 2 pieces.  I didn't know if it was a promotional price or just a mistake.  Since Tim (a.k.a. "MOUSER_EMBEDDED") posted the link to Mouser's order page, and Tim appears to a salesman from Mouser who has never contributed meaningfully to any conversation, I didn't feel too bad about taking advantage of the low price.  I see it's now $48.95.

As someone who makes arduino-compatible boards, I actually think $49 is probably a pretty reasonable price for Arduino Due.  First of all, they're making the boards in Italy, not China, and they're doing things like zero carbon footprint.  At substantial volume, those aren't horribly expensive, but it's also a choice that locks out the absolute lowest possible cost production.  Second, Due has a high-end ARM microcontroller and a LOT of parts on the board, plus a fairly large PCB built with a mix of surface mount and through hole parts.  Looking over the schematic, they clearly went for a reliable, low-risk design rather then trying to optimize for low cost.  For example, the 74LVC1G125 buffer between the 16U2 and the SAM3X could probably have been a couple resistors.  Third, they are spending pretty substantially on engineering and also community building projects.  Fourth, there is "healthy" profit margin for their resellers.

When the inevitable cheap Asian clones appear, it's a pretty safe bet they won't be incurring those costs.  Well they'll probably incur #2, since they'll likely just copy the design verbatim, not even making the simplest of cost reductions like replacing that '125 buffer with a couple resistors.  But they'll be using the cheapest/dirtiest Asian fabs, not spending anything on engineering or community (and they'll send all their customers to Arduino's community for support), and probably selling direct on ebay.  Even then, Due isn't an inherently low-cost design, so I don't think we're going to see really cheap clones.

The SAM3X8E (sans errata) is a really amazing part.  A built-in 480 Mbit/sec USB PHY is something very few other chips have (but how fast is really runs with software overhead remains to be seen).  The SAM3X has a large flash memory and a pretty substantial amount of on-chip RAM.  It's Atmel's largest, most expensive SAM3 part.

Then again, as a customer, the $35 + SD card price of Raspberry Pi is pretty appealing.  Speaking only for myself, I would be hesitant to make any new hobbyist-oriented board that sells for more that $35.... but then I don't have a tremendous brand like "Arduino".
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nr Bundaberg, Australia
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The SAM3X8E (sans errata) is a really amazing part.
Yeah, it has a lot of neat features many of which aren't implemented on the Due.

Massimo alluded to more boards coming out, I think they could produce a "pro" version or something with all the goodies on board.

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Rob Gray aka the GRAYnomad www.robgray.com

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Its interesting that criticism is focussed on price. To me, the Due price (in Europe, which includes 20% sales tax) is fair. I think the strongest competetion is from boards that offer more capability (but are also more expensive).

For example Cubieboard, at US$49, has much higher computation capability and decent graphics (yes, its not a real time board, and it has an OS):

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   1G ARM cortex-A8 processor, NEON, VFPv3, 256KB L2 cache
    Mali400, OpenGL ES GPU
    512M/1GB DDR3 @480MHz
    HDMI 1080p Output
    10/100M Ethernet
    4Gb Nand Flash
    2 USB Host, 1 micro SD slot, 1 SATA, 1 ir
    96 extend pin including I2C, SPI, RGB/LVDS, CSI/TS, FM-IN, ADC, CVBS, VGA, SPDIF-OUT, R-TP..
    Running Android, Ubuntu and other Linux distributions

or looking more at embedded solutions, the ArduCopter community (which started with a Mega2560 clone and then moved upwards in compute power and integrated sensors) seem to see the main benefit to them of the Due launch in terms of the multi-architecture 1.5 IDE. The actual Due hardware is cheaper but less capable than what they are focussed on, such as the VBrain (highe compute power with floating point unit, integrated sensors) at EUR 199:

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168Mhz ARM CortexM4F microcontroller with DSP and floating-point hardware acceleration.
1024KiB of flash memory, 192KiB of RAM.
MEMS accelerometer and gyro, magnetometer and barometric pressure sensor.
8 RC Input standard PPM , PPMSUM , SBUS
8 RC Output at 490 hz
1 integrated high speed data flash for logging data
1 Can bus 2 i2c Bus
3 Serial port available  one for GPS 1 for serial option 1 for serial telemetry.
3 digital switch (ULN2003).
Jtag support for onboard realtime debugger.
1 Buzzer output.
1 Input for control lipo voltage

or the DIY Drones PX4 (higher compute capability, FPU, integrated sensors incl. GPS) at USD 149:

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- ARM Cortex-M4F microcontroller running at 168MHz with DSP and floating-point hardware acceleration.
 - 1024KiB of flash memory, 192KiB of RAM.
 - MEMS accelerometer and gyro, magnetometer and barometric pressure sensor.
 - Flexible expansion bus and onboard power options.

For the small, light and inexpensive ARM project the Teensy 3.0 looks great. For the larger, more compute intensive (e.g. audio processing) projects, I wish there was something more like these Arducopter/UAV boards, retaining the good compute capability especially the FPU, but dropping the airborne-oriented sensor package. I would have thought that not including GPS, magnetometer, 3-d accelerometer, gyro and barometric pressure sensors would drop 50 to 75 USD off the base package. Soething like that in  Mega/Due style board layout would be very attractive (and yes, it would be around 80 to 100 USD).
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Then again, as a customer, the $35 + SD card price of Raspberry Pi is pretty appealing.
The price of the Pi is a bit like stone soup. Sounds cheap but not when you add it up.

You have to add keyboard, mouse, SD card, power supply and an HD TV, before you get a working system and then it is Linux which totally cripples it from the point of view of real time control.

Add to that a USB port that doesn't work quite how it should (you can't get a USB camera working) and it is not so much of a bargain.

It has however just been upgraded to 512MB of RAM, as it can only run code out of RAM, this is the same as the Due (well a bit less because Linux has to run there as well)
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The BeagleBone is quite nice. More expensive than the RasPi but much more capable, and it could be argued that it's better value than the Due. I've got one, with a prototyping cape (Bone capes are like Arduino shields). There are lots of capes available now.
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Leon Heller
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and it could be argued that it's better value than the Due.
It depends entirely what you want to do with it.
Basically the BeagleBone is a Linux box with all the baggage that involves - no real time operation your thread can be stopped at any time. Therefore no multiplexing, software PWM, no uninterrupted A/D and D/A conversion for simple sound recording / generation, no exact timing of pulses, no driving stepping motors or servos.
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