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Topic: Why is the Arduino Mega so expensive? (Read 2 times) previous topic - next topic

TBAr

Why is the Arduino Mega so expensive?

There is the upgraded MCU itself, some extra headers and a larger PC board. I can't see anything else that is different between the Mega and the Duemilanove.

Digikey shows that the ATmega1280 MCU can be had for $15, and under $10 in quantities. That compares to about $4 for the ATmega328 MCU, which can be had for $2.50 in quantities, so the additional price for the MCU itself is about $7.50. The extra headers and the size of the PC board can't add that much to the cost. The robots that assemble the boards shouldn't add anything to the cost either.

If an Arduino Duemilanove sells for $30, why would an Arduino Mega be double the price?

kg4wsv

Quote
The extra headers and the size of the PC board can't add that much to the cost.

You apparently haven't priced headers. :|

PCB cost is per unit area, and the MEGA board is twice as big as previous generations.

So, 4x the cost for CPU, 4x the headers, and 2x the PCB area, for only 2x the price.

-j

mowcius


retrolefty

Well you could check out the Seeeduino Mega:
http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/seeeduino-mega-fully-assembled-p-438.html?cPath=27&zenid=9f6118c193cee9f8b7337d4df91a2eca

And there are several Chinese Mega clone sellers on E-bay for $50 or under.

Lefty

mowcius

The Seeeeeeeeduino mega is a nice option, providing 70 outputs. And it has the added compatibility of protoboards with 2.54mm header placing available.

Mowcius

Osgeld

#5
Dec 21, 2009, 10:27 pm Last Edit: Dec 21, 2009, 10:27 pm by Osgeld Reason: 1
I might get shunned for this but one of the major draws to the arduino for me was the removable chip (and the easy language)

But if I limit myself to a smd chip that's attached to a board forever I prefer my ubw32 which is a 40$ 80mhz pic32 setup (with even more pins, barley)

the microchip ide is not too bad, there is a fair amount of examples and If I get scared I can run stick os on it (which is a real time multitasking basic, tho I am still waiting for usb host support on that)
http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php?action=unread;boards=2,3,4,5,67,6,7,8,9,10,11,66,12,13,15,14,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,86,87,89,1;ALL

mowcius

Quote
I might get shunned for this but one of the major draws to the arduino for me was the removable chip (and the easy language)

Yeah I thought that at first but I have found that I haven't actually removed the chip once yet...

Mowcius

CaptainObvious

Keep in mind, the extra time and care put into making the Mega compatible with all the previous shields. Of course, that factors in with the price of the size of the board and such, plus the extra features such as the FTDI chip, auto-power sensor, a voltage regulator.. etc.

But yeah.. there are faster boards for the same price.. and cheaper.. but don't offer the support of the uber forum, and examples all over the net.

I personally got an XMOS board from a contest, which is the most recent board.. but not the most powerful, by any means. You're also able to chain them together (not that you'd ever need to) and offer 400MIPS (Million Instructions Per Second). You're able do multiple tasks at the same exact time, where as on other boards, you'd have that you know.. 1ms delay.. or 1uS delay when changing the state of the pins.

I haven't had any real use for the speed and power of it yet, but people have used it to emulate VGA signals and such.
http://letsmakerobots.com/node/10538

Sparkfun also has a board based on the same chip, but their version:
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=9428

The Sparkfun version doesn't include the JTAG adapter from what I've read. (which is why it's only $50) The XK-1 comes with the JTAG adapter, and costs $100, but the JTAG adapter is actually just another XMOS chip (same version, just smaller) handles all the UART, and debugging.. which can be used as a separate chip if need be. (and skills are high enough)


All depends on what you need!
Personally.. I purchased the Seeeduino Mega, and love it! I still haven't used all the extra pins.. lol Duemilanove has worked fine for me, but I'm one of those "just because" and "just in case" buyers. :D

retrolefty

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but I'm one of those "just because" and "just in case" buyers.  


Me too, Arduinos are NOT like wives, you are allowed to have more then one.  ;)

Lefty

Osgeld

much like wives, if they find out you have 2  :-/

luckily mine is more worried about my oscilloscope, you know the one "I never use" ... daily
http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php?action=unread;boards=2,3,4,5,67,6,7,8,9,10,11,66,12,13,15,14,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,86,87,89,1;ALL

TBAr

Thanks for the insights. I did look at the Seeeduino Mega, but that was also about double the cost of the Seeeduino non-mega, so I thought I'd ask.

I guess it does come down to the extra headers, PCB size and MCU cost.

retrolefty

Quote
I guess it does come down to the extra headers, PCB size and MCU cost.


Also keep in mind that initial price has to try and recapture development costs. Over time the products end price may be reduce once the one time costs are recovered. I do think the standard Arduino boards prices have been reduced as newer boards have been released?

Lefty

westfw

You also have to look at the prices of competing products.  Consider the 40-pin Basic Stamp, at $80+.

In general, small volume electronics sell at about 5x parts cost (you can find discussion at various places.)  That makes the Mega pretty cheap, and the duemilanove VERY inexpensive (perhaps it has passed the "small volume" mark!)

(Of course, the nice part about the regular arduino is you can build your own, substituting this and that, and get something working for even less outlay of $$, which is harder to do with a board based on a large SMT part like the Mega...)

florinc

The cost is not only for the parts. Time and effort spent to design and develop should also be included in the price.

westfw

The 5x multiplier includes manufacturing costs, mid-level and retail markups, and (eventually) development costs.  Unless you have a special customer willing to support the development costs, you pretty much have to recover them over the entire product life cycle.  More accurately, the 5x cost multiplier is supposed to include paying "the development team" a salary; they develop the next generation product (getting that first version out there is a bit of a funding problem, and if the "last" version keeps paying past the time needed to recoup the first set of development costs, that's either "good", or "bad" (usually bad, in the high-tech world, since it means that no one see a market for the next-generation product...)

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