Arduino Forum

Products => Arduino Zero => Topic started by: happydanceguitar on May 18, 2018, 11:57 pm

Title: Zero Availability
Post by: happydanceguitar on May 18, 2018, 11:57 pm
Does anyone have suggestions for where I can buy an Arduino Zero?

Doesn't look available from the Arduino site, or Mouser/Adafruit/Sparkfun.

Thanks!
Title: Re: Zero Availability
Post by: pert on May 19, 2018, 07:02 am
Are you set on the Zero board's form factor? There are some really nice boards that use the same microcontroller as the Zero but have a much more compact and breadboard-friendly form factor. The only reason I can see for using the Zero is to be able to use shields.
Title: Re: Zero Availability
Post by: david_prentice on May 19, 2018, 12:25 pm
RSWWW seem to still have M0 Pro here (https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/processor-microcontroller-development-kits/8659004/)

Ebay has SAMD21 clones e.g. M0 board (https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/SAMD21-M0-32-bit-ARM-Cortex-M0-Core-Compatible-With-Arduino-Zero-Arduino-M0/263138449622?hash=item3d444618d6:g:qBwAAOSw7ZRZjUws) without EDBG.
The Ebay text is completely erroneous.   It talks about an onboard EDBG chip i.e. as used on Zero or M0 Pro
I do not see any external USB-UART chip

I have one of the original European Zero Pro which is now called M0 Pro.

The Zero is very nice to use with its EDBG chip.    On the other hand,   the clone has a SWD header that you can use with an ATMEL-ICE (or ST-LINK)

Arduino projects should upload fine with a bootloader.    You only need the SWD for hardware debugging.

Personally,  I do not see much convenience in the breadboard-able versions.    The whole point of an Arduino is standard Shields.

STM32 Nucleo boards are very nice for prototyping.    And the M3, M4 chips outperform the Zero's SAMD21

David.
Title: Re: Zero Availability
Post by: pert on May 19, 2018, 12:43 pm
Personally,  I do not see much convenience in the breadboard-able versions.    The whole point of an Arduino is standard Shields.
I guess you don't use breadboards much. Having a Zero style board connected to a breadboard circuit with a mess of jumper wires is a headache. Breadboarding circuits is an excellent way to learn about electronics. You learn nothing about electronics from plugging a shield into an Arduino board. There's a time and place for shields but saying "The whole point of an Arduino is standard Shields" is just completely wrong. The whole point of an Arduino board is to provide a microcontroller with the basic support circuitry on a PCB, whatever form that might take.
Title: Re: Zero Availability
Post by: david_prentice on May 19, 2018, 01:47 pm
No,   I certainly don't.    I suppose they are sometimes handy for for a short term lash-up.

I mount external electronics on Protoshields.    And non-Arduino friendly boards on Protoboard "adapter" with Arduino headers.

I can swap prototype hardware between Uno, XMINI, Zero, Due, Nucleo, FRDM, ESP32.
Or LogicGreen, Xmega, Teensy,  BluePill, NXP on "adapter" board.

Everyone has their own personal preferences.    I prefer soldered wiring connections on protoboard with proper header strip mating.    If I have reliable hardware,    I know that the problem must be my software.

I would never dream of connecting a parallel bus with Dupont wires.   I2C or SPI use less wires but are still "risky"

Yes,   I can and do swap prototype "shields" between different targets.    
I doubt if you often dismantle and rebuild your breadboard to test with a different target.

Oh,  having developed some project on comfortable hardware,   you are always going to build the finished result on soldered pcb (or protoboard).

David.
Title: Re: Zero Availability
Post by: westfw on May 19, 2018, 08:23 pm
Sparkfun and adafruit have full-sized samd21 boards.  No edbg though.
Title: Re: Zero Availability
Post by: david_prentice on May 20, 2018, 12:42 am
There are several breadboard-able modules.
There are conventional Uno-format M0 boards.
These do not have onboard EDBG chips.

I like single USB cable boards like Zero or M0 Pro with onboard EDBG.
But you can always use an external ATMEL-ICE.

David.
Title: Re: Zero Availability
Post by: allenmyers on Jun 20, 2018, 01:48 am
Looks like the zeros are out of stock again. Do they sort of come and go?
Title: Re: Zero Availability
Post by: allenmyers on Jul 02, 2018, 03:20 pm
Arduino Customer Support responded to my query on availability with: "We are not manufacturing this product."

Is this the death of the Zero?
Title: Re: Zero Availability
Post by: pert on Jul 03, 2018, 08:15 am
Was that their full reply?

I see they are still available from the "Africa and Europe" version of the Arduino Store.
Title: Re: Zero Availability
Post by: allenmyers on Jul 05, 2018, 03:15 pm
Looks like US is out until September perhaps. I wish support would be a bit more cohesive.


Their first response was this:
Quote
We are not manufacturing this product.
What about this one? https://store.arduino.cc/usa/arduino-mkrzero
So I clarified my interest:
Quote
We've already invested in shields that use the standard Arduino form factor.

Would the Due be a safe product to continue to invest time into?

Is there any blog or news source somewhere that explains the future focus of Arduino hardware platforms? It seems the Zero was a widely supported product that just suddenly stopped being manufactured without warning...
And then they responded with:
Quote
The Arduino Zero board is already available in Europe and Africa and it is expected to be as well for US, Oceania and Asia in September.

We also recommend you to check if some of the Arduino resellers have the product you are looking for available. Please find the list with all of them on the link below:

https://store.arduino.cc/distributors
Title: Re: Zero Availability
Post by: allenmyers on Oct 05, 2018, 08:38 pm
Still no more Zeros available. Is this product officially discontinued? Does anyone have any details on it?
Title: Re: Zero Availability
Post by: 2n3904 on Nov 07, 2018, 01:35 am
The zero is still out of stock as of now. Anyone knows when it will be available again?
Title: Re: Zero Availability
Post by: pert on Nov 07, 2018, 01:43 am
They are still available from the "Africa and Europe" version of the Arduino Store.

Check out the MKR Zero (https://store.arduino.cc/usa/arduino-mkrzero). It's really a nice board. It uses the same microcontroller, but in a breadboard friendly form factor, and it's 1/2 the price of the Zero!
Title: Re: Zero Availability
Post by: dlabun on Apr 01, 2019, 02:59 pm
So it's been at least 6 months now that the Zero has been out of stock both on the Arduino website and with the major distributors. Does anyone know what the status of the Zero is? It's been way too quiet from Arudino on the subject so far.
Title: Re: Zero Availability
Post by: BJHenry on Apr 12, 2019, 08:46 am
Interestingly Digikey lists the Zero as obsolete.
Title: Re: Zero Availability
Post by: dlabun on Apr 15, 2019, 08:13 pm
Well I'm pretty well convinced Arduino silently killed off the Zero. I am going to start designing my Zero equivalent board, should anyone be interested PM me.
Title: Re: Zero Availability
Post by: david_prentice on Apr 15, 2019, 09:25 pm
I have an original "Zero Pro".  It was later called "M0 Pro".

I also have a Chinese clone "M0" i.e. without the EDBG chip.

Personally,  I find it very pleasant to have an onboard EDBG chip.    Much like STM32 Nucleo boards have an onboard ST-Link debugger.

From the Manufacturer's point  of view,   a debugger chip costs about a $1 and uses a bit of pcb real estate.
From Arduino's point of view,  it depends on how much Microchip charge for the EDBG chip.

The Zero would never be a mass market board.   Nor would it be able to compete with Nucleo as a useful development platform.    M4 Nucleos show just what good performance is possible.   i.e. much better than M0 SAMD or the M3 Due SAM3X.


Mind you,   CMSIS-DAP is provided for free by ARM.   The Chinese could put CMSIS-DAP into whatever chip they wanted.    And produce a Zero clone.

David.
Title: Re: Zero Availability
Post by: dlabun on Apr 15, 2019, 09:45 pm
I'm actually very surprised there isn't any Zero clones out there alrady with an on board debug chip. Even Sparkfun and Adafruit don't include on board debugging. I've already spoken with a debugging tool manufacturer, the cost per board is extremely low so I would definitely include it.
Title: Re: Zero Availability
Post by: westfw on Apr 16, 2019, 12:28 am
Quote
I've already spoken with a debugging tool manufacturer, the cost per board is extremely low
Riiiight.  The debugger chip in the Zero is probably the most expensive component on the board; a AT32UC3A4256 that normally sells for about $8 (compared to $3-4 for the SAMD chip.)
Yeah, some of the more modern "development board with built-in-debugger" boards have cheaper chips (an ATmega32u4 on the Uno WiFi2, for instance), and if you happen to be the CHIP manufacturer, you can probably get (your own) chips really cheap.  But for a relatively small manufacturer like Arduino, I'd bet it more than doubles the (maufacturing) cost of the board.  (You'll note that none of the MKR boards include debugging.)  (OTOH, the Zero was never "inexpensive", so the debugger costs should be covered, and there's little excuse for the Board to have just disappeared from stocks)


Quote
CMSIS-DAP is provided for free by ARM.   The Chinese could put CMSIS-DAP into whatever chip they wanted.    And produce a Zero clone.
Or, you know, provide a $10 CMSIS-DAP debug probe... (https://www.aliexpress.com/item/ARM-emulator-CMSIS-DAP-DAP-with-virtual-serial-port/32809471961.html?spm=2114.search0204.3.8.3b3d379f0BPomD)
Title: Re: Zero Availability
Post by: BJHenry on Apr 16, 2019, 02:30 am
The Xplain series of development boards use an ATMega32U4 as a programmer/debugger- they call it the mEDGB. The schematics and firmware are freely available, and there is even this (https://hackaday.io/project/162372-xplained-yourself) project to make a DIY mEDGB standalone programmer.
I'm sure if you wanted to get enterprising you could design your own board with an mEDGB onboard.
Title: Re: Zero Availability
Post by: david_prentice on Apr 16, 2019, 11:27 am
A Chinese ST-Link dongle costs about $3.   You can connect it to the SWD header on a Due board but the Dupont cables get in the way of a shield.

Rowley is perfectly happy with using an ST-Link with a non-ST Target.
Keil should be happy too.

Of course Atmel Studio only supports CMSIS-DAP or JLink debugger with its proprietary chips.

You can install JLink firmware into a ST-Link dongle but Segger do not allow you to use non-ST targets.

If you use the JTAG header on Due or M0 boards the JTAG ribbon does not interfere with shields.
You need to buy a 1.27mm pitch 5x2 cable and adapter board which is as expensive as the ST-Link dongle.  e.g. adapter + cables (https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Downloader-Cable-Bluetooth-4-0-CC2540-for-Zigbee-CC2531-Sniffer-USB-Dongle-BTool/152765446489?hash=item239187b959:g:FIoAAOSwUDla~QDX)

I believe that NXP evaluation boards have got CMSIS-DAP debugger and 1.27mm pitch 5x2 header.   So you only need the ribbon cable.

In theory,  the Microchip SNAP is both cheap and can do SWD debugging.

Regarding EDBG using a UC32 chip.   ST use their STM32F103.   NXP use their LPC.  Freescale used their K20.  ...
I would guess that any reasonably powerful chip could run the CMSIS-DAP firmware.
You would certainly AVOID using the mEDBG mega32U4.   It is too painful.

David.
Title: Re: Zero Availability
Post by: david_prentice on Apr 16, 2019, 02:01 pm
Rowley works fine with ST-Link on the Due
I tried Pickit4.    Neither Rowley or AS7 worked.
I have not tried SNAP since Pickit4 failed.

I know that ATMEL-ICE works in AS7, Rowley, Keil on the Due.

Rowley connects fine to the M0 via ST-Link.   But then whinges about locked memory on the SAMD21.

I am not particularly worried about the M0 because I have the M0 Pro for development.
I presume that all the MKR owners have discovered convenient ways to develop code.

David.
Title: Re: Zero Availability
Post by: dlabun on Apr 16, 2019, 03:32 pm
For the debugger only, If I was to do a pilot run of 250 boards today it would cost $2.25 for the chip (STM32) and $0.24 for the license. At 1,000 boards the chip cost drops to about $1.70.

I do have one technical issue to work out with the debugger and if we find a solution I am going to move forward with designing some boards.
Title: Re: Zero Availability
Post by: david_prentice on Apr 16, 2019, 05:48 pm
I don't see the need for a debugger in a final product.

Surely you install your firmware into your product via an external programmer (or native bootloader if the chip has one)
You can install your own DFU or OTA loader for any subsequent updates.

You only need the debugger when you are developing in the first place.

Of course you may be intending your boards for a class of 250 students.   In which case you do a deal with a manufacturer for their "evaluation boards".

It would be interesting to know how many Zero / M0 Pro boards were ever manufactured.    I suspect they are quietly retiring the Zero.   But it would be better to just say so.

Incidentally,  the SAM JTAG header on ATMEL-ICE is wired backwards.   (which seems CRAZY)

David.
Title: Re: Zero Availability
Post by: dlabun on Apr 16, 2019, 08:54 pm
It's been rather odd since the two Arduinos merged back together. Almost immediately they silently killed off the Nordic nRF52 based board Arduino.org was just about to release. Here we are 2-ish years later and now the Zero is MIA.

I am going to keep working on my replacement board and maybe float the idea again over the summer once I have something workable in my hands.
Title: Re: Zero Availability
Post by: westfw on Apr 16, 2019, 09:23 pm
It also seems to be the case that CMSIS/DAP (the USB-level protocol for talking to SWD debug features) and/or debuggers are relatively chatty and inefficiency across USB, meaning that people see a noticeable improvement going from a debugger that only supports "full speed" USB (like the 32u4) to one that supports "high-speed" USB (like the  UC32)




Quote
The Xplain series of development boards use an ATMega32U4 as a programmer/debugger- they call it the mEDGB.
The Xplained Pro boards have the UC32 EDBG chip.
The Xplained Mini boards have the 32u4 mEDBG.
The Curiosity Nano boards have a new SAMD "nEDBG" chip.


Quote
I'm sure if you wanted to get enterprising you could design your own board with an mEDGB onboard.
Sure.  And it would probably cost about twice as much as a board without a debugger.
Those $10 development boards sold by chip vendors are nice, but they're not a very accurate indicator of how much it would cost to build a similar board on your own.  Those boards are "loss-leaders"; the next best thing to a free sample; designed to attract devotees, and partially paid for from the "sales&marketing" budget...
I do wish that the current incarnation of Arduino would show more signs of having their manufacturing arm "in good shape."  :-(