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Topic: Why Zero is more expensive than Due? (Read 147 times) previous topic - next topic

ypps910060

Nov 20, 2020, 12:37 pm Last Edit: Nov 20, 2020, 01:23 pm by ypps910060
Hello there! I am new to Arduino and recently purchased Due from the official website.
Later, I discovered Zero, which uses 3.3 volts, such as Due, and both use the ARM architecture. It is smaller than Due, but more expensive. I know that Zero is a relatively new board, but for other specifications, Due seems to be better, including larger flash memory and more pins. I don't know what is the advantage of zero, which makes zero more expensive. If zero is better, should I choose it?

david_prentice

The Zero has a debugger chip on the pcb.    Since Arduino is not owned by Microchip / Atmel it has to buy the UC32 silicon chip and pay a licence for the debugger firmware.

In the Old Days you paid several hundred dollars for a JTAG/SWD debugger like J-Link.

Then Manufacturers started to sell Evaluation boards with an onboard debugger chip.
It costs the Manufacturer about $1 for the hardware.   And ARM provide the software code for free.   So it does not cost the Manufacturer anything much to provide this functionality.

For the User it is brilliant.    An ST Nucleo board for about $15,  An NXP board for about $20,  a Microchip Curiosity board  for about $10.    Or even the Atmel XMINI (with SLOW debugger) for $8.

A far cry from the Olden Days when you paid $100s for an Evaluation and an extra $200 for a debugger.

Unfortunately the Chinese can't buy the debug chip.  So we don't get cheap Zero clones.    But we do get cheap Due clones.   And you can use the SWD interface with a $3 ST-Link clone dongle if you want.    (Obviously not supported by AS7.0)

David.

ypps910060

The Zero has a debugger chip on the pcb.    Since Arduino is not owned by Microchip / Atmel it has to buy the UC32 silicon chip and pay a licence for the debugger firmware.

In the Old Days you paid several hundred dollars for a JTAG/SWD debugger like J-Link.

Then Manufacturers started to sell Evaluation boards with an onboard debugger chip.
It costs the Manufacturer about $1 for the hardware.   And ARM provide the software code for free.   So it does not cost the Manufacturer anything much to provide this functionality.

For the User it is brilliant.    An ST Nucleo board for about $15,  An NXP board for about $20,  a Microchip Curiosity board  for about $10.    Or even the Atmel XMINI (with SLOW debugger) for $8.

A far cry from the Olden Days when you paid $100s for an Evaluation and an extra $200 for a debugger.

Unfortunately the Chinese can't buy the debug chip.  So we don't get cheap Zero clones.    But we do get cheap Due clones.   And you can use the SWD interface with a $3 ST-Link clone dongle if you want.    (Obviously not supported by AS7.0)

David.
Thank you very much for your reply! I saw the existence of EDBG in Zero's specifications, but I didn't know that this thing has such a special effect, which makes it worth the higher price. Your explanation gave me a better understanding of these boards!

david_prentice

#3
Nov 20, 2020, 06:54 pm Last Edit: Nov 20, 2020, 06:55 pm by david_prentice
Arduino does its best to b*gger up the EDBG feature.

It is really nice to use EDBG in AS7.0, Keil, Rowley, ... to debug the hardware.
Likewise using SWD with a Due.

Note that you must restore the Zero Bootloader if you have been using regular code in AS7.0, Keil, ...
Easy! You just select Programmer=EDBG and click Burn Bootloader.   No external programmer, no wires, no extra USB,  ...

David.

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