I got my my first Due and yes, it is faster than a Mega 2560 board and has more memory. Speed is nice, but it is not everything. Same with extra memory. In reality, with most of what I do, I do not realize any more speed nor have I ever had programs that exceeded my memory space. What I long for is MORE PINS!!!
First came the UNO with 14 digital input/output pins and 6 analog inputs. In time developers needed more complex boards having MORE PINS. Later came the Mega Series with 54 digital I/O pins and 16 analog inputs. The Due does not add any more I/O pins (in fact has 4 fewer analog pins).
For some of us this is still not enough. Today, with 3D printing using up to 3 extruder motors, developers are using non standard methods to fit in a third extruder motor, taking away the ability of adding other features such as a color touchpad display. In the future we may see 5 extruder motors on 3d printers, red, green, blue, black, and white. The shields needed to run these machines will require MORE PINS to keep as much a standard as can be.
In projects that I make, I often use Color TFT touch screens which use 45 pins. I might be able to get touchscreens which need as few as few as 4 pins, but they do not provide me with the flexibility I need. I have on occasion had to abandon a project because I needed MORE PINS than a Mega or Due can provide and I did not want to spend a lot of money to buy proprietary boards and software to program them. So all I want for this holiday season is MORE PINS on my Due board!!!!
I often use Color TFT touch screens which use 45 pins.
That seems like an awful lot for an embedded-class TFT. How do you get more than about 30 (24bits+ assorted sync/load/etc) (surely it would be better to use some chip with an actual display controller built in)?
Never mind. But it does seem that you need a TFT with fewer pins, rather than an Arduino with more pins (ok, a "more flexible" small pincount TFT.)
Although: did you see the Arduino.org "Star Otto"?
It has the Due/Mega Pinout PLUS separate display and camera connectors on the backside (plus microSD and some other on-board peripherals that may or may not use up "general purpose" pins.) I'm not sure how close this is to actual production in either the hardware or software aspects, but it sounds like the sort of thing you're looking for.
Attached is a knockoff of a ElecFreaks LCD TFT01 Arduino Mega Shield v2.0 SHD10. This is the most common type of TFT adapter shield used with larger Color TFT Touchscreens. If you count the number of pins on the shield that plug into the Mega2560 board, there are 50. The 36 in the 2X18 pinset plus six on one side and eight on the other. Some of the pins are power and ground pins, but in the end all the analog and only 12 digital I/O pins are left and sometimes 12 Digital I/O pins are not enough to drive the rest of my projects. Pins are like money, it does not matter how much you have, it is always nice to have more.
If you count the number of pins on the shield that plug into the Mega2560 board, there are 50. The 36 in the 2X18 pinset plus six on one side and eight on the other
Hmm. I count 32. Of the 36, 8 aren't used and 4 and power, and is uses D0..D7. That should leave 22 digital pins (D8..D13 + the 8 "comm" pins, + the 8 unused pins from the 2x18), plus the 16 analog pins (which can also be used as digital pins. In fact, on Due, only 12 of them are actually analog pins.) The "six pin" header arduino-side is power, so it doesn't count toward eliminating signals.
From the (lousy) schematic here: http://www.elecfreaks.com/wiki/images/7/7c/Arduino_Mega_Shield2.jpg
(I only count 30 signals actually connecting to the display board; I'm not sure what happened to the other 2.)