Arduino Due Obsolete?

In this thread Massimo Banzi made a lot of statements wrt Due:
https://groups.google.com/a/arduino.cc/forum/#!topic/developers/HEKecd0qhS4

On your 1)a):

Arduino/Genuino doesn’t sell the Due full stop

On Due:

The Due is not dead in our hearts. We just have to make decisions based on the time we have available.

On Due support:

Having said this we see an interest for the Due from the resellers and we’re working on a solution

In the meantime the SAM core is still supported and it’s getting updated even if we’re not selling the hardware

So on your 1)b) this means that libraries will not be fixed by arduino.cc

Hermann.

ArthurD:
But the Pi is free available, so why don't buy thousands of Pi2s or Pi3s on the market and implement the Arduino IDE on it, perhaps even a web IDE and then sell it as a Arduino Pi?

This may come as quite a surprise, but the Pi isn't "free available".

Distributors buy them at wholesale prices and resell them at higher retail prices. That difference in price is called gross profit. Perhaps even more surprising might be the concept that distributors spend quite a lot of money on all sorts of necessary things, which is called operating expense. When you subtract those expenses from the gross profit, the money left over is called net profit.

Intense competition exists between many distributors. Anyone can try to buy products wholesale and resell it at higher retail prices. Those who succeed in the market end up with a positive net profit do so by operating efficiently.

If Arduino.cc were to buy Raspberry Pi products at wholesale, they'd be competing in a crowded market with numerous well established distributors, who do not incur the very significant expense of paying software developers!

so to summarize:

  • the Due is dead for Arduino.cc

  • plans about the Due by Arduino.org are vague and uncertain

  • plans about the TRE by Arduino.cc do not exist

  • plans about the TRE by Arduino.org are vague and uncertain, too, and after all, as it seems, just empty words: nothing had happend since 3 years

  • an equivalent substitute for the Due by cpu power, number of pins, and pin-layout is not in sight wrt Arduino.cc

  • an equivalent substitute for the TRE - or better - by cpu power is not in sight wrt Arduino.cc or Arduino.org

  • either powerful 3rd party boards on the market (Pi, BBB, Pine64) can not be programmed by (either) Arduino IDE.

As far as I can see, that is after all a very bad current situation and and a very uncertain outlook for Arduino's future innovations. :frowning:

Arduino has been incredibly successful for many years, without selling anything like the quad core dream product you want. During much of that time, competing products with far more computational power have existed, yet Arduino has grown and grown.

Discontinuing a poorly selling product that incurs a lot of development expense seems like a smart move. I know you don't agree, but from everything you've said, it's pretty clear you understand nothing of the practical reality of running a business.

Haha,
I daresay:
I do understand a lot about the practical reality of running a business - I am a business man and I have my own company (since 20 years, BTW).

And JFYI:
Corporate governance requires except profitability above all: reliable customer service, continuity, courage, and, first and foremost:
Innovation and future visions.

I have had fallings out with ArthurD in the past but I must admit dropping the DUE is a sad move with nothing comparable to replace it.

I really would like to see Arduino.cc come up with an answer to the Star OTTO. To be honest that looks amazing. I bought an STM32F746G Discovery, the power is amazing, the hardware video overly stunning, but it is just too damn difficult to program compared to Arduino. I am no expert, but equally I am not a novice, so noobies don't have a hope in hell...

I appreciate the Star OTTO is 'only' a STM32F4, not the F7, but the F7 is code wise identical... I look forward to the day this level of power is available under the Arduino IDE, preferably .cc not .org, but at this point .cc don't appear to have an answer.

Regards,

Graham

My (short) Arduino experience makes me feel puzzled with the DUE dropping from Arduino.cc.

Let's talk about strategic marketing: the wonderful concept at the root of Arduino, a cheap board with a user friendly IDE dedicated to robotics, home automation or IoT with a real potential for training and prototyping is what most of Arduino enthusiasts are looking for.

I like the idea that Arduino boards are made for "Artists" even though many universities around the world are using Arduino boards, from the Uno to the DUE, for their training sessions, M.I.T., Stanford or Cambridge to name but a few.

The strength of the Arduino community is its capability to gather a few ultra-talented enthusiasts with an awesome know-how in software developments and a lot of less talented people who can afford to buy the boards from Arduino.cc if they want a super powerful prototyping platform.

This situation should lead to a different understanding of its market by Arduino.cc staff. The brakes are obviously on the profitability of future developments, but a more collaborative development method with Arduino.cc as a leader and the Arduino community as contributors to the development of a high end but cheap platform should reduce either the hardware or the software development costs.

Collaboration between Arduino development teams and some talented enthusiasts has already been done with great success to build up libraries.

ghlawrence2000:
...
I really would like to see Arduino.cc come up with an answer to the Star OTTO. To be honest that looks amazing.
...

I appreciate the Star OTTO is 'only' a STM32F4, not the F7, but the F7 is code wise identical... I look forward to the day this level of power is available under the Arduino IDE, preferably .cc not .org, but at this point .cc don't appear to have an answer.

The STAR OTTO sounds really interesting, and its the only arduino.org board that can compete with the Due (not considering Yun boards). 180MHz vs. 84MHz sounds nice, 4 times RAM of Due (384KB), and ...:
Arduino - Home

But its so new that it does not even appear in arduino.org comparison chart, and cannot be bought currently either. The less powerful Arduino Titan does cost 87€ or 96$, which means that OTTO is likely to cost >100$, for which you get 8 DUEs from aliexpress.com with free shipping.

Hermann.

...or perhaps 3 original Raspberry Pis, yes (or 2 plus 1 Multi-IO-HAT) ... :-/

HermannSW:
But its so new that it does not even appear in arduino.org comparison chart, and cannot be bought currently either. The less powerful Arduino Titan does cost 87€ or 96$, which means that OTTO is likely to cost >100$, for which you get 8 DUEs from aliexpress.com with free shipping.

That depends what view STM have taken… If you are not familiar with the STM32F7 discovery board, it comes with the 214MHz processor, 1MB Flash, 340KB Ram, 128mb Quad SPI flash, 128mb SDRam, built in 10/100 Ethernet, Spdif in, stereo 3.5mm In and out jacks, camera interface, twin USBOTG one hs one fs, and ST-Link which is the hardware debugger, Uno style arduino shield footprint headers, built in 4.3" SSD1963 display with capacitive multi-touch, micro sd card holder, stereo microphones and 2 push buttons all on board. The price?? <50€ !!!
Regards,
Graham

ghlawrence2000:
… the STM32F7 discovery board

Isn’t supported by Arduino. Neither are tons of other vendors eval/dev boards. The only thing “Arduino” about it are sockets located in the same form factor.

However, it does raise an interesting question about whether Arduino.org will manage to sell enough Star Otto boards. My understand is ST already sells a board that’s nearly identical hardware-wise to Star Otto, at loss-leader price with a restrictive eval-only license.

I know this thread is already filled with tons of wishful utopian thinking, that somehow Arduino can keep making products that aren’t profitable, but for just a moment try to think of the practical reality of Star Otto in terms of actually netting profit that will justify the software dev side. Normally cheap clones like the ones that now exist for Arduino Due take about a year to appear.

anyway, the most cheapest way IMO had been to support and maintain the Due further on, just as the .org folks are doing.

A slight market-related price adjustment of course would also be wise to be examined.

The original Arduino boards actually might actually be a couple of EUR more expensive than the clones, but this disadvantage by a certain higher price would (or could) be outweighed by a well-known excellent customer support then.

ArthurD:
anyway, the most cheapest way IMO had been to support and maintain the Due further on, just as the .org folks are doing.

Have you even looked at their github repository for Due's core library? Here's a direct link, to make this easy:

https://github.com/arduino-org/Arduino/tree/master/hardware/arduino/sam/cores/arduino

Notice there's only been 2 commits within the last 2 years, which amount to merely changing the USB Vendor ID and name, and an email address in the comments.

Those 2 are the only maintenance Arduino.org has ever done. If you click on all the 2+ year old commits, they're all authored by Cristian Maglie and others at Arduino.cc, from before Arduino.org forked the code. So far, Arduino.org has NEVER made any significant contribution to Due's core library. They've never done any maintenance other than changing names.

[quote author=Paul Stoffregen date=1468111029 link=msg=2834690]
However, it does raise an interesting question about whether Arduino.org will manage to sell enough Star Otto boards. My understand is ST already sells a board that’s nearly identical hardware-wise to Star Otto, at loss-leader price with a restrictive eval-only license.[/quote]
Which board would that be? Do you have a link please? I had a look earlier but the only eval board I found was HUGE with all the bells and whistles.
Regards,
Graham

For comparison, Arduino.cc has actually done some small maintenance for Due, even though they aren't selling the hardware anymore.

Adding SerialUSB.availableForWrite():

Added missing snprintf_P for AVR compatibility:

Fixed compiler warnings:

These are months old. Arduino.org hasn't even bothered to copy these into their software for Due. Of all the unrealistic expectations in this thread, believing Arduino.org will be maintain and improve Due's software is probably the most unrealistic!

ghlawrence2000:
I had a look earlier but the only eval board I found was HUGE with all the bells and whistles.

Yup, that's the one. More features with lower (loss leader, eval license) pricing.

Who knows, maybe people will pay more for the Arduino branding/logo and Mega/Due form factor?

I do believe there's a good chance people will pay a premium for good software support, for good Arduino compatibility. Whether Arduino.org can even achieve that remains to be seen, and whether their board will offer anything improved (other than form factor and fewer peripherals) over the much cheaper ST eval is a good question.

So far Arduino.org has proven they can design and manufacture and sell hardware, but every indication is they are very challenged on the software side.

For what it's worth, my tuppence is we need to support Arduino.cc ...... regardless of the issues between the two factions, there is much more activity on these forums, problems are resolved in minutes usually due to the well established base of knowledgeable folks, but dropping the DUE seems to have left a large hole in the lineup.

I don't have access to inside information or plans the cc folks may have, but I really hope they have something lined up to replace it.

Regards,

Graham

My first Arduino and (first attempt at programming in C++) was with the Due ... sad to see it swept under the rug so soon! Will continue offering any support I can on the Arduino forum. Hope for a quick settlement in the dispute and for an "expanding" product line by arduino.cc in the near future.

I don't mind paying a premium when there's good overall support (long term) from the vendor and the community. I prefer small form factor / high capability boards and can only think of one place that seems to have it all ... good pricing / support / capabilities. Just received several low cost versions I'll be testing whenever I get the chance.

Having said that, also very entrigued by cost and capabilities of the ESP8266, which seems to been thrown out there by the vendor(s) with support being offered mainly by the user community. Watching closely and will try these soon (I hope). Would like to see a small ESP8266 Genuino/Arduino board, wouldn't mind paying extra for that.

Would like to see a small ESP8266 Genuino/Arduino board, wouldn't mind paying extra for that.

That board is available already, named "WeMos D1", Arduino Uno form factor with 80(or 160)MHz!
AND for less than 6$ with free shipping:

While the Arduino Due outperforms all other >16MHz Arduinos integer compute power wise, it is only beaten by the ESP8266-12E (304us ESP8266 vs. 494us Due), and that is on WeMos D1 board:

Easy to program like an Arduino it gives high performance and Wifi.

Hermann.

That's an interesting board, thanks. I know there's others but haven't looked into it seriously yet.

I was thinking it would be great for Arduino.cc to eventually offer something powerful and small ... say take an ESP8266, add an ATmega16xx bootloader, expand the I/O and ADC and get as close as possible to the Arduino/Genuino MICRO footprint. I'd pay a premium price for this ... it sure wouldn't cost that much to develop.

With only the MEGA and ZERO as advanced boards ... it's now looking quite sparse.