Highly Anticipated 32-bit "Due" due When?

Last September the Arduino blog stated that the 32-bit Due (beta version) would be released in December of 2011. Did the Arduino team in fact miss a critical milestone, or was the release date in that blog misspelled and they meant December of 2012 or 2013? Or perhaps the project was abandoned altogether? Whatever the issue, I think the user community, students, inventors, tinkerers, makers, distributors and vendors, in all countries here and abroad, deserve an explanation from Arduino. Delays are commonplace and excusable, especially when dealing with radical departures, like 8-bit to 32-bit ARM processors. But what is more radical is for Arduino to keep the whole world in the dark. Quid accidit?

In the past the Arduino team was very closed mouth about advance notice of releasing new hardware boards, often with just a week or two of notice. The Due was an exception to that rule, and I think they wanted to make a 'bigger' splash at the Maker fair. So now it's a month late, not so bad but an update on 'new' release date would be nice.

Lefty

I am not thrilled at the OPENness of the "Open Source" Arduino team.

It's kind of saying ,

"Open Source after we make all the decisions and run prototypes with a select few, and then we'll publish what we did that you COULD change if you were interested in convincing the User Base that your idea was better."

I am not thrilled at the OPENness of the "Open Source" Arduino team.

"Open Source after we make all the decisions and run prototypes with a select few, and then we'll publish what we did

To quote from the press release

Instead of just releasing the finished platform we are opening the process to the community early on.

Yeah right.

Like I said in another thread, this forum is the community and there's been nothing here except speculation by us.


Rob

Arduino is very different than free open source software, FOSS, projects I have been involved with.

Open source software projects sometimes have a benevolent dictator governance model http://www.oss-watch.ac.uk/resources/benevolentdictatorgovernancemodel.xml. Even in this model there is active engagement and contribution by the community.

The benevolent dictator model works because members are free to take the code and create alternative projects. In fact, this ability to fork is very important to the health of open source communities, it ensures that those involved in project governance strive to make the right decisions for the community,

This is not the case with Arduino. The fact that it is "open hardware" and most of the community consists of beginners means that there is little pressure on the Arduino team to listen to the community. There is no threat of their authority being overturned by users forking the project.

I don't see this situation changing as it did with early projects I was involved with. I worked on BSD Unix at Berkeley in the 1970s because control of Unix by AT&T was unacceptable. This finally evolved to Linux.

The Linux kernel is controlled by Linus Torvalds as a benevolent dictator. The Debian version of Linux has evolved to be very open and elects its leaders http://www.oss-watch.ac.uk/resources/debianleader.xml.

The situation is out fault. Our community is too weak to do anything about it.

Remember the Unix "Live Free Or Die" license plate http://www.unix.org/unix_plates.html.

Not sure if I agree with your assessment of the Arduino situation as it relates to 'open hardware'. I think the differences in developing hardware Vs software are fundamentally different. Not even sure I have read a good definition of what 'open source hardware' even means. Just publishing the schematics could be considered one form of 'open hardware' and many project authors have done that in the past well before open source software project became popular or common. Perhaps it's releasing all design files including PCB files used to 'copy' the PCB design? I'm also not so sure that hardware development lends itself to collaborative design as easily as software development.

So whatever a correct or even useful definition of open source hardware is, I don't think that the Arduino as a company ever attempted to engage in an initial collaborative effort to design their hardware. The Due project seems to be the first where they stated they were or did release initial beta versions of the hardware to selected people for feedback before the final design is to be released for that project. We, to the best of our knowledge have not heard from any parties privy to the Due design effort.

Lefty

I agree, open hardware is not like open software. That's the problem, a model for true open hardware needs to be developed.

There are first attempts in science. Here is an effort at CERN:

http://cdsweb.cern.ch/journal/CERNBulletin/2011/28/News%20Articles/1357331?ln=en

http://www.ohwr.org/projects/ohr-support/wiki/Manifesto.

Ultimately, the "Open Source" argument is academic. What we have here is a case of making a promise at a large venue with high visibility (Maker Faire) and then standing up the world without explanation.

I still believe Arduino will do the right thing and update the user community, the vendors and distributors. Because I'd like to think Arduino is like Da Vinci, not Berlusconi.

I think one of the reasons for the delay is this collaboration with ATMEL. "Open Source" cultures do not mix well with regimented, secretive, proprietary, corporate cultures like ATMEL.

Ultimately, the "Open Source" argument is academic.

What does this statement mean? "Open Source" has no value or Arduino is not open or what?

Edit:

Arduino is a business so what is strange about a relationship with Atmel?

"Open Source" cultures do not mix well with regimented, secretive, proprietary, corporate cultures like ATMEL.

Arduino has relationships with distributors and the company or companies that manufacture hardware. See the web for video tour:

http://www.adafruit.com/blog/2012/01/18/arduino-factory-tour-video/

http://www.adafruit.com/blog/2012/01/09/special-ask-an-engineer-11412-a-tour-of-the-arduino-factory/

"regimented, secretive, proprietary, corporate cultures like ATMEL" and yet isn't everything about the chips we use published on their website for us engineers?

CrossRoads:
“regimented, secretive, proprietary, corporate cultures like ATMEL”
and yet isn’t everything about the chips we use published on their website for us engineers?

You know where the VHDL is? (I actually haven’t looked, as I have no need for it nor the knowledge to use it - but it would be cool to see!)…

We know we aren't going to see the VHDL from ATMEL or FTDI, or the internal schematics of the voltage regulators.

We DO expect to see how those many documented subsystems are put together to make a DUE.

Many have forked the earlier hardware Arduinos with good results.

The Arduino IDE System consists of subsystems, many from ATMEL, for which the source code is not available, plus various (I think) open source components. The IDE has been hacked pretty deeply by a few, like Ardblock (https://github.com/taweili/ardublock).

Hi, If you're interested in following the development of ArduBlock, mentioned above, there is now a discussion group here: http://groups.google.com/group/ardublock?hl=en

For those of us who want a widely collaborative development effort, I don't think Arduino is gonna be it.

The benevolent dictator model works

A benevolent dictatorship has always been the most efficient form of government and of project management for that matter. As long as the bloke at the top stays sane and knows what he's doing :)

For those of us who want a widely collaborative development effort, I don't think Arduino is gonna be it.

This is one reason I like the DuinoMite project. I think the hardware was a done deal by the designer but the software is certainly collaborative.

Maybe people aren't that interested in collaborating on hardware, I only got one response to my call to collaborate on a Due-like board and that was from a member that is mostly a software type (actually that was good because I'm mostly hardware). While it's easier in many ways to just do your own thing, however you usually get a better product if there are a few minds on the job.


Rob

I suppose a company can not be PURELY open source software & hardware, otherwise making a profit would be very difficult, especially with the globalized economy. The Chinese will always make it faster, cheaper, and although not the best, good enough.

Plenty of bootstrapped microcontroller modules are out in the market. Why did Arduino catch on so immensely? My guess: low cost, the choice of a common language (C), floating point math, analog-to-digital converters (missing in basic stamp) & other peripherals, a very good forum, and "open source". But the same can be said about leaflabs.com, so what is it about Arduino? How did they make it into Radio Shack stores?

I suppose a company can not be PURELY open source software & hardware, otherwise making a profit would be very difficult,

Adafruit.com says they made a lot of money while everything they sell is open source. There was a good New York Times article about it.

Why would I use the OPenSource info to build and populate an Arduino board when I can buy one for less than $20?? If I want to make a modified fork of that design to provide special functions, and I am going to make 500+ of them, that's different (I'm thinking of doing that right now)...

randomvibe: I suppose a company can not be PURELY open source software & hardware, otherwise making a profit would be very difficult, especially with the globalized economy. The Chinese will always make it faster, cheaper, and although not the best, good enough.

Plenty of bootstrapped microcontroller modules are out in the market. Why did Arduino catch on so immensely? My guess: low cost, the choice of a common language (C), floating point math, analog-to-digital converters (missing in basic stamp) & other peripherals, a very good forum, and "open source". But the same can be said about leaflabs.com, so what is it about Arduino? How did they make it into Radio Shack stores?

Add to the attributes of the initial arduino platform success is the fact that they released the IDE in three major OS versions, Win, Lin, Mac. Not sure any other offering at the time had that avalible as standard. As far as Radio Shack goes, they are a pretty late to the show as far as distribution goes, but can only help add to the user population. Only time will tell if RS continues to sell them as I'm sure they will drop them in time if sales don't meet some minimum expectations. At this point in time I think RS needs arduino more then arduino needs RS, as RS is having real issues with trying to figure out what their core business should be these days. They do seem interested at trying to at least explore going back to their early roots rather then just being a cell phone and Christmas toy store.

Mix is a little luck at having the right product at the right time at the right price with the right 'features', helped put the arduino platform on a successful track. I'm sure if you asked the project originators they would admit never dreaming it would be such a popular platform and that their original goal never involved trying to be the #1. There is certainly nothing technically superior about the arduino, either in hardware or software, compared to other offerings either then or now. I personally was attracted to it because it seemed to make learning and using C/C++ a lot less daunting a task compared to anything else I had come across at the time. Most 'beginner' platforms used some proprietary form of the Basic language which is always somewhat limiting as far as growth and portability goes.

Lefty

February is here. The 32-bit Due is not here. Why is Arduino so tight-lipped about this delay? This failure in open-ness is disturbing.

The LeafLabs module called Maple seems like an excellent alternative. Not sure why it's not catching on. Priced at $45 US dollars, that's $20 less than the 8-bit Arduino Mega 2560. The programming environment in Maple is compatible with Arduino! It's based on Wiring C. If it ever comes out, the price for the Due will likely be higher than the Mega 2560 - so I predict the Due will cost around $70 US dollars. Arduino can prove me wrong. Anyway, some high level specs on the Maple:

http://leaflabs.com/devices/#Maple

Microcontroller: STM32F103RB (32-Bit)

Clock Speed: 72 MHz

Flash Memory: 128 KB

SRAM: 20KB

Operating Voltage: 3.3V

64 Channel nested vector interrupt handler

Digital I/O Pins: 39

16-Bit PWM: 15

Analog Input Pins: 16 (12 Bit!)

Integrated SPI/I2C and 7 Channels of DMA

Support for low power and sleep modes (<500uA)

Dimensions: 2.05"x2.1"

Perhaps Arduino should consider changing over from ATMEL to STM since Maple already has them beat on the 32-bit front. I think the community would be best served if Arduino & LeafLabs join forces!

There has been 2-3 long threads running about this and so far not one single response from Arduino Inc.

They aren't normally very active on the forum and that's OK because most questions can be answered by the experienced members, but this particular topic cannot be addressed by anyone outside the inner circle.

I would at least expect a "Sorry but we've had some issues" post but not even that. And has been mentioned a few times the press release stated that the design would be done in consultation with the community. Hmmm.

I suppose I get that you don't want to release too many details up front or you wind up with the Leonardo situation whereby there are so many clones out now that there's hardly any point releasing the real thing :)

Never the less I think people need to know exactly what is coming out or they may jump ship to Maple et al.


Rob

Maple seems like an excellent alternative

I bought an Olimex Maple and it is no Arduino. :relaxed:

I have the Uno, Mega, and teensy and I have had no problems using LCDs, SDcards, and buttons.

However, the Maple has driver issues with Windows 7, that take a work around provided by someone outside of the LeafLabs team. The language is almost Arduino style but, not many of the libraries work. The LCD library has bugs that only allow you to use one line on a 2 lines display :(. I have posted about the lcd issue with no response. There is certainly no "Playground".

The processor and board are wonderful but, I am already frustrated that somethings that I though were simple do not work easily with Maple. I now have the task of learning libraries to try to fix problems myself.

If you want to see some of it for yourself, read a few pages of questions on their forum and look at how many are unresolved.

cyclegadget: I bought an Olimex Maple and it is no Arduino.

Olimex Maple is not the same as the original LeafLabs Maple. Olimex is a foreign company that literally cloned & copied Leaflabs, and not very successfully. They even copied Leaflabs' wiki page. Blaming Leaflabs for Olimex shortcomings is like blaming Apple Inc. for problems with Chinese iPhone clones.