How is arduino related to wiring?

Out of curiosity I checked out

I was under the impression that wiring uses different software and hardware but they seem to be identical in basic programming examples. I know arduino has ties to wiring but don't know any details. For example, on their site, they list both their hardware and arduino hardware are programmed in wiring language, which to me is identical to C/C++ Some newbies in arduino were also under the impression that arduino uses a language different from C/C++ and I can see where that misconception came from. So what's the history between these two projects and are there any communication between them any more? BTW, their website style reminded me the old

Apparently, arduino is based on wiring, in both software and programming language. This means any arduino code should work exactly the same on a wiring board. You never know, it may be possible to program a wiring board with the arduino IDE, and an arduino with the wiring IDE? Wiring boards are supposed to be more powerful than arduinos, but I cannot find any data to back it up - not about the MCU or clock speed.


My understanding is that Wiring is just a bunch of C/C++ core functions and libraries that performed the same 'abstractions' as used in the arduino version, such as digitRead(), analogRead(), etc. It ran under a Processing IDE just like the arduino does to this day.

Wiring was designed to support the AVR mega128 chip used on a board designed, build and sold by The Arduino team just modified the Wiring designs to support the AVR mega8 chip they used in their first released board, and later the mega168/328/1280/2560 boards. So most of the arduino 'core' files were derived from the Wiring project but have been vastly updated and expanded. The Arduino success owes a lot to the Wiring project, as they took the concept and brought it to new heights and built a vastly larger user base.

You can still buy a board that runs with the Wiring platform:


I did some more reading. It seems that wiring board started with a $60 price tag, which could be an expensive board for beginners but arduino group took the idea and realized it on a cheaper version for half the cost. I can see why arduino gained so much user base at a lower entry price. At this point, I have a duemijlanove, a uno and a mega 1280 clone so I won't be buying dev boards for a while :)

It's time to clear up a few misconceptions.

I'm sure Hernando would agree with me.

Wiring was created in 2003 as the Masters degree thesis of Hernando Barragán of Colombia, while he was studying at the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea (IDII) in Italy.

Massimo Banzi (a "founder" of Arduino) was a supervisor for his thesis, along with Casey Reas (of Processing).

After graduating with distinction in 2004, Hernando continued development of Wiring and moved it over to the Universidad de Los Andes in Colombia.

In 2005, Massimo and David Cuartielles started Arduino in Italy using the Wiring software as a base. They developed some cheaper hardware, and for the last 6 years, David Mellis has been regularly updating the Arduino source with the additions made to Wiring.

There is little to no recognition for Wiring by the Arduino team. It's pretty sad really. In fact, the new Arduino 1.0 (beta) version splash/about page has removed all mention of Wiring. People are often confused what the relationship is between Arduino and Wiring. It was only recently that people have spoken up that there should be recognition for Wiring and that's why you hear about it.

Some facts:

  • Hernando created Wiring as a thesis project in 2003, and has been developing it ever since.
  • Massimo, his advisor from IDII, independently started Arduino in 2005 and used Wiring as the starting point.
  • The Arduino hardware was cheaper, and that's partially why it gained its popularity.
  • Arduino is 100% about community.
  • People flock to Arduino because of the community, the cheap hardware, and the software and concepts that were originally developed by Hernando Barragan, Casey Reas and Ben Fry.

More info:

I hope that gives some insight into the difference between Arduino and Wiring.

With regard to the early boards, they were expensive, indeed. But now Wiring has new boards available. Have a look:

Even so, you don't need to have a Wiring board to use the Wiring IDE. It supports other boards directly, and will be adding more soon. So you can use your existing Arduino board with the Wiring IDE, if you wish.

Try it out!

P.S. Sure would be nice if this could be made a "sticky post"!

P.S. Sure would be nice if this could be made a "sticky post"!

Which section?

For future reference, when you have such a request, use [u]Report to moderator[/u].

Hey CB,

It's more up to you, but I think either here in Bar Sport, or in the General Category.

Plenty of people ask this question, and it would be nice to see it somewhere that people can get at it easily.