Is the Arduino in trouble

bubulindo: I'm yet to see a nice and free C compiler that works with PIC. It's not chance that Arduino is based on AVR...

This is at the heart of the Arduino's success. Until somebody comes up with PIC-GCC, PIC microcontrollers will never compete for the hearts and minds of hobbyists. And if PIC-GCC does arrive, it won't compete with AVR-Arduino, it will just be added to it. There will be PIC-based Arduino boards as well as AVR-based ones, and everybody will be happy.

tim7:

bubulindo: I'm yet to see a nice and free C compiler that works with PIC. It's not chance that Arduino is based on AVR...

This is at the heart of the Arduino's success. Until somebody comes up with PIC-GCC, PIC microcontrollers will never compete for the hearts and minds of hobbyists. And if PIC-GCC does arrive, it won't compete with AVR-Arduino, it will just be added to it. There will be PIC-based Arduino boards as well as AVR-based ones, and everybody will be happy.

Well - that's basically happened with the ChipKIT (I think that's right?) - based on the PIC32 line, with a gcc-based compiler for it. Only time will tell whether people love or hate it. I personally think it will just be another option, much like the more advanced Arduinos out there (Sanguino 644, Mega1280, Mega2560, etc). We've already seen some ARM-based "Arduino-like" systems out there; there are options a-plenty, if you need the speed, memory, or I/O capabilities - and still want to use open-source development tools.

:)

Well no matter what evolution the hobby microcontroller market takes, I think the Arduino platform will survive for a long long time to come, if for no other reason then I don't think any new 32 bit controller offerings will be avalible in hobby friendly DIP packages. For homebrew/standalone projects it's hard to pass up the advantages of a DIP chip for some users, like me. :D

Lefty

Well - that's basically happened with the ChipKIT (I think that's right?) - based on the PIC32 line, with a gcc-based compiler for it.

Some quick Google shows the PIC32-gcc compiler from Microchip has a code size limitation of 64K? You have to pay $800+ to remove limitiations. If I got that right Arduino is under no threat. There will be the inevitable market push to 32 bit as a compatible option, the toolchain is the key. Arduino figured that out at the start.

Whoever commits to the Arduino free tools mindset with compatibility will claim the emerging market (imho). I hope it is Atmel, but will remain open to options from vendors that get it.

MGeo:

Some quick Google shows the PIC32-gcc compiler from Microchip has a code size limitation of 64K?

I haven't looked at the PIC32 chips to see their memory sizes, but 64K sounds quite nice. I remember in other compilers like the Keil51 or the CodeVisionAVR had 1 or 2 k program limitation.

From what I see there's still a few chips with 64 or less K to use. But it's like 10% of the entire family.

retrolefty: For homebrew/standalone projects it's hard to pass up the advantages of a DIP chip for some users, like me. :D

The Pro-Mini boards are phenomenally small -- not much bigger than a DIP chip -- and even manage to include a voltage regulator and a reset button. Admittedly they're more expensive than a bare chip, but for simple projects you don't need any external components or even a PCB.

The compiler shipped with the chipKit IDE is NOT size-limited. Like the ARM marketplace, the PIC32 market has some compiler/tool distributions based on gcc with “additional features” where then free version has some sort of limitation, OR you can use a less-featureful version of the basic gcc compiler that doesn’t have size limitations (as essentially required by the gcc license(s))
ChipKit comes with the latter.

Competition does not doom a product unless the competition is better in every way. Since some of the complaints against Arduino are mutually contradictory, that’s going to be tough to do…

"The Pro-Mini boards are phenomenally small -- not much bigger than a DIP chip -- and even manage to include a voltage regulator and a reset button. Admittedly they're more expensive than a bare chip, but for simple projects you don't need any external components or even a PCB."

And one can get an Ardweeny that IS the DIp with the parts mounted on its back!

I have put pins on prominis and installed them in sockets so that I could remove them easily for programming also, for example here. I have also done this same board with just an atmega, crystal, 22 pf caps and pullup resistor since 5v comes from offboard and I don't need a reset pin.

h4t: It might be more accurate to say that Arduino actually refers to a big idea, of getting microcontroller technology into the hands of more people.

I fully agree with you: Arduino is a whole concept, and a great one.

h4t: I am pretty excited that Digilent has ported over some basic Arduino tech (shields and software ideas), but I'm sure its going to suffer from the same thing that plagued the microcontroller before the Arduino came along: crappy support, and zero community.

I wasn't looking for more I/Os but for more power. So I bet 25€ on the chipKIT UNO32, knowing what could be the risks with a new platform and being ready to face them.

Actually, I've been delighted by the support and the community. Diligent and Microchip engineers participate on the forum actively.

Another great point is the strong commitment to the Arduino IDE, thank to close ties among developers.

h4t: I do hope the chipKIT gains some support and its users start showing off (and sharing) their projects, because a 32-bit processor is pretty darn cool.

Please have a look at my chipKIT UNO32 Board review and the compatibility issues and fixes.

IMO the success of the Arduino concept is down to its low cost (free software + cheap hardware), open source nature, and ease of programming via the IDE and bootloader. What lets it down right now is the IDE, and to a lesser extent the libraries. If Microchip or some other MCU vendor were to put enough work into writing a better IDE and libraries, and still release it under a liberal open source license, maybe then Arduino would be under threat.

Rather than asking the question "Is Arduino in trouble", we should ask "are other microcontrollers in trouble because of Arduino". Why do you think other manufacturers are jumping on the Arduino wago and started producing "open source Arduino clones". PICAXE has seen its days and, guess what, they now have an "open source Arduino compatible board". There are NUMEROUS Arduino clones out there. The story behind chipKitUNO32 is that Microchip asked a very reputable company, Digilent, to produce a board that is a combination of Arduino and PICmicro. Now, on the Arduino side, chipKit is easy to program; on the PIC side, however, you need MPLAB, a programmer, etc., which adds to the $26 price easily. I have a chipKit32, and numerous Arduino programs do not work on it. Arduino libraries missing on the chipKit and MAX32. So there.

The thing that the Arduino folks have to watch is quality and tech support. For example, they came out with the UNO and replace the very good FTDI chip with the ATMEGA8U2 chip. The latter is unreliable and has shown problems. I would rather have the FTDI than the 8U2, but, again, that is a matter of preference.

Aviator

The thing that the Arduino folks have to watch is quality and tech support. For example, they came out with the UNO and replace the very good FTDI chip with the ATMEGA8U2 chip. The latter is unreliable and has shown problems. I would rather have the FTDI than the 8U2, but, again, that is a matter of preference.

I think the Uno's somewhat 'rocky' introduction was caused by too many basic changes in one release. The 8u2 as you mentioned had some firmware issues, the new smaller/faster bootloader had some issues, and of course the shortage of DIP 328p chips at introduction caused the release of the Uno SMD board which being a 328p SMD chip, takes away the ability to easily replace the chip for repairs or for moving the chip to a standalone board, which in my opinion is a very big deal.

However I think most of the issues have been resolved or are resolvable and it seems to be selling well enough. However I agree that the FTDI chip has been a very stable device and I favor it also. However not owning a Uno, my opinion is just that and worth what you are paying for it. ;)

Lefty

I've only ever had a Uno and I've been quite happy with it, although I wish it had a jumper to make it easier to disable the auto reset when running arduinoisp.

I put a subminiature slide switch across the one on my UNO so that it is simple to enable it or not.

dc42: I've only ever had a Uno and I've been quite happy with it, although I wish it had a jumper to make it easier to disable the auto reset when running arduinoisp.

Jumper? We don't need no stickin jumper... http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/topic,64105.0.html

(with apologies to B. Traven and Dr. Johnny Fever)

OK, I can see the apology to author B. Traven, but why Dr. Johnny Fever?

He introduced me to the "no stickin' badges" saying. That has been one of my favourite TV shows / favourite characters / favourite episodes.

"no stickin' badges" saying

Didn't that saying originate from the old movie "Treasure of the Sierra Madres"

The actor that played the lead Mexican bandit saying " Badges? We ain't got no badges. We don't need no badges. I don't have to show you any stinking badges" was later in life a radio talk host here in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Lefty

Movie was based on the B. Traven book tho. Wikipedia has the passage from the book.

I think that arduino is not the ATMega328, is not the hardware itself (anyways arduino is a naked mega328 board), arduino is the community... Adruino is all you in the forums, is the libraries, is the shields, arduino is the whole ecosystem around this small naked board. I hope to see more "-duino" boards, not only clones, but new cores based on other AVRs and other more powerfull MCUs. I hope to see other projects like maple, piguino32 and wiring to work more closely with arduino, for a unified IDE and unified libraries. The challenge is to have a unified programming environment for different boards, with common libraries and shields. The selection of a specific board for an application will be a matter of cost and requirements.