Why isn't there advanced Nano boards like RP2040 Connect and 33 IoT

First of all, I am not an advanced user. I am just a normal user, I don't need advanced processors and stuff. But I really want those extra capabilities like DCA outputs, and the capability of ALL pins to be a PWM compatible pin. And the capability of turning Analog Inputs into Digital I/O pins like Arduino Nano RP2040 Connect. But I am really into 5V. Isn't there a 5V version? And why not?

why? that's so 20th century :slight_smile:

Because almost all modern processors, displays and sensors are 3.3V versions and have been for many years.

If you want to go back in time and have modern advanced processors built in old style 5V versions then contact the semiconductor manufacturers such as STM and ask them to make them.

I do have some 5V Arduinos for old times sake, but have not used one for an application in maybe 5 years or more.

If you search the forums you will find an interesting thread comparing 5v and 3.3v. There are advantages in terms of slew rate and power consumption for 3.3v. By DCA output do you mean DAC? With a little bit of work the rp2040 can output voltages using PWM or pulse density modulation. Both are good for audio. If you want something much faster you can make your own DAC using some resistors. Search instructables for an arbitrary waveform generator using the rp2040 and you'll see what can be done.

Welcome to the forum.

The reason is electric field strength. You may think 5V is not a lot, but 5V across 1µm gives you 5MV/m. This is higher than what is required to discharge through dry air (3MV/m). The new Raspberry Pi RP2040 chip uses a 40nm process.

When you build chips, you need to isolate the conducting elements from each other just like with your house wires. As the technologies get smaller the distances shrink. To keep the electric field strength below the value where it discharges, the voltages need to go down. Luckily also the voltage required to activate transistors goes down.

The next step is optimization to create a real product. In many chips the internal voltage is even lower than the external voltage. This allows the full use of the technology to make structures as small as the process allows for all the digital elements e.g., processor and RAM. At the same time, you can make the I/O larger to allow higher voltages at the pins. But you must stay within limits. 5V I/O require larger area therefore cost more money (making chips is about making money), they would require a larger internal voltage regulator to convert 5V to the core voltage which would create more heat which has lots of side effects e.g., ADC accuracy, maximum clock speed, ... .

You may not need a fast processor but PWM, timers, UARTs, SPI, I2C and many others are all digital circuits. With smaller technologies you can put more of them into the same chip area.

You better switch now to 3.3V and enjoy it until we move to an even lower voltage. :slight_smile:


You can do that on any Arduino including all the 5V ones. You can also run a soft PWM library to use any pins as PWM, or add a chip that gives you 16 extra PWM pins.

The only thing missing is a D/A output and you can easily add an external chip for that.

But I am really into 5V

The Teensy 3.2 uses a ARM Cortex-M4 with the Arduino IDE(Teensyduino add on which includes many of the standard libraries) at 72 MHz(or faster) and is 5v tolerant. You can use it if you have legacy 5v sensors.

It has one true DAC output and pwm on 12 pins.

It might be worth a look if you want to stay close to the standard ide but with advanced features.

The Teensy 3.5 is also 5V tolerant.

And is more powerful than the 3.2.

There are several "interesting" families of 5V ARM processors, but they tend to be slow, expensive, and somewhat limited (memory, peripherals) compared to the 3V alternatives.

  • Atmel/Microchip SAMC and PIC32CM. (no USB)
  • NXP/Freescale Kinetis-E (KE) series.
  • Cypress PSOC 4/5

That's not how I would characterize the Teensy 3.2 and 3.5. Certainly not if were talking about use by the non professional user and maker community.

5V tolerant pins drive at Vcc only. So, while this allows some 5V devices to be connected directly, it does not work in all cases e.g., if the 5V device requires a HIGH level voltage above 3.3V at an input.

The Teensies are 5V tolerant, but they're still 3V chips The ones I mentioned will run up to 5V Vcc.

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