Arduino Due: End of the road?

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In a discussion on the Arduino.cc development group Massimo Banzi has confirmed that Arduino LLC has discontinued the production of Arduino Due/Genuino Due boards, although they “see an interest for the Due from the resellers”. Arduino Due and compatible boards will still be supported in Arduino IDE.

There are a number of Arduino Due clones and compatible boards still available, and the Arduino Due board is still listed as being in production by Arduino SRL.

By the first looks the Arduino Due is far from having the success of the Uno. Why? Perhaps the maker community is not ready to switch to 3.3V logic, as there number of 3.3V shields can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Besides this, both Arduino and the rest of shield manufacturers are not trying to push to 3.3V logic: although from UNO R3 and recent boards come with an ioref pin that is supposed to help choosing between 5V and 3.3V logic, to my knowledge there are no shields that use this feature.

Add to this some software issues, like the bad implemented I2C library, and it looks that the Due has no foreseeable future. Too bad, it was a promising product.

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3 Comments

  1. … Perhaps the maker community is not ready to switch to 3.3V logic, as there number of 3.3V shields can be counted on the fingers of one hand….

    Really? From my point of experience, I am not using Arduino UNO because all sensors are 3.3V logic, even Mikroelektronika now release only 3.3V click

    • Teodor

      Somewhere around 2010 the Arduino Uno R3 was released, bringing some design changes that would facilitate the transition to 3.3V logic. The most important was the addition of the IOREF pin, which was supposed to be used to configure the Arduino side of logic level translators. Now, after more than six years, the only shield that I know to use this feature is the Arduino WiFi shield.
      Besides this, I see no interest towards a standardized logic level inter-operativity. Even major third-party shield manufacturers such as Adafruit and Sparkfun have not adopted the IOREF approach, and they preferred to build 5V shields only. Some exceptions here and there: L298D motor shields, and some shields that use 3.3V components that are 5V tolerant.

      It’s enough to look on some major Arduino sites and you’ll find out that many projects are centered around the Arduino Uno (or compatible clones), and most projects use 5V logic. Besides this, many makers now own a significant amount of hardware that works on 5V logic only. Switching to 3.3V implies that all that old hardware becomes obsolete and newer 3.3V versions have to be acquired – that’s often too expensive to be feasible.

      MikroElektronika goes the opposite way: they use mostly 3.3V logic, with some click boards that can be configured to use 5V logic by moving one 0ohm SMD shunt. They have the Arduino shields, so all the 5V compatible clicks can work with the older UNOs. And they have the Flip and Click – a version of Arduino Due which will work with almost all their click boards. On some aspects they are in the opposite situation: only a small fraction of their Click boards can be used with Arduino UNOs. Still, they are one of the few manufacturers that made this change. It takes more than this to make a real change in the Arduino world…

  2. My CAN Shield uses the IOREF feature! Though to your point, I have not seen any others that take advantage of that pin’s existence.

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