The highly anticipated Arduino TRE

Arduino never ceases to surprise us, and in the spring 2014 this eagerly anticipated new product will be available. Born from the collaboration between Arduino and BeagleBoard.orgArduino TRE opens the way to the third generation of the Arduino’s boards for the physical computing.

Thanks to the Texas Instrument 1GHz Sitara AM335x processor, a board with outstanding performance will be available to all fans of Arduino (promising a board up to 100 time more performaning than Arduino UNO and Arduino Leonardo).

But that’s not all, Arduino TRE will be able to run inside, thanks to its new features, a full Linux OS ( differently from Arduino YUN which contains a light Linux OpenWRT version), so opening the way to the development of advanced Linux-powered applications.

But right now, let’s take a look in detail at this new board (see Fig.1). Its size will obviously be greater than Arduino UNO. If you notice the part of the board with the white background, this corresponds precisely to an Arduino UNO board. Indeed, for compatibility with older systems (mainly shields), the Arduino UNO layout for the connectors has been reproduced within the new board..

ArduinoTRE
Fig.1: the sockets of Arduino TRE board

Along with four USB sockets, a double socket on the left side (ports 3 and 4) and another double socket on the right side (ports 1 and 2) and a further MicroUSB, there are two Audio IN/OUT ports, the familiar Ethernet socket and finally a HDMI (1920×1080 resolution) socket in order to directly connect the board to a screen or a TV.

Furthermore, as regards the chipset (see Fig.2), we can see in detail that, along with a new processor Sitara AM3359, there is also an ATmega32u4 processor.

arduinoTRE_2
Fig.2: Chipset and connectors on Arduino TRE board.

In fact, as it was pointed out during some presentations of this product, we can consider Arduino TRE as two boards in one. The first board, on which is mounted an ARM Cortex-A8 based Sitara AM335x processor, runs Linux applications and manage the interfaces as a SBC Single Board Computer (video, audio, USB, Ethernet, and so on..). The second board, on which is mounted an ATMEL ATmega microcontroller, deals with the real world ( digital and analogic I/O signals, PWM outputs, sensor shields, etc.).

Furthermore, we can see that within the white area (representing the familiar Arduino board), some specific connectors, intended to Xbee modules, have been added (see Fig.3), thus adding the Wireless functionality.

ArduinoTRE_Xbee

Finally, as regards the I/O pins, with Arduino TRE we have a massive expansion of the PIN layout (compared to what we are used to with Arduino UNO). Figure 4 shows the PINs layout on the two sides of the board and the protocols to which they are intended.

arduinoTRE_connettori
Fig.4: I/O pins on Arduino TRE board

In the bottom side of the board there is also a slot for a MicroSD card.

arduinoTRE_5
Fig.5: Slot per MicroSD

Technical Specification

  • Processor Texas Instrument Sitara AM335x ARM Cortex-A8
  • Clock Speed: 1Ghz
  • SRAM: DDR3L 512Mb RAM
  • Networking: Ethernet 10/100
  • USB: 1 USB 2.0 device port, 4 USB 2.0 host port
  • Video: HDMI (1920×1080)
  • Audio: HDMI, stereo analog audio input e output
  • Digital I/O pins (3.3V Logic): 12
  • PWM Channels (3.3V Logic): 4
  • MicroSD Card: Yes
  • LCD Expansion Connector: Yes
  • CAN on expansion Connector: Yes
  • Microcontroller: Atmel ATmega32u4
  • Clock Speed: 16MHz
  • Flash Memory: 32Kb
  • SRAM: 2.5Kb
  • EEPROM: 1Kb
  • Digital I/O Pins (5V logic): 14
  • PWM Channels (5V logic): 7
  • Analog Input Channels: 6 (plus 6 multiplexed on 6 digital pins)

In conclusion, we first talked about the collaboration between Arduino and BeagleBone.org. Indeed, we can see that the BeagleBone Black board has some features which, when added to an Arduino Leonardo board, provide an Arduino TRE board. Thus, in order to highlight the concept of two boards in one, i add the Figure 5.

ArduinoTRE_dueinuno
Fig.5 : BeagleBone Black and Arduino Leonardo

Well, we just have to wait…

See you this spring, maybe after purchasing this board….then I’ll keep you informed.

One Comment:

  1. albertosallusti

    In effetti questa board ha caratteristiche impressionanti, a partire dal processore Texas Instruments da 1 GHz e continuando con lo slot per MicroSD Card, la porta HDMI, la possibilità di implementare una connessione wireless, ecc. Roba da far apparire datata la board Intel Galileo col suo processore Quark SoC da 400 MHz!

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