Anyone who isn’t into baby motherboards like the Raz Pi or Arduino line, you’re probably not going to know what I’m talking about over here. However, to all the Arduino lovers in the world, you’ll be happy to hear about this. Remember when the Arduino Zero was announced back in 2014, the simpler and more powerful 32-bit extension from the platform that brought us the UNO? Well, now the popular mini board company has made an update once again, dubbed the Arduino MKRZero. It was a huge deal when the initial Zero board came out, and although it looked just like the Arduino Leonardo at first glance due to having the same form factor, it acted as a much better version, running significantly faster, around 48MHz, than the traditional 8-bit Arduino boards. It also came with improved analog resolution, maintaining 12-bit ADC pins instead of 10-bit, with 256KB of flash memory, 32KB of SRAM, and an extra micro-USB port.
Onto the MKRZero, this guy is pretty much the shrunken down version of its big brother. All of the functionalities are there, but in a form factor that looks more like the Arduino MKR10000 (measuring just 65 x 25mm, these are both tiny microcomputers). This smaller format can not only fit into virtually anything, but the company says it is particularly aimed towards providing a good platform for innovative projects in wearable tech, robotics, and high-tech automation. Powered by Atmel’s SAMD21 MCU, featuring a 32-bit ARM Cortex MO+a core like its big brother, and clocked to 48MHz. It of course has that handy SD slot, 32KB of RAM, a 256KB flash, 8KB boot flash, and is fully open source.
The microcomputer is perfect for 32-bit application education, and can give you plenty of fun tinkering time for a mere $22. Finding ideas is easy if you use Arduino’s Project Hub for tutorials. For the programmers in your life, or just the nerdy men in general who have everything and are impossible to shop for, this could be the perfect Christmas gift, and it’s cheaper than an ultrathin laptop!
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