Arduino Welcomes a New Addition to the UNO Household: The UNO R4

In recent times, modular electronics have grow to be more and more common in each hobbyist {and professional} design circles. The idea of constructing digital methods from interchangeable, pre-manufactured parts gives many benefits, together with quicker prototyping, simpler upkeep, and better flexibility in design. One of the well-known and extensively used modular digital methods is the Arduino platform, which gives a user-friendly solution to create interactive digital tasks.


Arduino UNO R4

Arduino UNO R4. Picture used courtesy of Arduino


Yesterday, Arduino bolstered its lineup with a new addition to the popular UNO family: the UNO R4. On this article, we’ll dive deeper into the options and capabilities of the Arduino UNO R4 in addition to the {hardware} that underlies it.


Arduino UNO R4

A member of the UNO household, the UNO R4 maintains the identical kind issue, protect compatibility, and 5 V working voltage as its predecessor. Software program compatibility can be a precedence, with most present libraries and examples working interoperably on the brand new board. Past this, the R4 represents a marked enchancment in efficiency over the R3 and different UNO predecessors.

From a computing perspective, the UNO R4 is powered by the Renesas RA4M1 32-bit microcontroller based mostly on an Arm Cortex-M4 core. In contrast to the UNO R3, which was constructed on the AVR-based ATmega328P, UNO R4 is now constructed on an Arm core, leading to a 3x in efficiency—together with a rise in processing energy, reminiscence, and performance. Moreover, from R3 to R4, Arduino has upgraded SRAM from 2 kB to 32 kB and Flash reminiscence from 32 kB to 256 kB to assist extra complicated tasks.

Different enhancements embrace a USB-C port as an alternative of a USB port, and the utmost energy provide voltage has been raised to 24 V with an enhanced thermal design. The board moreover features a Controller Space Community (CAN) bus and a Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI) port.

From a connectivity perspective, the board might be launched in two variations, the UNO R4 Wi-Fi and UNO R4 Minima, with the previous providing Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Low Vitality connectivity via an Espressif S3 Wi-Fi module. The latter gives an economical possibility for these in search of the brand new microcontroller with out further options.


Renesas RA4M1

On the coronary heart of the brand new Arduino UNO R4 is a robust microcontroller: the Renesas RA4M1.

THE RA4M1 is constructed round a high-performance 48 MHz Arm Cortex-M4 core supported by 25 6kB Flash reminiscence, 32 kB SRAM, and eight kB knowledge Flash to retailer knowledge as EEPROM. The RA4M1 MCU can be constructed on a extremely environment friendly low-power course of and is supported by an open and versatile ecosystem idea known as the Versatile Software program Bundle (FSP). FSP is constructed on FreeRTOS, which might be expanded to make use of different RTOSes and middleware.


RA4M1 block diagram

RA4M1 block diagram. Picture used courtesy of Renesas. (Click on picture to enlarge)


Along with its LCD controller and contact sensing capabilities, the RA4M1 MCU additionally features a 14-bit A/D converter, USB 2.0 Full Velocity, CAN 2.0B, SCI (UART, Easy SPI, Easy I2C), and SPI/I2C multi-master interface.

One of many key benefits of the RA4M1 MCU is its low energy consumption, making it appropriate for battery-powered gadgets. It additionally gives excessive efficiency and adaptability, with the power to assist varied software program packages and middleware, making it simple to customise and optimize for particular functions.

Total, the Renesas RA4M1 group of microcontrollers gives a robust and versatile answer for HMI designs that require numerous capacitive contact channels and a section LCD controller. It additionally gives low energy consumption and a variety of options and scalability choices.

Business Affect

Arduino gives an early entry program for the UNO R4; in any other case, the system will grow to be accessible in late Could 2023. As digital design utilizing modular parts finds extra traction within the business, this new Arduino product appears to return on the proper time. With a transition from an AVR-based MCU to an Arm-based answer, the Arduino UNO R4 goals to marry the simplicity and ease of Arduino with the efficiency of Arm. The consequence could also be a robust answer for improved modular designs within the skilled world.