Arduino has announced the new UNO R4 board family, a new platform for enthusiasts, hobbyists, students, and professionals to create prototypes, innovative solutions, and other interactive electronic projects.
Arduino boards are a simple and accessible method of developing devices and systems, especially for people without extensive knowledge of electronic devices. The new UNO R4 family preserves well-known features, form factor, and compatibility while delivering improved performance and new capabilities.
The Arduino UNO R4 is available in two variants: UNO R4 Minima and UNO R4 Wi-Fi. As the names imply, the R4 Wi-Fi includes Bluetooth LE and Wi-Fi connectivity, while the R4 Minima provides a slightly simpler feature set.
Both boards are powered by the Renesas RA4M1 microcontroller based on ARM Cortex M4 (48MHz), and the onboard memory includes 256KB Flash and 32KB SRAM. Larger memory (16x) and faster clock speed (3x) make it possible to perform more precise calculations and handle more complex projects.
In addition to maintaining the form factor of the UNO R3, the new Arduino boards keep the same 5V operating voltage with a higher 6-24V input voltage. To handle the increased operating voltage, Arduino implemented an enhanced thermal decide and several protections that reduce the risk of damaging the board due to wiring mistakes.
Unlike its predecessor, the UNO R4 board family features a USB-C programming port (the R3 has USB-B) and a bunch of new onboard peripherals, such as a 12-bit DAC, CAN BUS, OP AMP, and SWD port. Arduino says these additions allow for more advanced projects.
Besides Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, the UNO R4 Wi-Fi has a built-in LED matrix with 96 dots arranged 12x8. There is also a Qwiic I2C connector, the industry standard for prototyping without soldering or complex wiring. Finally, the UNO R4 Wi-Fi has a built-in error-catching mechanism to detect crash-inducing operating (for example, division by zero).
Here is how the Arduino positions the new UNO R4 Minima and its Wi-Fi-enabled sibling:
|Arduino R4 Minima||Arduino R4 Wi-Fi|
|Makers||Affordable and powerful, the Arduino UNO R4 Minima is the best first step to become a maker.||A complete platform to quickly prototype your next IoT projects. Focus on your idea, the Arduino UNO Wi-Fi has everything you need.|
|Education||An affordable and accessible option for educators looking to include Arduino in their curriculum.||The UNO R4 Wi-Fi has everything from basic to IoT projects, making it an ideal choice for classroom use. Wi the Qwiic connector, educators can focus on teaching code instead of wiring and soldering.|
|Professional||An accessible and robust way to prototype projects based on the Renesas RA4M1 microcontrollers.||An accessible and robust way to prototype projects with IoT connectivity, CAN, and more.|
The Arduino R4 Minima will be available in early July 2023 with a $20 (18 EUR) price tag. The Arduino R4 Wi-Fi will go on sale around the same time for $27.5 or 25 EUR. Arduino also highlights that the UNO R3 is not being discontinued, and the previous-gen boards will remain on sale with no deprecation plans.