NewsArduino Unveils the Next Generation Uno R4 Microcontroller Board with 3x Performance...

Arduino Unveils the Next Generation Uno R4 Microcontroller Board with 3x Performance Boost

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Arduino, the popular open-source hardware and software platform, has announced the release of their latest board, the Arduino Uno R4. The new board features a Renesas RA4M1 32-bit Arm Cortex-M4 microcontroller, which is estimated to provide a 3x performance boost over the previous Uno R3 model.

The Renesas RA4M1 32-bit Arm Cortex-M4 microcontroller, which is the main component of the Arduino Uno R4, has the following features:

  • 48MHz clock frequency
  • 32KB RAM and 256KB Flash memory
  • CAN bus, SPI port and 12-bit DAC peripherals
  • USB 2.0 Full Speed interface
  • 8KB Data Flash for data storage
  • Up to 24V power supply
  • Multiple low power modes for energy efficiency
  • Integrated security features including AES, DES, SHA, and TRNG
  • Capacitive touch sensing unit (CTSU) for touch interface applications
  • Operating temperature range of -40°C to 85°C
  • Various package options, including LQFP, QFN, and WLCSP

The Uno R4 will be available in two versions, the plain ‘Uno R4 Minima’ and ‘Uno R4 WiFi’, which comes equipped with an Espressif S3 WiFi module that also offers Bluetooth Low Energy capabilities. Arduino CEO Fabio Violante noted that the company collaborated with Renesas and Espressif to bring these new features to the board.

Despite the performance boost and new features, the Uno R4 maintains the same form factor, shield compatibility, and 5V operating voltage as its predecessor, ensuring maximum compatibility with existing Arduino hardware.

The Cortex-M4 microcontroller runs at 48MHz and has 32kbyte of RAM and 256kbyte of flash memory. The board also features a CAN bus, an SPI port, and a 12bit DAC, along with 8kbyte of data flash. Another major upgrade is the increased power supply capability, which can now handle up to 24V.

To ensure compatibility with existing code examples and tutorials, Arduino has made significant efforts on the software side of the Uno R4. Popular Arduino libraries have been optimized, and most existing libraries and examples will work seamlessly on the new board. Additionally, support for other Renesas microcontrollers, such as the RL78/G22 and G23, has also been added to the Arduino IDE.

It should be noted that some libraries that are optimized for the AVR architecture used in the original Arduinos, such as the Uno R3, may need to be ported to the Renesas architecture. To address this, Arduino intends to provide a public list of such libraries, with links to alternatives.

The Uno R4 is scheduled to be released in late May, and it is sure to be a hit among Arduino enthusiasts who are looking for more power and features from their hardware. With its increased capabilities and full backward compatibility, the Uno R4 promises to be an exciting addition to the Arduino platform.

Michal Pukala
Electronics and Telecommunications engineer with Electro-energetics Master degree graduation. Lightning designer experienced engineer. Currently working in IT industry.