Arduino Srl unveiled a version of the Arduino Uno that adds onboard WiFi via an ESP8266 module, but otherwise appears to be identical.
Not much has been heard from Arduino Srl, located at Arduino.org, since it forked off from the main Arduino group over a year ago. In April, the rival Arduino LLC released an update to the Arduino Uno called the Arduino MKR1000 (or Genuino MKR1000 outside the U.S.). As with the MKR1000, the chief new feature of the Arduino Uno WiFi is the addition of onboard WiFi.
Arduino Uno WiFi (left) compared to Arduino Uno
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While Arduino LLC announced the Arduino MKR1000 with great fanfare and a price that stays the same as the Uno at a Raspberry Pi-like $35, Arduino Srl quietly posted a Arduino Uno WiFi product page along with a low-key announcement on Arduino.org, which was apparently was spotted first by CNX-Soft. No price is listed for the board, which aside from the new WiFi capability, appears to be identical to the Arduino Uno.
Part of the fanfare for the MKR1000 was due to the fact that it’s an entirely different board design with a much smaller, 2.2 by 1.0-inch footprint, a new cryptographic chip and LiPo charging, in addition to WiFi. While the MKR1000’s WiFi capability derives from an Atmel ATSAMW25H18 WiFi module, Arduino Srl chose instead to the integrate the components of the ESP8266 WiFi Module (built by Chinese manufacturer Espressif) directly into the design of the Arduino Uno WiFi.
Arduino Uno WiFi architectural diagram (left) and ESP8266 WiFi module (right)
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Based on a TCP/IP-ready Tensilica Xtensa LX3 processor, this UART-to-WiFi SoC attracted a thriving open source community that grew larger when Arduino compatibility was added.
The 68.5 x 53mm Arduino Uno WiFi has the usual ATmega328 MCU along with 32KB flash and 2KB SRAM. There are the same 14x digital I/O pins, six of which support PWM and UART.
Arduino Uno WiFi detail view
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The Arduino Uno WiFi is further equipped with 6x analog inputs, a 16MHz ceramic resonator, and a USB port. There’s also a 5-12DC power jack, an ICSP header, and a reset button.
The open source board will be available with EAGLE files and schematics, bothof which are listed as “coming soon.” Arduino Srl has already posted numerous examples showing how to use the WiFi function. Like most Arduino boards, but unlike Arduino Srl’s apparently aborted Arduino TRE and Arduino LLC’s Arduino Yún and Arduino Yún Mini, the Arduino Uno WiFi does not run Linux.