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Arduino MKRZero shrinks Zero to MKR1000 dimensions

Dec 15, 2016 — by Eric Brown 6,214 views

Arduino LLC’s $22 “MKRZero” shrinks the guts of the Arduino Zero board to the 65 x 25mm size of a MKR1000, but without the MKR1000’s WiFi.

Earlier this year when Arduino LLC debuted its $35, IoT focused MKR1000 board, we suggested it was like combining an Arduino Zero with its WiFi Shield. With its new MKRZero, Arduino LLC offers the same tiny 65 x 25mm footprint as the MKR1000, but with the 68 x 30mm Zero’s original Atmel (now Microchip) ATSAMD21 MCU rather than the WiFi-enabled ATSAMW25. It also lacks the MKR1000’s crypto chip, but does add a handy SD slot.

MKRZero (left) compared to Arduino MKR1000 (above)
and compared to Arduino Zero (below)

(click images to enlarge)

The MKRZero is designed for educational exploration, as well as wearables, automation, and “crazy robotics,” according to Arduino LLC, which is in the process of reuniting with the forked Arduino Srl. The new board, which continues the fully open source Arduino tradition, sells for $21.90 or €20.90 plus tax, compared to $49.90 for the original Zero or $35 for the MKR1000.

The MKRZero’s ATSAMD21 MCU is based on a 32-bit ARM Cortex M0+a core clocked to 48MHz. The processor features 32KB RAM, 256KB flash, and 8KB boot flash.

MKRZero front and back views
(click images to enlarge)

The board has two more DIO pins than the Zero at 22x, and one more analog input with 7x. It also has a DAC analog input, 12x PWM, 8x external interrupts, and programmable SPI, I2C, and UART interfaces. An integrated SD slot with dedicated SPI interfaces “allows you to play with files without any extra hardware, while an analog converter enables you to monitor its battery voltage,” says Arduino.

MKRZero angled view
(click image to enlarge)

The MKRZero draws 5V power from its micro-USB port. Like the MKR1000, it operates at 3.3V, and continues to have 7 mA current per I/O pin. The onboard 3.7V LiPo battery can be monitored via an analog converter.


Further information

The MKRZero is available for $21.90 or €20.90 plus tax. More information may be found in the MKRZero announcement, as well as the MKRZero product page and MKRZero shopping page.

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