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Intel debuts “Arduino Create” software on a new UP Squared Grove kit

Nov 2, 2017 — by Eric Brown 3,274 views

[Updated: Nov. 7] — Intel unveiled a version of the “Arduino Create” toolkit for Intel-based systems running Linux. It debuts on a new “UP Squared IoT Grove Development Kit.”

Intel may have killed its Curie-enabled Arduino 101 SBC when it discontinued the Curie, but now it’s working with Arduino to improve Arduino connectivity on Intel based systems running Linux with a version of Arduino’s cloud-based Arduino Create development software. The Linux-friendly version of Arduino Create is debuting on a kit version of Aaeon’s Intel Apollo Lake based UP Squared SBC called the UP Squared IoT Grove Development Kit. The kit adds Seeed’s Arduino compatible Grove Pi+ extension board, a display, and Grove sensors.

UP Squared IoT Grove Development Kit (left) and Up Squared with Grove Pi+ board
(click images to enlarge)

Intel collaborated with Aaeon, Canonical, Seeed, and Arduino on the $249 UP Squared IoT Grove Development Kit. Arduino Create is integrated with the pre-installed Ubuntu 16.04 stack running on the SBC in order to ease rapid prototyping capabilities and supply a “more expansive set of tools, libraries, and code samples available for IoT development across verticals,” says Intel.

Arduino Create


Arduino Create was unveiled as a private beta in May 2016, and was more formally announced last December with the arrival of the Arduino MKRZero. This web-based companion application to the Arduino IDE provides a more modern, cloud-savvy development environment with a web editor and collaboration tools. With the Intel collaboration, the environment is for the first time being actively rolled out to the community.

In addition to supporting the UP Squared kit, Arduino Create is available separately on any system using Intel Atom, Intel Core, or Intel Xeon processors running either Ubuntu or Intel’s own Wind River Pulsar Linux. The software combines the Arduino programming libraries. a simple installation process, code sharing functionality, and cloud services.

Conceptual diagram showing Arduino Create with UP Squared IoT Grove Development Kit
(click image to enlarge)

Arduino Create includes examples specifically built for the UP Squared Grove IoT Dev Kit, as well as libraries such as OpenCV, Intel’s Math Kernel Library (MKL), and its MRAA HAL library for low-speed I/O communication. The software integrates with C++ development environments, and enables developers to export sketches as CMake projects in order to bridge to more advanced tools such as Intel System Studio 2018.

Arduino Create supports system calls, as well as running multiple sketches concurrently. The software ships with examples using Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure cloud services.

UP Squared IoT Grove Development Kit

The UP Squared IoT Grove Development Kit offers pre-installed Ubuntu 16.04 and Arduino Create, which includes over 400 sensor libraries. Tutorials are available for prototyping computer vision and signal and data processing systems. Other applications are said to include machine learning and media encode/decode.

Up Squared board with heatsink offered as part of UP Squared IoT Grove Development Kit (left), and Up Squared with Grove Pi+ board
(click images to enlarge)

The kit combines a standard UP Squared (UP2) board with Seeed’s Grove Pi+ interface board, which normally interfaces to a Raspberry Pi 40-pin connector. Here, the board connects to the UP Squared’s RPi-style 40-pin connector.

The UP Squared IoT Grove Development Kit also includes some of the components of the kit that ships with Grove Pi+, including a backlit Grove LCD RGB display. There are also Grove sensor modules including rotary angle, light sensor v1.2, button, green LED, and temperature/humidity.

Other features in the UP Squared IoT Grove Development Kit include a 5V 6A power supply, a 16GB USB memory stick, and a micro-USB cable. A 3G and M.2 2230 based WiFi module are optional.

Up Squared front (left) and back details
(click image to enlarge)

The version of the 90 x 86mm Up Squared used on the IoT Grove Dev Kit is equipped with an Intel Celeron N3350 (2x cores @ 1.1GHz/2.4GHz). On its own, this configuration costs $169, so the Dev Kit contents add another $80. There appears to be no support for the other UP Squared option: the Pentium N4200 (4x @ 1.1GHz/2.5GHz). Both Apollo Lake SoCs offer 6W TDP and Intel Gen9 HD 500/505 graphics, enabling 4K video encode and decode.

Pinouts of Up Squared’s 40-pin expansion (upper image) and 60-pin EXHAT connectors
(click images to enlarge)

The Up Squared SBC features dual GbE ports, dual HDMI video outputs, a SATA interface, M.2 support, and mini-PCIe expansion. You also get eDP, dual MIPI-CSI, and 3x USB host ports, plus two general purpose expansion connectors: a topside 40-pin RPi-style header, and a high density 60-pin “EXHAT” connector on the bottom. Both expansion connectors are primarily coupled with the board’s Altera Max 10 FPGA.

Customization services are available from Canonical (Ubuntu customization), Aaeon (ODM and hardware customization), and Seeed Fusion (small-run PCB manufacturing).

Further information

Arduino Create is available now from Intel. More information may be found on this Intel Arduino Create page.

The UP Squared IoT Grove Development Kit is available now for $249 with shipments expected by early December. More information is available on Intel’s UP Squared IoT Grove Development Kit product page and announcement, as well as Aaeon’s shopping page.

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