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Arduino
What is it?

As the official board website says: Arduino is an open-source electronics platform based on easy-to-use hardware and software. Arduino boards are able to read inputs - light on a sensor, a finger on a button, or a Twitter message - and turn it into an output - activating a motor, turning on an LED, publishing something online. You can tell your board what to do by sending a set of instructions to the microcontroller on the board. To do so you use the Arduino programming language (based on Wiring), and the Arduino Software (IDE), based on Processing.
So Arduino is a programmable electronic board which allows, even those who doesn't possess advanced knowledge of electronics and programming, carry out projects in a simple and fast way.
For this charateristics Arduino is particulary appreciated by hobbiest and designer to create interactive works, but also by students who approch to the world of electronics.

How it works?
Each Arduino board is equipped with one or more microcontrollers: programmable chips with a similar pc structure, but unlike the latter all the components (CPU, oscillator, programmable memories...) are integrated into a single chip.
The microcontroller is much less powerful, but it consumes much less power. The ATmega328, the integrated microcontroller on Arduino UNO, runs at 16MHz, has 2kB of RAM and 32kB of programmable memory.
Your PC or your laptop, with which are you probably reading this article is called general purpose device, hardware and software that solve general problems and therefore are not dedicated to a specific function.
A microcontroller is a single purpose, unlike the previous one, once programmed it will always performs the same task.
Furthermore, each microcontroller is equipped by pins: metal connectors that allow both the board to be interfaced with the outside world, for reading physical quantities through sensors and interact with the surranding environment using peripherals and modules.

UNO
Nano
Leonardo
Micro
Due
Mega
Zero
WiFi
Operating V.
5V
5V
5V
5V
3.3V
5V
3.3V
5V
Input V.
7-12V
7-12V
7-12V
7-9V
7-12V
7-12V
7-12V
7-12V
Digital I/O pins
14
22
20
20
54
54
20
14
PWM pins
6
6
7
7
12
15
10
5
Analog pins
6
8
12
12
12
16
1
6
DC current I/O
20mA
40mA
40mA
20mA
130mA
20mA
7mA
20mA
DC current 3.3V
50mA
50mA
50mA
50mA
800mA
50mA

50mA
Flash mem.
32KB
32KB
32KB
32KB
512KB
256KB
256KB
48KB
SRAM
2KB
2KB
2.5KB
2.5KB
96KB
8KB
32KB
6.144B
EEPROM
1KB
1KB
1KB
1KB

4KB
0KB
256KB
Clock speed
16MHz
16MHz
16MHz
16MHz
84MHz
16MHz
48MHz
16MHz
Arduino boards
Arduino isn't a single board, but there are a lot of different models (almost 20!) due to different applications. The most famouse is Arduino UNO, it is a basic board perfet to begin!

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