New Powerful Arduino Due
Written by Harry Fairhead   
Sunday, 21 October 2012

After six years in the making, the Arduino Due is finally becoming available and, with a price tag of $49, is bound to give a boost to the platform.

The Arduino micro-controller is a perfect platform for rapid prototyping and has transformed physical computing, making it much more accessible for electronics enthusiasts.

The Due, which means 2 in Italian and is pronounced "doo-eh", replaces the 8-bit, 16MHz Uno by a 32-bit, 84MHz processor board that also has a range of new features.

Like the Arduino Leonardo, released this summer, it has two micro USB ports, one for programming and communications and one that allows the Due to act as a client or host, allowing it to act as or utilize a USB mouse or keyboard.


The heart of the new Arduino Due is the Atmel SAM3X8E, an ARM Cortex-M3-based processor, which gives it a huge boost in ADC performance, opening up possibilities for designers. The theoretical sampling rate has gone from the 15 ksps (kilosamples per second) of the existing boards, the Arduino Uno, Leonardo, and Mega 2560, to a whopping 1,000 ksps.

The Arduino's creator, Massimo Banzi, told Wired:

“Many people have built cool open source scientific instruments using Arduino in the past, with the Due they get 12-bit analog inputs, 12-bit analog outputs.”

The Due is also the first Arduino to feature a built-in digital-to-analog converter, in fact two of them. It is also to have an audio library to take advantage of its ability to playback wav files.

The Arduino capabilities have always been extended by shields, add-on boards and circuitry such as motion sensors and LED light arrays, many of them for third-party manufacturers.  The Due will work with all Arduino shields that conform to the official Arduino Revision 3 layout.

However, the Due operates at 3.3V whereas earlier Arduinos operate at 5V, so some third-party shields that don’t follow the R3 specs to the letter may not be compatible, depending on their voltages. This also suggests that anyone using the Due in existing applications should pay particular attention to voltage.


It has the following technical specification:

Microcontroller AT91SAM3X8E
Operating Voltage       3.3V
Input Voltage (recommended)   7-12V
Input Voltage (min/max) 6-20V
Digital I/O Pins      54 (6 provide PWM)
Analog Input Pins   12
Analog Output Pins 2 DAC
Total DC Output on all I/O lines 130 mA
DC Current for 3.3V Pin  800 mA
DC Current for 5V Pin theoretical 1A, rec 800 mA
Flash Memory 512 KB
SRAM   96 KB (64 + 32 KB)
Clock speed 84 MHz
Debug access   JTAG/SWD connector



Despite its increase in power and features, Banzi suggests that beginners and less advanced users should probably stick with the classic Uno for now:

“The basic Arduinos like the UNO or Leonardo are still the best to learn with. They are super simple, very stable and come with tons of examples and libraries.”

More Information

Arduino Due

Wired - Arduino Finally Releases the 32-Bit Due

Related Articles

Introducing Arduino Leonardo

Arduino Goes Official - Release of 1.0

There's an Arduino for that!


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Last Updated ( Monday, 22 October 2012 )