Hi Friends! Hope you are doing great. I am back to give you a daily dose of useful information. Today, I am going to uncover the details on the Introduction to Arduino Uno. It is a microcontroller board developed by Arduino.cc and based on Atmega328.
Electronic devices are becoming compact, flexible and cheap that are capable of doing more function as compared to their predecessors that happened to cover more space, turned out costly with the ability to perform fewer functions.
Experts always strive to introduce innovation in automation that requires minimum effort and gives maximum output. The microcontroller was introduced in the electronics industry with the purpose of making our tasks easy that come with even a remote connection with automation in any way.
Microcontrollers are widely used in embedded systems and make devices work according to our needs and requirements. We have already discussed the controllers like 8051, Atmega16, Atmega328 and PIC16F877.
Arduino Uno is a very valuable addition in the electronics that consists of USB interface, 14 digital I/O pins, 6 analog pins, and Atmega328 microcontroller. It also supports serial communication using Tx and Rx pins.
There are many versions of Arduino boards introduced in the market like Arduino Uno, Arduino Due, Arduino Leonardo, Arduino Mega, however, most common versions are Arduino Uno and Arduino Mega. If you are planning to create a project relating to digital electronics, embedded system, robotics, or IoT, then using Arduino Uno would be the best, easy and most economical option.
It is an open-source platform, means the boards and software are readily available and anyone can modify and optimize the boards for better functionality.
The software used for Arduino devices is called IDE (Integrated Development Environment) which is free to use and required some basic skills to learn it. It can be programmed using C and C++ language.
Some people get confused between Microcontroller and Arduino. While former is just an on system 40 pin chip that comes with a built-in microprocessor and later is a board that comes with the microcontroller in the base of the board, bootloader and allows easy access to input-output pins and makes uploading or burning of the program very easy.
People with the non-technical background can easily get a hands-on experience with Arduino, while learning microcontroller requires some expertise and skills.
Nevertheless, we can say every Arduino is basically a microcontroller but not every microcontroller is an Arduino.
I’ll try to cover each and everything related to Arduino Uno, so you get a clear idea of what it does, its main features, working and everything you need to know. Let’s get started.
Introduction to Arduino Uno
- Arduino Uno is a microcontroller board developed by Arduino.cc which is an open-source electronics platform mainly based on AVR microcontroller Atmega328.
- First Arduino project was started in Interaction Design Institute Ivrea in 2003 by David Cuartielles and Massimo Banzi with the intention of providing a cheap and flexible way to students and professional for controlling a number of devices in the real world.
- The current version of Arduino Uno comes with USB interface, 6 analog input pins, 14 I/O digital ports that are used to connect with external electronic circuits. Out of 14 I/O ports, 6 pins can be used for PWM output.
- It allows the designers to control and sense the external electronic devices in the real world.
- This board comes with all the features required to run the controller and can be directly connected to the computer through USB cable that is used to transfer the code to the controller using IDE (Integrated Development Environment) software, mainly developed to program Arduino. IDE is equally compatible with Windows, MAC or Linux Systems, however, Windows is preferable to use. Programming languages like C and C++ are used in IDE.
- Apart from USB, battery or AC to DC adopter can also be used to power the board.
- There are many versions of Uno boards available, however, Arduino Nano V3 and Arduino Uno are the most official versions that come with Atmega328 8-bit AVR Atmel microcontroller where RAM memory is 32KB.
- When nature and functionality of the task go complex, Mirco SD card can be added in the boards to make them store more information.
Features of Arduino Uno Board
- Arduino Uno comes with USB interface i.e. USB port is added on the board to develop serial communication with the computer.
- Atmega328 microcontroller is placed on the board that comes with a number of features like timers, counters, interrupts, PWM, CPU, I/O pins and based on a 16MHz clock that helps in producing more frequency and number of instructions per cycle.
- It is an open source platform where anyone can modify and optimize the board based on the number of instructions and task they want to achieve.
- This board comes with a built-in regulation feature which keeps the voltage under control when the device is connected to the external device.
- Reset pin is added in the board that reset the whole board and takes the running program in the initial stage. This pin is useful when board hangs up in the middle of the running program; pushing this pin will clear everything up in the program and starts the program right from the beginning.
- There are 14 I/O digital and 6 analog pins incorporated in the board that allows the external connection with any circuit with the board. These pins provide the flexibility and ease of use to the external devices that can be connected through these pins. There is no hard and fast interface required to connect the devices to the board. Simply plug the external device into the pins of the board that are laid out on the board in the form of the header.
- The 6 analog pins are marked as A0 to A5 and come with a resolution of 10bits. These pins measure from 0 to 5V, however, they can be configured to the high range using analogReference() function and AREF pin.
- 13KB of flash memory is used to store the number of instructions in the form of code.
- Only 5 V is required to turn the board on, which can be achieved directly using USB port or external adopter, however, it can support external power source up to 12 V which can be regulated and limit to 5 V or 3.3 V based on the requirement of the project.
Arduino Uno Pinout
Arduino Uno is based on AVR microcontroller called Atmega328. This controller comes with 2KB SRAM, 32KB of flash memory, 1KB of EEPROM. Arduino Board comes with 14 digital pins and 6 analog pins. ON-chip ADC is used to sample these pins. A 16 MHz frequency crystal oscillator is equipped on the board. Following figure shows the pinout of the Arduino Uno Board.
There are several I/O digital and analog pins placed on the board which operates at 5V. These pins come with standard operating ratings ranging between 20mA to 40mA. Internal pull-up resistors are used in the board that limits the current exceeding from the given operating conditions. However, too much increase in current makes these resisters useless and damages the device.
LED. Arduino Uno comes with built-in LED which is connected through pin 13. Providing HIGH value to the pin will turn it ON and LOW will turn it OFF.
Vin. It is the input voltage provided to the Arduino Board. It is different than 5 V supplied through a USB port. This pin is used to supply voltage. If a voltage is provided through power jack, it can be accessed through this pin.
5V. This board comes with the ability to provide voltage regulation. 5V pin is used to provide output regulated voltage. The board is powered up using three ways i.e. USB, Vin pin of the board or DC power jack.
USB supports voltage around 5V while Vin and Power Jack support a voltage ranges between 7V to 20V. It is recommended to operate the board on 5V. It is important to note that, if a voltage is supplied through 5V or 3.3V pins, they result in bypassing the voltage regulation that can damage the board if voltage surpasses from its limit.
GND. These are ground pins. More than one ground pins are provided on the board which can be used as per requirement.
Reset. This pin is incorporated on the board which resets the program running on the board. Instead of physical reset on the board, IDE comes with a feature of resetting the board through programming.
IOREF. This pin is very useful for providing voltage reference to the board. A shield is used to read the voltage across this pin which then select the proper power source.
PWM. PWM is provided by 3,5,6,9,10, 11pins. These pins are configured to provided 8-bit output PWM.
SPI. It is known as Serial Peripheral Interface. Four pins 10(SS), 11(MOSI), 12(MISO), 13(SCK) provide SPI communication with the help of SPI library.
AREF. It is called Analog Reference. This pin is used for providing a reference voltage to the analog inputs.
TWI. It is called Two-wire Interface. TWI communication is accessed through Wire Library. A4 and A5 pins are used for this purpose.
Serial Communication. Serial communication is carried out through two pins called Pin 0 (Rx) and Pin 1 (Tx).
Rx pin is used to receive data while Tx pin is used to transmit data.
External Interrupts. Pin 2 and 3 are used for providing external interrupts. An interrupt is called by providing LOW or changing value.
Communication and Programming
Arduino Uno comes with an ability of interfacing with other other Arduino boards, microcontrollers and computer. The Atmega328 placed on the board provides serial communication using pins like Rx and Tx.
The Atmega16U2 incorporated on the board provides a pathway for serial communication using USB com drivers. Serial monitor is provided on the IDE software which is used to send or receive text data from the board. If LEDs placed on the Rx and Tx pins will flash, they indicate the transmission of data.
Arduino Uno is programmed using Arduino Software which is a cross-platform application called IDE written in Java. The AVR microcontroller Atmega328 laid out on the base comes with builtin bootloader that sets you free from using a separate burner to upload the program on the board.
Arduino Uno comes with a wide range of applications. A larger number of people are using Arduino boards for developing sensors and instruments that are used in scientific research. Following are some main applications of the board.
- Embedded System
- Security and Defense System
- Digital Electronics and Robotics
- Parking Lot Counter
- Weighing Machines
- Traffic Light Count Down Timer
- Medical Instrument
- Emergency Light for Railways
- Home Automation
- Industrial Automation
There are a lot of other microcontrollers available in the market that are more powerful and cheap as compared to Arduino board. So, why you prefer Arduino Uno?
Actually, Arduino comes with a big community that is developing and sharing the knowledge with a wide range of audience. Quick support is available pertaining to technical aspects of any electronic project. When you decide Arduino board over other controllers, you don’t need to arrange extra peripherals and devices as most of the functions are readily available on the board that makes your project economical in nature and free from a lot of technical expertise.
That’s all for today. I hope you have got a lot of information regarding Arduino Uno board. However, if you are unsure or have any question you can approach me in the comment section below. I’d love to help you according to best of my knowledge. Keep your feedback and suggestions coming; they help us provide you quality work that resonates with your needs and requirements. Thanks for reading the article.