Cheaper Sparkfun XMOS XS1-L1-64 Development Board

September 29, 2010

Sparkfun has announced a cheaper version of the XMOS XS1-L1-64 Development Board.

This cheaper revision does away with the FTDI USB based UART section of the board, which never really worked anyway. The IC footprints are still there so you can solder them yourself if you want.

$41.95 (£26.49)

You still need a XMOS XTAG2 Debug Adapter to program it and these cost $50.95 (£32.17).

Arduino Uno

September 27, 2010

A new Arduino board has been announced – the Arduino Uno.

Arduino Uno

At first glance not a lot looks to have changed, however the Uno differs from previous boards in that it does not use the FTDI USB-to-serial chip, instead it uses a Atmega8U2 micro programmed as a USB-to-serial converter.

Digikey has the Atmega8U2 priced a $3.70 (each) which is slightly cheaper than the FTDI FT232 which is $4.50 (each) again from Digikey. Hmm, not a great saving here. Being a part-time sceptic I wonder if the change is more to with the Arduino team keeping control of who has the original USB vendor ID (VID) and PID numbers….

Any new Arduino is always welcome but I’m disappointed the Arduino Team still haven’t offered a solution to the stupid 0.05″ spacing problem of DIO headers J1 (IOL) and J3 (IOH). I know the shield footprint is fixed in stone now but why not add a second row of headers (unpopulated) with a proper 0.1″ pitch between them like Seedstudio and others do on their boards.

ps: “Uno” means One in Italian