By Maurizio Di Paolo Emilio
At the cost of $99.99 for its elite version, the new Arduino Portenta H7 was announced at CES. The new board is the first solution in a series for industrial IoT. At its heart is the STMicroelectronics STM32H747 microcontroller, with a dual-core Cortex-M7 and Cortex-M4 on the chip, operating at 480 MHz and 240 MHz, respectively, and a temperature range of –40°C to 85°C.
Laurent Hanus, ecosystem marketing manager at STMicroelectronics, said that Arduino Portenta H7 reflects the exceptional performance of the STM32H747, also offering the usability of the new platform for cloud applications.
The Arduino MKR family was born for engineers and makers to offer an extremely fast time to market for the industrial market. What sets the MKR boards apart from the others in the Arduino family is, in addition to the family form factor of 67.64 × 25 mm, the integrated connectivity and potential for any project involving the internet of things.
The fundamental step toward change began with the Maker Faire in Rome, where it was done with the Arduino Pro Development Environment, a definite step ahead of the Arduino IDE. Despite this, the Arduino team also made available in Altium Designer a series of symbols to reduce the time between prototyping and production.
Portenta H7 has low-power cores capable of processing video from a camera and displaying it on the USB-C connector with DisplayPort. It also has the ability, through the M4 cortex, to perform system tasks such as sensor acquisition and power management. In its complete configuration, Portenta H7 features 32 Mbytes of SDRAM in addition to 1 MB of processor, 128 MBytes of flash in addition to 2 MB of processor, and Ethernet, high-speed USB, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 5.0 (Figure 1).
The wireless module can manage the protocols simultaneously. The Wi-Fi interface can be used as an access point, and Bluetooth supports Bluetooth Classic and BLE. The MKR form factor ensures scalability for a wide range of applications by merely updating the Portenta board to the one suitable for your needs.
“Portenta H7 is the perfect match for crossover applications where considerable computing power is required, but power constraints are very tight,” said Fabio Violante, CEO of Arduino. “Applications include machine learning/AI, motor control, IoT gateways, edge computing, human-machine interfaces, and more.”
“The scalability of the board allows, for high-volume applications, custom-tailoring the cost/feature balance, providing a solution to every need,” said Fabio. “Last but not least, all these features are going to be available through the renowned Arduino simplicity.”
The new Portenta family has been designed to offer scalable processing with complex technologies while maintaining a small footprint. The high number of pins allows reducing the size of the final application while offering good robustness and signal integrity.