The hardware consists of a board with an Atmel AVR microcontroller and input / output. The most commonly used microcontrollers are Atmega168, Atmega328, Atmega1280, and Atmega8 for his simplicity and low cost allow the development of multiple designs. On the other hand is a software development environment that implements the programming language Processing / Wiring and the boot loader that is executed in the placa.4 is programmed in the computer to plate electronic control components.
Since October 2012, Arduino is also used microcontroladoras CortexM3 32-bit ARM, which coexist with the more limited, but also economic AVR 8-bit. ARM and AVR are not binary compatible platforms, but can be programmed with the same Arduino IDE and compile programs be unchanged on both platforms. Yes, they use the CortexM3 microcontroladoras 3.3V, unlike most AVR plates, which generally use 5V. However, as previously Arduino AVR Atmel plates were launched to 3.3V as the Arduino Fio and are compatible and Arduino Nano Pro as Meduino that can switch the voltage.
Arduino can take information from the environment through its analog and digital inputs, can control lights, motors and other actuators. The Arduino microcontroller on the board is programmed using the Arduino programming language (based on Wiring) and the Arduino development environment (based on Processing). Arduino projects can run made without connecting to a computer.
It also has its own software that can be downloaded from their official website that already includes drivers of all available cards making easier loading codes from the computer.
Arduino can be used to develop stand-alone interactive objects or can be connected to software such as Adobe Flash, Processing, Max / MSP, Pure Data. A technological trend is to use Arduino as data acquisition card developed software interfaces such as Java, Visual Basic and LabVIEW 6. The plates can be assembled by hand or purchased. The free integrated development environment can be downloaded free.