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3 industrial-grade boards in 3 minutes: AI-capable sensor, MCU, and Linux boards from Arduino PRO 

In our penultimate interview from the centre of the Arduino Village at Maker Faire Rome 2023, ipXchange chats with Marta about three pre-certified, industrial-grade boards from Arduino’s PRO line of products. If you love Arduino’s ease-of-use and well-documented open-source ecosystem, consider these as an alternative to devices from Texas Instruments, Schneider Electric, and even Raspberry Pi, as much as we love them here at ipXchange… 

First to be covered is the Nicla Sense ME, as shown as part of a predictive maintenance demo. This compact board, based on Nordic Semiconductor’s nRF52832 Bluetooth SoC, features four state-of-the-art sensors from Bosch Sensortec – of the motion and environmental variety, hence ‘sensor ME’ – and a crazily low current draw of just 460 µA in standby mode or 2.5 mA advertising with sensor polling at 1 Hz, enabling always-on sensor nodes for many IoT and industrial applications. 

As shown in the demo, the Nicla Sense ME can be used to detect abnormalities in the vibrations of a fan, for example for an industrial cooling system, and with the help of AI, the board can tell when something is not right and requires attention, for example if airflow is blocked. Best of all, the Nicla Sense ME can operate on a rechargeable 3.7-V Li-Po battery as a standalone system, as well as being integrated within a larger build, so if this versatile board has piqued your interest, learn more on ipXchange’s dedicated board page

Marta then gives us an overview of two Portenta boards, the flagships of the PRO family. The first is the cost-effective Portenta C33 MCU board, which differs from the other Portentas thanks to the lower cost and castellated pinout for direct soldering to carrier boards. This said, don’t let the price tag fool you: the Portenta C33 is still an industrial-grade powerhouse with an AI- and MicroPython-capable Renesas Arm Cortex-M33 MCU running at up to 200 MHz at its heart, with the industrial security to match. Check out the full technical writeup here

Portenta X8 is the last stop on the tour, and with its nine-core architecture, including 3D and 2D GPUs, this Linux SoM is the most powerful Arduino that has ever been created. Presenting a 2-in-1 solution, the Portenta X8 provides designers with top-tier Arduino real-time control and the added benefits of Linux processing in a single compact board, all programmable within the easy-to-use Arduino ecosystem. Learn more about this absolute unit here

With Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity and carrier boards to allow for quick interfacing with CAN, ethernet, USB peripherals, and more, the Portenta C33 and X8 should be next on your list for putting into an industrial build with a tight deadline. For those with a collection of Raspberry Pi HATs, there is even a Raspberry-Pi-compatible carrier board, so check out the links above and apply to evaluate these great solutions for your next commercial project. One more Arduino interview to go! 

Keep designing! 

User-Defined Application Form For Arduino PRO, MKR, and Nano product ranges

Want the full overview of Arduino’s professional-level boards? Check out this summary board form with links to everything we’ve written about so far! 

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