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Intel Curie-based Arduino 101 Programmable Microcontroller Review (Page 1)

Intel Curie-based Arduino 101 Programmable Microcontroller Review

Intel's Curie-based Arduino 101 Programmable Microcontroller development board goes under the microscope today to see exactly what it brings to the table.

Steven Bassiri | May 19, 2016 at 08:16 pm CDT - 1 min, 58 secs reading time for this page
Rating: 91%Manufacturer: Intel


Intel Curie-based Arduino 101 Programmable Microcontroller Review 01 |

What the heck is an Arduino? Simply put, it's a programmable microcontroller used to control hardware based on inputs from a wide array of sensors. Arduino-based products are open source, inexpensive, and very versatile. Microcontrollers have been utilized for a while to bring digital functionality and control to systems where a full blown operating system is unneeded and where reliability is important. Cars have many microcontrollers monitoring and controlling systems from windows to airbags. Many motherboards have dedicated microcontrollers for USB-based BIOS recovery flashing, fan control, and even overclocking features. The Arduino allows you to mix and match sensors with hardware to interact with the physical world, opening up possibilities for new devices in the internet of things (IoT).

The Arduino 101 provides Bluetooth LE, a 6-axis combo gyro and accelerometer, and even a real-time clock, but you also get a lot more processing power than you might need. The Curie SoC is using a Quark SE core which offers a capable sensor hub along with a 128-node Neural Network for quick pattern recognition of the inertial motion unit. To make things easier for the adoption of this new Arduino product, the Arduino 101 is pin compatible with Arduino Uno R3 shields, it's 5v tolerant even though it's designed for low power 3.3v operation, and it's fully compatible with the Arduino IDE. The purpose of the Arduino 101 is to bring students, developers, and makers closer to the hardware using the tiny Curie module which offers much more than many might expect.


Intel Curie-based Arduino 101 Programmable Microcontroller Review 02 |

The Arduino 101 has the same dimensions as the Arduino Uno, and the pins are compatible. You can stick shields designed for the Uno on the 101. While the optimum voltage for the 101 is 3.3v, the device does support 5v operation. The Curie SoC uses a Quark core and an ARC core that work together to tackle tasks. The SoC also provides a 32MHz/32-bit DSP sensor hub and 128-node neural network used for pattern recognition of the 6-axis accelerometer/gyro, which means the device can report a step count or other recognized inertial patterns with ease. The Curie module also has Bluetooth Low Energy built-in. As with the Uno, you can power the 101 through USB or a DC input jack.


The Arduino 101 costs only $29.99 as most places we checked online.

Last updated: Apr 7, 2020 at 12:34 pm CDT

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Steven Bassiri

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Steven Bassiri

Steven went from a fledgling forum reader in 2003 to one of the internet's brightest tech stars by 2010. Armed with an information systems degree, a deep understanding of circuitry, and a passion for tech, Steven (handle Sin0822) enjoys sharing his deep knowledge with others. Steven details products down to the component level to highlight seldom explained, and often misunderstood architectures. Steven is also a highly decorated overclocker with several world records.

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