Yet another development board with a SAMD21 MCU, the Minima board is the tiniest Arduino Zero-compatible board. It is a small and versatile Arduino compatible programmable microcontroller module in a surface mount format. Minima board consumes as little as 10mA when working at 48 MHz, which further adds to its minimalism. The board with such a small form factor is ideal for applications like wearables, motion tracking, etc.
“It (Minima) is an ideal stepping stone between traditional jumper based prototyping and producing your own custom PCB’s. Minima is great for everyone whether you are just starting to code, or are producing products to sell to your customers,” says Hamish Morley, the creator of the board. Minima board comes with a 19.8 x 16.6 mm form factor, three times smaller than the Arduino Zero. The board comes with large solder pads, which makes it easier to solder things onto it. For interfacing the USB, there are four solder pads instead of a connector.
A Look into the Minima Board’s Hardware Specifications
Minima board features the 32-bit SAMD21G18A MCU, clocked in at 48 MHz. The MCU comes with 256KB of flash storage, 32KB of RAM, and shallow power consumption. The Arm Cortex-M0+ based processor is a better alternative for the 8-bit processors in Arduino Uno. You get 18 GPIO pins for the peripherals, including SPI, I2C, UART, and PWM. There are also five analog capable pins and hardware interrupts. The board also features a reset button, Tx/Rx LEDs, and a red user LED.
An onboard 3.3V 150 mA voltage regulator is in the power supply part and is highly efficient. You can supply it with a maximum of 16V, so you need not worry about adding an external buck converter. An ESD (Electrostatic Discharge) suppressor is connected to the USB pins, ensuring a high-quality signal coming in from the USB. The ESD prevents issues with the native USB from the SAMD21 and improves the reliability of mission-critical applications. Additionally, there’s diode-based reverse voltage protection on the power supply side.
Additional Details and Perks of Crowdfunding
Like the rest of the Arduino community, Minima board is entirely open-source, and all of its hardware and software files are available at its GitHub repository. With this, you can build your own board if you want. There’s also an Eagle footprint library for designing your custom PCBs involving Minima. The board is fully compatible with Arduino IDE, so developers can quickly work on it.
Minima board started as a crowdfunding project on Kickstarter with a goal of £1,000 or about $1400. You can pledge with a minimum of $23, including only the board, and can go up to $395, which offers a Jumbo kit including 25 Kickstarter edition Minima boards. There’s also a limited quantity of IoT kits available for $95, which equips a Minima board, IoT Carrier board, GPS, and GSM/GPRS Antennas.
You can learn more about the Minima board on its Kickstarter crowdfunding page.
The crowdfunding page is the source of all the technical specifications and images used.
Harsh Chaudhary is an engineering student currently pursuing Electrical Engineering. He’s a robotics and tech enthusiast and likes to write about stuff related to IoT and embedded systems. His vision is to use Robotics to make the life of humans easier.