Meet the Pinguino!

MAKE posted an interview with the developers of the Pinguino Arduino-like platform for Microchip’s PIC18 and PIC32 microcontrollers:

We wouldn’t try to claim that the Pinguino is a “100% Arduino compatible board” as Microchip said for the chipKIT. Our goal is to add functionality to the original Arduino board as we did for 8 the bit version.

They also designed an open source tool chain for the PIC microcontrollers on the Pinguino boards. Notable differences to the chipKIT32 are:

  1. DC to DC converter instead of a liner voltage regulator, allows for larger input voltage range and lower consumption
  2. The use of PIC32 on-chip USB instead of using the FTDI chip, this also allows for the Pinguino to act as a USB host
  3. Pinguino has an on board Li-Po battery management circuit allowing it to be used as a handheld device
  4. They added on board microSD for data logging

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  1. This is what I like to see in a PIC32 board. I’ve been following (and replicating) these guys for a while now. Though I’ll admit, I did buy a chipKIT board.

    DC-DC is much nicer for varying loads like a development kit. +1
    The PIC32 has an on-board USB module, why not use it? +1

    It just seems like this is the logical way to go about making a good development board, in my opinion.

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