The Arduino Leonardo is a microcontroller board based on the ATmega32U4. It has 23 digital input/output pins (of which 7 can be used as PWM outputs and 12 as analog inputs), a 16 MHz crystal oscillator, a micro USB connection, a power jack, an ICSP header, and a reset button. It contains everything needed to support the microcontroller; simply connect it to a computer with a USB cable or power it with a AC-to-DC adapter or battery to get started (USB cable and power supply are not included). This board ships with the female header pins soldered in, as shown in the product picture.
Note: There are differences between the Leonardo and previous Arduino boards. As such, there could be incompatible Arduino shields and libraries. The Leonardo works with our motor and robot shields, and it works with our Wixel shield in a limited capacity: the wireless serial features work, but the wireless reprogramming does not.
The Arduino Leonardo is a microcontroller board based on the ATmega32U4. It has 23 digital input/output pins (of which 7 can be used as PWM outputs and 12 can be used as analog inputs), a 16 MHz crystal, a USB connection, a power jack, an in-circuit system programming (ICSP) header, and a reset button. It contains everything needed to support the microcontroller; simply connect it to a computer (or appropriate wall power adapter) with a Micro USB cable or power it with a AC-to-DC adapter or battery to get started (USB cable and power supply are not included). This board ships with the power jack and through-hole headers soldered in, as shown in the product picture.
The Leonardo differs from all preceding Arduino boards in that the user-programmable ATmega32U4 AVR microcontroller has built-in USB functionality, eliminating the need for a secondary processor. This makes the Leonardo more versatile: in addition to supporting a virtual (CDC) serial/COM port interface, it can appear to a connected computer as a mouse and keyboard. See Arduino’s getting started page for more implications of the Leonardo’s single-MCU design.
The Arduino has a large support community and an extensive set of support libraries and hardware add-on “shields” (e.g. you can easily make your Arduino wireless with our Wixel shield), making it a great introductory platform for embedded electronics. Note that we also offer a SparkFun Starter Kit for RedBoard and a SparkFun Inventor’s Kit, both of which include an Arduino-compatible RedBoard along with an assortment of components (e.g. breadboard, sensors, jumper wires, and LEDs) that make it possible to create a number of fun introductory projects.
We also carry A-Star programmable controllers that are based on the same ATmega32U4 microcontrollers as the Arduino Micro and Leonardo and ship with Arduino-compatible bootloaders. The A-Star 32U4 Minis are the same size as the Arduino Micro but offer a number of advantages, including integrated switching regulators that let them operate efficiently over a much wider voltage range (the Mini ULV can operate down to 0.5 V, the LV works with voltages above and below 5 V, and the SV works up to 36 V), and the A-Star 32U4 Micro is an even smaller, lower-cost alternative.
More information about the Arduino Leonardo is available on Arduino’s website. Note that the Leonardo only works with the Arduino IDE version 1.0.1 or later.
(1) The Arduino Leonardo has 20 total available I/O lines; all of them can function as digital I/O lines, and twelve of them can be used as analog inputs.
Warning: We recommend not connecting the Arduino to USB while it is powered through VIN. See this forum post for more information.
Choosing the Right Controller
The table to the right compares the Arduino Uno to Orangutan robot controllers, which are based on the same AVR architecture and feature integrated motor drivers and additional hardware suitable for robotics applications. We also offer the Basic Stamp, which offers a lot of support and educational materials for beginners, and the much higher performance mbed development board, which is based on a 96 MHz 32-bit ARM Cortex M3. See their product pages for more information.
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