Atmel: Inspiring the Maker Community


Atmel and Arduino: Turning Imagination into Reality

What are you making? A braille printer, a retro robot, a marshmallow canon, or a prototype of the next big Internet of Things gadget? From the outset of the Maker Movement, innovators, entrepreneurs and creators of all ages have used Atmel microcontrollers powered by Arduino to make ideas come to life.

"By 2018, 50 percent of the Internet of Things solutions will be provided by startups which are less than 3 years old.” —Jim Tully, Research Director at Gartner


The Original Brains at the Heart of the Maker Movement

Arduino is a software tool for making interactive objects that can sense and control the physical world. Since 2005, a worldwide community of “makers” has gathered around this open source platform. And Atmel microcontrollers were there from the outset, providing simple but powerful microcontrollers (MCUs) as the hardware side of the equation. Artists, designers, inventors, engineers, musicians and even school children use Arduino with boards designed around Atmel® AVR® or Atmel ARM®-based MCUs turn brainstorms into real working things.

By delivering a unique combination of performance, power efficiency and design flexibility, Atmel MCUs perfectly complement Arduino and the needs of makers. More importantly, they come virtually pre-integrated the peripherals needed to sense and control the physical world. Atmel MCUs and Arduino—the original duo at the heart of the global maker movement.


Arduino Boards for Makers

Today, both Atmel AVR 8-bit MCUs and Atmel 32-bit ARM®-based MCUs power a variety of Arduino’s easy-to-use boards including:

  • Arduino Due – Based on an Atmel ARM Cortex®-M3 processor-based MCU—also known as the Atmel SAM3 MCU—the Due board is ideal for home automation projects and can run up to 96MHz.
  • Arduino Wi-Fi Shield– Built for Wi-Fi applications, the Arduino Wi-Fi shield is powered by the Atmel AVR UC3 MCU and an H&D wireless module, and provides developers a powerful Wi-Fi interface.
  • Arduino Leonardo – Based on the Atmel megaAVR® ATmega32U4, the Arduino Leonardo is a low-cost Arduino board. It has the same shape and connectors as the UNO board, but it has a simpler circuit. On the software side it provides a USB driver able to simulate a mouse, a keyboard, and a serial port.