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Near-side of the board: USB (left), HDMI (middle) and Audio In/Out (right). Far-side of the board: 5V power jack (left), micro-USB (lift-middle), Ethernet (right-middle) and USB (right).

The new Arduino Tre board. Near-side of board: USB (left), HDMI (middle) and Audio In/Out (right). Far-side of the board: 5V power jack (left), micro-USB (lift-middle), Ethernet (right-middle) and USB (right). In the middle we have GPIO headers for the ARM processor, along with Arduino form-factor headers for the AVR processor. Right in the middle are headers to insert an XBee radio.

As Maker Faire Rome kicked off earlier today Arduino announced two new boards: the Galileo in collaboration with Intel, and the Tre in collaboration with Texas Instruments and the BeagleBoard Foundation.

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Both the BeagleBoard and Arduino heritage show strongly in the new board’s design; it looks almost like a BeagleBone Black split in half—with an Arduino sitting in the middle of the two halves—and unlike the Arduino Yún pins for both the ARM and AVR processors have been broken out. The header blocks for the 1-GHz AM335x ARM Cortex-A8 processor flank the left and right hand side of the board, just like the BeagleBone Black, while the Atmel ATmega32u4 processor has it pins broken out in the classic Arduino form-factor in the middle of the board—along with an XBee socket.

Along the edge of the board are 4×USB host, HDMI, Audio In/Out and Ethernet ports along with a 5V jack and a USB device port for power. The underside of the board houses a micro SD Card slot. Beyond that, the specifications for the board are pretty sketchy, and since the Arduino Tre is not expected to be available until spring next year, that’s probably no great surprise.

However, after the release of the Arduino Yún earlier in the year, we can make some educated guesses as to what might be available.

The resemblance to the BeagleBone is startling, although unsurprising considering the involvement of the BeagleBoard Foundation, and I’m betting the Linux side of things looks a lot like the current BeagleBone Black. However Arduino has put a lot of effort into their Bridge library for the Yún, so I’d be surprised if it doesn’t reappear on the Tre as the recommended way for the two sides of the board to talk to one another, and it’ll be interesting to see if that gets integrated into the BeagleBone’s Cloud9 environment and BoneScript.

I’m betting that this is going to look more like the Yún than it does the Galileo board that was also announced today—but it’s likely going to be much more powerful as well. Of course, the most interesting question at that point is, how much will it cost?

Update: An interview with Jason Kridner—from the BeagleBoard Foundation—about the new Arduino Tre, and it looks like my suspicions were correct, this is board is going to look a lot like the Yún, but far more powerful.

Alasdair Allan

Alasdair Allan is a scientist, author, hacker, tinkerer and co-founder of a startup working on fixing the Internet of Things. He spends much of his time probing current trends in an attempt to determine which technologies are going to define our future.

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