[youtube https://youtu.be/jOUALurj5P4]

One of the biggest pieces of news from this year’s Maker Faire Bay Area was the announcement that the Arduino Zero will be shipping soon. We talk to Atmel‘s “Wizard of Make”, Bob Martin, about the board.

On the surface the board may look very similar to the Arduino Leonardo, but there are big differences. Powered by a 32-bit ARM Cortex M0+ core, the Atmel SAMD21, the new board is significantly faster than the traditional 8-bit Arduino boards, running at 48MHz, and is much more capable.

While it shares the same form factor as the Arduino Leonardo — with 14 digital and 5 analog pins — all of the digital pins except the Rx/Tx pins can act as PWM pins, and the analog pins have a 12-bit ADC instead of the Leonardo’s 10-bit ADC, giving significantly better analog resolution.

The new board comes with 256KB of Flash memory, and 32KB of SRAM. In comparison, the 8-bit Leonardo which uses the Atmel ATmega32u4 comes with just 32KB of Flash memory and 2.5KB of SRAM. While the new board doesn’t have EEPROM, it does support 16KB by emulation, so Arduino sketches relying on this feature will still run without issue.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_Elf1XBsQ4]

The Arduino Zero will be available in the first week of June — the first batch should ship on June 9th.