Features of the new Arduino YÚN

Posted on 2013/09/02


Arduino YÚN is a new product in the Arduino family. It’s a board with the same form factor as the typical Arduino, but contains an application processor running Linux, and modern flexible connectivities such as Ethernet, WiFi and USB.

Here’s an introductory video from the creators:

The Arduino YÚN features are described in a blog post in the official blog. Basically we have:

  • An Atmel AVR ATmega32U4 8-bit microcontroller, that can run common Arduino sketches.
  • An Atheros AR9331 chipset:
    • with a MIPS 24K 400MHz application processor
    • running a Linux distribution called Linino, derived from OpenWRT.
  • 10/100 Mbit/s Fast Ethernet with Power-over-Ethernet capabilities to supply the board.
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n (2.4GHz) supporting WEP, WPA and WPA2, and able to act as Access Point. The board can be updated easily from WiFi.
  • USB 2.0 port that can act as host or device, and that can be used to supply the board.
  • 16MB flash memory.
  • 64MiB of DDR2 RAM.
  • Common connectivity in the form of serial ports, GPIOs, and common microcontroller functionalities.

The board can be ordered in store for €52, which is a price that at a first glance competes with BeagleBone products. But the applications for which these two products are targeted are very different: the Beagle boards are meant for multimedia products, while the YÚN is made to interface the “analog” world (with sensors and actuators) with the networked world (through wire or wireless).

The main advantages of having Linux on board in my opinion are:

  • a wide range of user-space application (servers, clients, scripting, …)
  • a wide range of drivers, mainly for USB devices (webcams, user interfaces, …)
  • ready to use file system management

The YÚN is a compact solution for a wider range of possibilities with respect to its siblings, and it’s a step forward in the Internet of Things. The prototyping time can be greatly reduced through the use of shell and python scripts that are typical of Linux systems. I’m curious about how this new device will inspire the makers to solve interesting problems or create new applications.

Posted in: Hardware