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Arduino's Annual Open Source Report Celebrates Five New Boards, Major Growth, and More MicroPython

The Arduino team had a barnstorming 2023, by the numbers, with new boards, new software, and new libraries in the thousands.

Gareth Halfacree
2 months agoHW101 / Python on Hardware

The Arduino team has released its annual Open Source Report for 2023, capping off a busy year which included no fewer than five board launches, deeper support for MicroPython and an integrated development environment for same, and the release of a claimed 5,861 new library versions over the last 12 months.

"Lots has happened in 2023 in terms of open source development, and we're excited to share our yearly recap of the various contributions from the Arduino team and the community," the Arduino team writes of the report's release. "Together, we have released new, important open source projects – both hardware and software – as well as published and maintained a staggering number of libraries, growing our shared resources at a record-breaking pace."

Arguably the biggest highlights of the year were, of course, the new board launches, with 2023 seeing five new devices in total: the Arduino UNO R4 Minima and R4 Wi-Fi, a major overhaul of the popular UNO form factor; the GIGA R1 WiFi and its Display Shield; and the Nano ESP32, which — as the name suggests — is built around an Espressif ESP32 microcontroller. Each of the boards included the release of full schematics and CAD files — something which has not always been the case for Arduino boards in the past.

Another major milestone came with the announcement of deeper MicroPython support on selected Arduino boards — marked by the release of a dedicated cross-platform firmware installer and further work on the company's still-experimental "Arduino Lab for MicroPython" integrated development environment (IDE). The Arduino team has also published a list of MicroPython packages considered useful to Arduino users, and — in-keeping with the ethos of the Open Source Report — confirms it has been contributing code to the upstream MicroPython project itself.

Turning to the community, the report claims a 20 percent year-on-year growth in contributed libraries with 1,068 added throughout the year to bring the total to 6,532. This is in addition to 5,861 overall releases, a lofty figure which is dominated by updates to existing libraries. The Arduino team also named the most active library maintainers and top contributors of new libraries throughout the year — including software engineers Rob Tillaart and Khoi Hoang, who topped both tables in first and second places respectively.

The full report is now available to download on the Arduino website.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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