Arduino Strips Out the Radio, Video Output, and Second Secure Element to Launch the Portenta H7 Lite

The new Portenta H7 Lite drops some features, but brings down the cost of Arduino's most popular Pro board.

Gareth Halfacree
6 days ago β€’ Internet of Things

Arduino has launched another entry in its Arduino Pro range, offering a development board designed for fans of the Portenta H7 who don't need radio connectivity, video output, or a second secure element: the Portenta H7 Lite.

Arduino unveiled the original Portenta H7 two years ago, as the first in a new family of products designed to take the brand into the realm of professional electronics design: Arduino Pro. Since then, it has expanded the lineup with the Vision Shield, Vision Shield LoRa, and Portenta Breakout Carrier Board β€” and now the Portenta H7 Lite.

Arduino's latest Portenta H7 Lite launches today, bringing a new string to the Arduino Pro bow. (πŸ“Ή: Arduino)

"The Portenta H7 Lite is a streamlined, tightly targeted solution for AI applications and low-latency control projects," the company claims of its latest launch. "Perfect for everything from high-end industrial machinery to laboratory equipment and mission-critical devices. The Portenta H7 Lite offers top performance, reliability and versatility. A cost-effective solution when you don’t need all the features of the Portenta H7."

As the name suggests, the Portenta H7 Lite is a cut-down version of the Portenta H7. You won't find corners cut on the processor, though: The Lite includes the same STMicro STM32H747XI as its full-fat stable-mate, featuring an Arm Cortex-M7 core running at 480MHz and a Cortex-M4 core running at 240MHz.

The first sign of change: A loss of video functionality, dropping support for DisplayPort via USB Type-C as well as MIPI DSI host and MIPI D-PHY capabilities. The Portenta H7 Lite also features just one secure element, instead of two, through swapping out the NXP SE0502 for a Microchip ATECC608.

The biggest loss of all: The Murata 1DX radio module, which provided the Portenta H7 with Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth 5.1 BR/EDR and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) is gone β€” leaving the Portenta H7 Lite with only its Ethernet PHY, accessible via the expansion port, for network connectivity.

Dropping these features has, however, allowed Arduino to cut the cost: Where the base Portenta H7 sells for $103.40 on the official website, the Portenta H7 Lite drops down to $72 β€” and is compatible with all breakouts and shields built for the original H7.

The new Portenta H7 Lite is now available on the Arduino Store, with more details available in the announcement post.

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