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 — and now the Portenta H7 Lite.
"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 — 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 — and is compatible with all breakouts and shields built for the original H7.