Parametric Circuits' Integrated Sensor Board Lets You Pick and Choose the Features You Need

Not happy with off-the-shelf hardware? This bespoke sensor board lets you choose exactly what components are populated.

Gareth Halfacree
16 days ago β€’ Hardware 101 / Sensors
Parametric Circuits' Integrated Sensor may be the most customizable Arduino-compatible around. (πŸ“·: Parametric Circuits)

Parametric Circuits has launched an ATmega328-based sensor board designed to offer a wealth of on-board capabilities including an accelerometer, temperature sensor, light sensor, barometer, and additional SPI flash memory β€” but with the twist that you can choose which parts you need at the time of ordering.

"The Integrated Sensor board provides a new level of integration to microcontroller development systems," Parametric Circuits explains of its latest design. "Instead of simply breaking out the processor's pins, the board integrates a wide variety of sensors and memory directly onto the board itself, providing an extremely compact platform."

"To reduce cost, only the desired features are populated at manufacture. In fact, the cost savings of using a single PCB for every sub-system even allows this design to be cost competitive with mass-manufactured breakout boards."

The result is a single board which can be many things to many people. Fully tricked-out, it comes with USB Type-C or micro-USB connectivity, 16MB of SPI flash memory, a microSD slot for additional storage, an MMA8452 accelerometer, HP203b barometer, phototransistor, MCP9700AT temperature sensor, and a WS2812 RGB LED, plus Pin 13 and serial communication LEDs in red, green, blue, yellow, or bright "ice blue" for an additional $0.50 per LED.

For those who don't need all those features, most can be left off the bill of materials altogether: While you'll definitely need to choose between the USB Type-C and microUSB connectors, and pick a color for the two mandatory LEDs, every other component can be simply left off the board β€” and you'll get a cheaper, though less functional, device as a result.

All variants of the board share a common design, and all are based around the ATmega328P microcontroller running at 16MHz and 5V logic, with six GPIO pins broken out to unpopulated 2.54mm headers. The boards measure 28x48mm (around 1.1x1.9") and include mounting holes for M2 screws.

The boards are now available to order, post-configuration, at Parametric Circuits' Tindie store starting at $17.99; a schematic and datasheets for all the components can be found on GitHub.

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