The Arduino Portenta C33 Bridges the Portenta and MKR Gap with Industrial IoT-Friendly Features

Powered by a Renesas R7FA6M5BH2CBG, the latest in the Arduino Pro range offers a breadboard-friendly design with surface-mount capabilities.

(UPDATE:7/26/2023): The Arduino Portenta C33 is now officially available, offering potential buyers a more compact entry point into the Arduino Pro range of devices — and it arrives slightly cheaper than originally expected.

Designed for cost-sensitive projects and powered by an Arm Cortex-M33 core running at up to 200MHz, the Portenta C33 is available to order from the Arduino Store now at $64 — a slight discount from the $68 the company originally announced.

More information can be found on the Arduino Store Portenta C33 page.

Original article continues below.

Arduino has launched another entry in its Arduino Pro range, this time focusing on delivering everything the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) needs in a tiny gumstick-format module: the Portenta C33.

"The [Portenta C33] leverages the R&D carried out for previous Portenta modules," the Arduino team claims of its latest launch, "optimizing every aspect and streamlining features to offer a cost-effective option to users starting out with Industrial IoT or automation, or those who have more specific, targeted needs than H7 or X8 cater to."

Built around the Renesas R7FA6M5BH2CBG system-on-chip and targeting real-time workloads, the Arduino Portenta C33 packs a single Arm Cortex-M33 core running at up to 200MHz, 512kB of static RAM (SRAM), and 2MB of on-chip flash plus 16MB of quad-SPI (QSPI) off-chip flash. There's a PHY for a 10/100 Ethernet connection, plus Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) radios courtesy of an Espressif ESP32-C3 module — along with an NXP SE050C2 secure element for authentication and cryptographic operations.

If the specs list isn't clue enough, the Arduino Portenta C33 aims at secure, connected projects — in particular in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) field. Its form factor, though, is smaller than you might expect: a gumstick layout, breadboard-friendly but with castellated pins to allow for surface mounting as a module when required, measuring 66.04×25.4mm (2.6×1") The pinout is designed for compatibility with Arduino's MKR family of development boards, but there's also a pair of high-density connectors which provide support for Portenta expansion boards too.

The Arduino Portenta C33, then, is best thought of as a bridge between the worlds of the MKR and Portenta ranges — and despite its focus on features which will appeal to the industrial user, it's also designed to be accessible to beginners with support for MicroPython and other high-level languages, a suite of ready-to-use libraries, and with full support for the Arduino IoT Cloud platform.

Among the interfaces broken out to the general-purpose input/output (GPIO) pins and high-density expansion headers are SPI, I2C, and CAN buses, SD Card support, I2S, SAI, and PDM audio connectivity, and JTAG and SWD debugging pins. A USB Type-C connector provides data and power, with support for the USB Power Delivery standard.

The Arduino Portenta C33 will be available soon, Arduino has confirmed, priced at $68. Interested parties can now sign up to the waiting list on the Arduino Store.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire:
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