Italian startup Itaca Innovation has just launched a Kickstarter campaign to bring their uChip to the market — an Arduino Zero-compatible, narrow DIP-sized USB board.
“uChip fits a standard 0.3-inch 16-DIP socket, and it is only slightly longer than a 16-pin DIP IC, just the length required by the USB micro connector! Overall, this makes uChip about the same size of a narrow-body 20-pin DIP IC and much smaller than the ATmega328…”
The tiny board came about after the company noticed compromises with other scaled-down Arduino-based platforms, with aspects that include the lack of integrated power supplies, MCUs with limited memory or pin count, and not being breadboard compatible (among others).
The uChip makes up for those shortcomings with a rich feature set that consists of a Microchip SAM D21 Arm Cortex-M0+ microcontroller (32K RAM, 256K Flash), integrated 500mA boost and 1-A buck converters (with automatic power switching circuitry), and 14 I/O pins (2X can be used for SWD programming/debugging).
The board also offers 7X 12-bit ADC inputs, 10-bit DAC output, I2S port (for audio decoders), and 13X power pins. It should be noted that each converter can be individually turned off if needed, allowing you to force power draw exclusively from external pins (self-powered), or if you want to turn off an external USB device connected via USB Type Micro-A cable.
Itaca Innovation’s uChip is now live on Kickstarter, with pledges starting at about $22, and will come with or without headers (your choice).