Arduino Projects

Arduino Uno R4 Minima Specifications and comparison with Arduino Uno R3

Arduino Uno R4 Minima:

Arduino Uno R4 Minima

Arduino Uno R4 Minima Specifications and Comparison with Arduino Uno R3- I have already done the unboxing of the SunFounder Ultimate Sensor Kit and explained in detail which sensors and boards are included in the kit. We will use all these sensors one by one. But first, let’s start with the Arduino Uno R4 Minima board because I haven’t used this board before.

So, in today’s article, we will take a look at the technical specifications of the Arduino Uno R4 Minima board, compare it side by side with the Arduino Uno R3 board, I will also explain how to install this board in the Arduino IDE, and then, in the end, we will run a simple program to control the Onboard LED.

So, without any further delay, let’s get started!!!




Amazon Links:

Arduino Sensor Kit

Arduino Uno R4 Minima

Other Tools and Components:

Top Arduino Sensors:

Super Starter kit for Beginners

Digital Oscilloscopes

Variable Supply

Digital Multimeter

Soldering iron kits

PCB small portable drill machines

*Please Note: These are affiliate links. I may make a commission if you buy the components through these links. I would appreciate your support in this way!



Arduino Uno R4 Minima:

Arduino Uno R4 Minima

The Arduino UNO R4 Minima represents a significant advancement in the Arduino Uno series. It is equipped with a robust 32-bit microcontroller provided by Renesas, a renowned semiconductor company.

The introduction of a 32-bit microcontroller implies a leap in computing power compared to the traditional 8-bit microcontrollers found in earlier Arduino Uno versions. A microcontroller is like the brain of the Arduino board, and the move from an 8-bit to a 32-bit microcontroller implies a significant increase in computing capability. This boost in processing power allows the board to handle more complex tasks and calculations.

With expanded memory capacity, users have more space to store their programs and data, accommodating larger and more complex projects. This is especially beneficial for those working on projects that require extensive code or deal with a substantial amount of data.

The Arduino Uno R4 Minima introduces a variety of on-board peripherals, notably featuring a 12-bit DAC (Digital-to-Analog Converter), CAN BUS (Controller Area Network), and OP AMP (Operational Amplifier). These added components significantly enhance the board’s capabilities, offering increased flexibility in designing and implementing a broader range of projects.



The Arduino Uno R4 Minima now supports a wider input voltage range, allowing power supplies up to 24 V. This enables seamless integration with motors, LED strips, and other actuators, simplifying your projects by utilizing a single power source.

Debugging is a critical aspect of any project. Simply connect an external debugger to the Arduino Uno R4 Minima board SWD connector and effortlessly monitor the inner workings of your system. Stay in control and gain valuable insights.

The Arduino Uno R4 Minima also comes with built-in HID (Human Interface Device) support, enabling it to simulate a mouse or keyboard when connected to a computer via a USB cable. This convenient feature makes it a breeze to send keystrokes and mouse movements to a computer, enhancing usability and functionality.

One notable advantage of the Arduino UNO R4 Minima is its backward compatibility. Despite the significant improvements, it maintains compatibility with existing shields and accessories. This means that users can seamlessly transition from previous Arduino Uno models to the R4 Minima without needing to replace or modify their existing hardware.

The standard form factor and 5 V operating voltage remain unchanged, ensuring a smooth transition for users familiar with the traditional Arduino Uno setup.

In essence, the Arduino UNO R4 Minima offers a substantial upgrade in terms of processing power, memory, and on-board features while maintaining the familiar physical design of the Arduino Uno series. This makes it an attractive option for those seeking enhanced capabilities without sacrificing the convenience of the Arduino ecosystem.



Let’s do a side by side comparison of the Arduino Uno R4 Minima and Arduino Uno R3.

Arduino Uno R4 Minima

Feature Arduino UNO R4

Minima

Arduino Uno R3
Microcontroller Renesas RA4M1 (Arm® Cortex®-M4) ATmega328P
USB USB-C® Programming Port USB Type-B
Digital I/O Pins 14 14
Analog Input Pins 6 6
DAC (Digital-to-Analog Converter) 1 Not Present
PWM Pins 6 6
UART (Universal Asynchronous Receiver-Transmitter) Yes, 1x Yes, 1x
I2C (Inter-Integrated Circuit) Yes, 1x Yes, 1x
SPI (Serial Peripheral Interface) Yes, 1x Yes, 1x
CAN (Controller Area Network) Yes, 1 CAN Bus Not Present
Circuit Operating Voltage 5 V 5 V
Input Voltage (VIN) 6-24 V 7-12 V
DC Current per I/O Pin 8 mA 20 mA
Clock Speed Main Core: 48 MHz 16 MHz
Memory (Microcontroller) 256 kB Flash, 32 kB RAM 32 kB Flash, 2 kB RAM
Dimensions (Width) 68.85 mm 68.6 mm

The Arduino UNO R4 Minima and Arduino Uno R3 exhibit distinct features, reflecting advancements and variations.

The Arduino UNO R4 Minima is equipped with a Renesas RA4M1 microcontroller, leveraging the Arm Cortex-M4 architecture, while the Arduino Uno R3 employs the ATmega328P.

The Arduino UNO R4 Minima introduces a USB-C Programming Port, providing a modern connectivity solution compared to the Arduino Uno R3’s USB Type-B.

Both the Arduino boards maintain 14 digital I/O pins and 6 analog input pins.




Additionally, the Minima board has a 12-bit DAC “Digital to Analog converter”, while its not available on the Arduino Uno R3.

Both the boards have 6 PWM pins.

1 UART

1 I2C bus, and

1 SPI Bus

The Arduino Uno R4 Minima has a CAN (Controller Area Network) Bus while it’s not present in the Arduino Uno R3.

Both the Arduino boards are 5V compatible controller boards.

Notably, the Arduino Uno R4 Minima supports a wider input voltage range (6-24 V), whereas the Arduino Uno R3 supports 7-12V.

The DC current per I/O pin on the Arduino Uno R4 is 8mA and on the Arduino Uno R3 its 20mA.

The clock speed for the main core of the Arduino UNO R4 Minima is significantly higher at 48 MHz, whereas the Arduino Uno R3 has a clock speed of 16 MHz.

A higher clock speed generally indicates a faster processing capability, allowing the microcontroller to execute instructions more quickly. This can be beneficial for applications that require rapid data processing or complex computations.

The Arduino UNO R4 Minima has a significantly larger memory capacity, both in terms of flash memory for storing program code and in terms of RAM for temporary data storage during program execution.

Arduino Uno R4 Minima

The pins labeling on the Female headers make it super easy for quick connections eliminating the risk of connecting a wire to a wrong pin.

It would have been greatly beneficial if they had also labeled the DAC “Digital to analog converter” and the inputs and output of the operational amplifier.

Anyway, Digital to analog converter is available on the Analog pin A0. So, you can use this for reading analog sensors and you can also use it as a digital to analog converter. It has a default write resolution of 8 bits. This means that values that are written to the pin should be between 0-255. However you make change this write resolution if you need 12 bits, and in this case, the values you write to the pin should be between 0-4096.



You can simply use this instruction.

analogWriteResolution(12);

Similarly, you can use the Analog pins A1 and A2 as the Opamp + and – pins, and you can use the Analog pin A3 as the Opamp Output.

The Power Led cannot be programmed.

The classic built-in Led is attached to Pin 13.

On the board you will also find TX and RX Leds.

This is a full table of all the IO pins on the Arduino UNO R4 Minima:

Pin Type Function
D0 Digital UART Receive
D1 Digital UART Transmit
D2 Digital GPIO pin, Interrupt
D3 Digital GPIO pin, Interrupt, PWM
D4 Digital GPIO pin, CANTX
D5 Digital GPIO pin, PWM, CANRX
D6 Digital GPIO pin, PWM
D7 Digital GPIO pin
D8 Digital GPIO pin
D9 Digital GPIO pin, PWM
D10 Digital SPI (CS), GPIO pin, PWM
D11 Digital SPI (CIPO), GPIO pin, PWM
D12 Digital SPI (COPI), GPIO pin
D13 Digital SPI (SCK), GPIO pin, Built-in LED
A0 Analog Analog In, DAC
A1 Analog Analog In, OPAMP +
A2 Analog Analog In, OPAMP –
A3 Analog Analog In, OPAMP OUT
A4 Analog Analog In, SDA*
A5 Analog Analog In, SCL*

To use the Arduino Uno R4 Minima in the Arduino IDE, first you will need to install the Arduino Uno R4 Minima board. For this go to the Tools Menu, then to Board, and click on the Boards Manager.

 

Arduino Uno R4 Minima



Type Arduino Uno R4 Minima in the search box.

Arduino Uno R4 Minima

Click on the install button to install the Arduino UNO R4 boards included in this package. You can see we have Arduino Uno R4 Minima and Arduino Uno R4 WiFi.

Arduino Uno R4 Minima

You can see the Arduino UNO R4 boards have been installed. Now, let’s go ahead and check if the boards are available in the board list.

Arduino Uno R4 Minima

You can see the boards have been added in the list and now we can select the Arduino Uno R4 Minima.



I just connected my Arduino Uno R4 Minima board to the Laptop, so let’s go ahead and select the port its connected to.

Arduino Uno R4 Minima

Programming:

int Led = 13;

void setup() {
  // put your setup code here, to run once:
 pinMode(Led, OUTPUT);
}

void loop() {
  // put your main code here, to run repeatedly:
 digitalWrite(Led, HIGH);
 delay(200);
 digitalWrite(Led, LOW);
 delay(200);
}

int Led = 13;: This line declares a variable Led and initializes it with the value 13. This represents the digital pin number to which your LED is connected.

void setup(): This function runs once when the Arduino is powered on or reset. In your setup function, you configure the pinMode of the LED pin as an output, indicating that you will be sending signals to this pin to control an output device (in this case, an LED).

void loop(): This function runs repeatedly after the setup function has executed. In your loop function, you use digitalWrite to set the state of the LED pin to HIGH (turning the LED on), then introduce a delay of 200 milliseconds using delay. After that, you set the LED pin to LOW (turning the LED off) and again introduce a delay of 200 milliseconds. This creates a simple on-off blink pattern.

Simply, click on the upload button to upload the program into the Arduino Uno R4 Minima. Once the code is uploaded, you will see the LED will start blinking at a faster rate. You can try different delays. So, that’s all for now.




Watch Video Tutorial:

 

Engr Fahad

My name is Shahzada Fahad and I am an Electrical Engineer. I have been doing Job in UAE as a site engineer in an Electrical Construction Company. Currently, I am running my own YouTube channel "Electronic Clinic", and managing this Website. My Hobbies are * Watching Movies * Music * Martial Arts * Photography * Travelling * Make Sketches and so on...

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