FTDI Chip is using Kickstarter to fund an open source reference design for an Arduino UNO compatible board. The NerO is based on the company’s FT231X USB UART, and delivers 5V at 1A without overheating.
It is described as an “Energy Efficient Arduino UNO Compatible Design”.
“With NerO we wanted to take a whole new approach from how we normally initiated our development projects,” says Fred Dart, founder and CEO of FTDI Chip, explaining the crowdfunding approach.
16MHz ATMega328 MCU with Optiboot Bootloader
VIN Input voltage – 7V to 20V (9V or 12V recommended)
UNO R3 form factor
14 Digital I/O Pins (6 PWM outputs)
6 Analog Inputs
FTDI FT231XS USB UART interface
One change from the regular Arduino is in the power supply circuit, where the LDO is replaced with a switching dc-dc converter.
As per the UNO, NerO has 14 digital interface pins plus six analogue inputs. The status and PWR LEDs are located at the edge of the PCB so they are visible when an Arduino shield has been attached.
You can see all the NerO schematics, including the 5V switching regulator design, the USB interface section and the MCU section of the design – on the Kickstarter page.