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The Pixel combines a 32-bit 48MHz ARM Cortex M0+ microcontroller w/ a color OLED display and MicroSD!
The Pixel combines a 32-bit 48MHz ARM Cortex M0+ microcontroller w/ a color OLED display and MicroSD!
The Pixel combines a 32-bit 48MHz ARM Cortex M0+ microcontroller w/ a color OLED display and MicroSD!
101 backers pledged $10,189 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

Pixel 2.0 - The Arduino compatible smart display! project video thumbnail
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Pixel 2.0 - The Arduino compatible smart display!

$10,189

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The Pixel is an Arduino Zero compatible a smart display! It features a 32bit 48MHz Arm Cortex M0+ microcontroller with 32K of RAM, a 1.5" 128x128 color OLED screen and a MicroSD slot.

There are many things you can do with a board like this, like create wearables, attach sensors and display data with text or graphics, and even make simple retro video games!

The Pixel!
The Pixel!

 

Technical Specs

  • Microcontroller: Atmel ATSAMD21G18 ARM Cortex M0+
  • Clock speed: 48 MHz
  • Operating voltage: 3.3V
  • I/O pin limits: 3.3V, 7 mA
  • Digital I/O pins: 14, with 12 PWM
  • Analog input pins: 6, 12-bit ADC channels
  • Analog output pins: 1, 10-bit DAC
  • Flash memory: 256 KB
  • SRAM: 32 KB
  • Voltage regulator: 3.7V - 5.5V input / 3.3V, 300mA output
  • PCB Dimensions: 1.8 x 1.8" (46mm x 46mm)
  • Display : 128x128 16-bit color 1.5" (38mm) OLED w/ SSD1351 driver

 

Programming

Programming is easy! Like most Arduinos, you simply plug the board into your PC using a MicroUSB cable, select the board you want to program, and hit the upload button in the IDE when you're ready. The Pixel ships with the Arduino/Genuino Zero bootloader installed.

The Pixel is compatible with the Arduino's SPI and SD libraries. Communication with the display and MicroSD card are both handled through the SPI bus, which is broken out on a set of pads for a surface mount header.  The ATN pin replaces the reset pin on this header and acts as the CS pin for the MicroSD.  Pins 7, 8, and 9 (ORST, ODC, OCS) are also utilized to control the display.

  

The Pixel is also compatible with Adafruit's graphics library! This library provides functions for blitting images, drawing primitives like lines and circles, and even includes bitmapped font support!

Adafruit's graphics library is fully supported!
Adafruit's graphics library is fully supported!

Lastly, if you ever need to modify the fuses or bootloader, the Pixel features a standard SWD header that's compatible with the Atmel ICE. Its hybrid surface mount / through hole footprint will allow you to connect the ICE without soldering a header on permanently by inserting a pin header into its ribbon cable like so, and and tilting it in the socket to make contact with the through hole pads:

The Atmel ICE can be used to update the fuses and bootloader, but is NOT required for programming the board normally!
The Atmel ICE can be used to update the fuses and bootloader, but is NOT required for programming the board normally!

 

How will the Pixel 2.0 differ from the original?

The Pixel 2.0 will feature several minor modifications which will make it cheaper to manufacture while improving upon the original design.

If you're familiar with the changes I made to the Neutrino 2.0 the changes I'll be making to the Pixel shouldn't come as too much of a surprise.

The shape of the board and the pinout will remain much the same with the exception of the OUT pin which, as with the Neutrino 2.0, will become a second GND pin.

And to reduce the cost to manufacture, I'll be swapping out several components for house parts, and exchanging the power multiplexing circuit that was required for USB OTG with a diode that will still allow for safe and automatic switching from USB power to battery.

I'll also be swapping the crystal for the slightly larger / cheaper one I used on the Neutrino.

These changes won't affect the vast majority of users, and even though some of the parts will be less expensive, that doesn't mean they'll be lower quality! The reset button for example will be getting a nice upgrade to one which is slightly larger and easier to press. And the new 3.3V regulator will be low-noise one made by Texas Instruments which features built-in current limiting!

In addition to the above, the power switch, which was difficult to manipulate and occasionally broke, will be replaced with a slightly larger one which is sturdier and slides more easily!

Open Source Hardware

The Pixel is open source which means I'll make the schematics and PCB layout available, and you'll be free to modify the design as you wish and integrate it into your own boards - without ever needing to pay any royalties or licensing fees!

Music credits:

Virtual Riot - Energy Drink » Download: https://fb.com/RebornTunes

Risks and challenges

Over the last two years I've shipped over a thousand boards for seven campaigns to backers all across the globe, so I have an excellent idea of the costs and labor involved in manufacturing boards like these!

And with the original Pixel having been successfully manufactured before, and only some minor changes needing to be made to the design for the Pixel 2.0, there really isn't a whole lot of risk involved in this campaign, and I anticipate no issues with delivering them to you!

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Funding period

- (21 days)