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Arduino Internals by Dale Wheat

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The Mechanical Form Factor

The very first Arduino prototypes filled up a small PCB with just enough components to make a working microcontroller circuit. There wasn’t a lot of extra space left over. Any circuit expansion was done on an expansion shield, which was stacked on top of the base Arduino I/O Board.

The mechanical form factor has been preserved through many versions of the Arduino I/O Board, mostly to maintain shield compatibility between releases, and not because it’s the best of all possible arrangements.

Looking at a modern Arduino I/O Board, such as the Arduino Uno or Arduino Mega 2560, you see a lot of spare room. This is mostly due to the continued miniaturization of the components that are used to implement the basic Arduino circuit. ...

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