If you’ve been on our website, you may have seen a curious notification on the Uno32 page.
“Contact us for price & availability” usually means that Digilent is on the road to discontinue a product for sale on our website. What this means for the product’s life cycle is that companies/people can still order the product, but they are subject to ordering in MOQ (minimum order quantity) and need to contact our manufacturing services team. For Digilent, our decision to discontinue a product is usually driven by lagging interest or that we no longer can procure all of the necessary parts to build the boards. We prefer to keep products active as long as possible (with our educational focus, it behooves us to keeping platforms as stable as possible for course material changes). So, the Uno32 being discontinued seems odd. After all, it is one of the most heavily promoted and popular chipKIT family members, none of its components are going obsolete, there are thousands in the ecosystem and popularity is only gaining momentum…
So what’s going on?
We’ve learned how to make a much better product and by doing so, have obsoleted our own board.
The chipKIT uC32 is virtually identical to the Uno32. If you compare the eagle board files, you’ll see that both of the boards line up exactly (as in the gif below).
The only difference between the two boards is the microcontroller on board.
With minimal changes to the board, the change of a higher power microcontroller enables chipKIT users to begin exploring more of the advantages of the 32-bit MIPS processor. The extra memory and addition of the 4-channel DMA (direct memory access) can now support libraries like the chipKIT Network Stack (connecting your project to the internet) or our WS2812 LED Driver library.
Both boards can seamlessly use MPIDE, requiring only a tiny change to select the correct board before programming.
This means you can basically do a search and replace for most of your projects, course materials, or tutorials.
It may be difficult to say goodbye, but the chipKIT uC32 is a great microcontroller board to use. We’re excited to see what the higher power microcontroller will bring to your projects! Here’s to a smooth transition! If you have any further questions, add them in the comments or on the Digilent forum.