I love the Arduboy, and in a way its minimalistic design has its own charm. However, I am wondering if there is any chance that we will see a version with more screen pixels and/or a faster processor and more flash memory. Perhaps 256 x 128 pixels and 512kB flash, and keeping the credit card size form factor.
You might want to look at this post > Future of Arduboy?
TL;DR: The biggest hurdles to any hardware change are cost and availability of suitable parts.
Any changes have to fit inside the existing case because making a mould for a new case is an exceptionally expensive venture.
One of the reasons the Arduboy FX was chosen as the next step forward is precisely because the FX chip can be implanted into an already existing Arduboy without the need to manufacture more.
Theoretically a screen with more pixels could be used if it had the same physical dimensions as the existing screen.
But if you replaced the screen you would have to replace the CPU with something that has enough RAM to hold a full frame buffer, otherwise you wouldn’t really be benefitting from it because there wouldn’t be enough RAM to accomodate more pixels with the current CPU.
Similarly the CPU could be replaced if the new CPU had the same pin layout and same dimensions.
If you couldn’t find parts that were drop-in replacements the circuit board would have to be redesigned and the new board would have to be manufactured, and a manufacturing run for a new circuit board would probably be relatively expensive.
That all makes sense. I have been involved in hardware and software development for 30+ years and understand the challenges. I also do not know the Arduboy business numbers, demand, profit margins, etc. But if the Arduboy was a financial success, then a new upgraded edition with new screen, CPU, circuit board, case, could make just as much sense as the first Arduboy. There wasn’t any existing circuit board or case back then either. Even with new components some parts and work can be re-used. For example the metal back does not necessarily have to change. A good part of the software dev can be re-used or fairly easily ported. And most importantly there is already an existing Arduboy customer base that can be leveraged and would likely purchase an upgraded edition. So the business case typically gets easier assuming the current edition is a success.
Even if some kind of ‘Arduboy 2.0’ were created,
it would have to sell enough units to justify a minimum production run,
which I am under the impression is quite a lot of devices.
(I can’t remember the quoted figure so I won’t embarass myself by trying to guess and being orders of magnitude out.)
To be honest I’m mainly reiterating factors that have been stated by others in the past.
(Or as best as I can remember them.)
Ultimately when it comes down to it only one man’s opinion is of any consequence - the man making the decisions.
No upgrades to specs. New formats, new targets, but no upgrades.
Looking at the Mini which is 100% compatible, just smaller.
The XL which has the larger oled and adds 3 more user buttons (and maybe provision for a radio on RX/TX)
And then there might be the Nano which actually dramatically reduces the screen resolution.
Hypothetical, what level of investment would be necessary to enable something like an Arduboy 2.0 with say a new processor, screen, PCB, poly-carbonate top?
I think with the Arduboy you have created something really nice. For me the key value proposition is the form factor (credit card size, thin, including a nice professional looking case), and the monochrome OLED screen (produces a unique and characteristic look which differentiates it from other similar products).
But several things drastically constrain which applications can be implemented. In priority order these three things are flash memory, processing power, screen pixels. Just curious what it would take to get there. Perhaps it is not possible at all inside Arduboy, which is of course totally fine. Just asking.
Then Kevin said before that it’s will no more be an Arduboy. He could do something else “better” (more powerfull) but he have no reason then to call it Arduboy. Arduboy is a spirit more than a powerfull console. It’s make you learn to use that you have as fine as you can. It’s small, it’s resistant, it’s can be used a long time without charge. If you change screen resolution, you will have to use more memory, asw… it’s will be a cool console but it’s will not be an Arduboy anymore
Thanks for the explanation. Good to know that there is no hope for a more powerful Arduboy. It is not necessarily a bad idea to do one thing only, and do that well. I am still very happy with the Arduboy. Just not the right hardware for some applications I thought it would be a great platform for.
You can make your own hardware with your own specs and adapt a few key arduboy libraries to let it be part of the ecosystem/community/spirit. Kevin is amazingly cool about homemade arduboys, even if you discount the possible benefit he may indirectly get from “hangers on” like I have been.