Arduboy's clock speed

The reason for this topic and its length is due to the fact that the Dev Kit is being overclocked at 16MHz and @bateske has stated, in this forum (not on Kickstarter), that he intended the final design to also run at 16MHz.

Thank you for clearing that up. Again, sorry for the mistake.

Love the idea of a password manager, tested the keyboard function on the dev kit last night and is working as expected, throw in a menu and some protection measures and its a handy little password storage device and generator.

Except totally insecure if stolen since the passwords are likely going to be clear text on the device. Unless you have a strong password + encryption that you have to key i with 6 buttons… and if that’s the case what is the point of it?

The point is that you have one master password that you have to key in, and then a menu to select one of your actual passwords, that are different for each site for security reasons.

This subject isn’t really related to clock speed, so if it’s going to continue, the next post should go to a new linked topic.


Tomorrow I am going to back the project with 175€ so me and four of my friends can get our Arduboys.

We read most of this conversation and are concerned with the quality of the final product.

I think that no backer would mind the speed being lowered to 8 or 10 MHz if, as I understand at the moment, it can be boosted to 16 MHz via software and maybe even if it can’t be boosted. Also nobody would want to risk having an unstable or malfunctioning device just because its twice as fast, and increased battery life is always good.

We hope that @bateske decides to lower clock speed, but whatever the decision, we will back the project.


Hey guys, checking in here. The plan right now is to add a voltage boost converter and get us in spec to run 16mhz. Yes it should reduce battery life a little but, but we will do some test to make sure we are still well above 4+ hours which is kind of my lower allowable limit.

If we have any problems, we will deal with it then but that’s the plan going forward. Stay tuned and thanks for all the awesome comments!

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@bateske Can the boost converter be toggled via software to get the normal battery voltage back if we want to under clock at 8Mhz for longer battery life (of a lot of games that don’t need 16Mhz)? Of course we can always sleep the CPU at 16, but running at 5v is constantly eating more power than running at 3.xv (if we truly don’t need the 5).

You could still under clock to 8MHz (or even 4Mhz or 2MHz if you didn’t need USB) while remaining at 5V and get some power savings. It wouldn’t be as much as if you also lowered the voltage, though. We’d have to consult the datasheet and/or experiment to find out what the power differences would be.

Right, just trying to make sure @bateske thinks of everything. Honestly my fav was probably the 8/16 3.3v regulated option… I love high speed and long battery life. :smile: But 16/5 AND 8/3.3v would also be really nice since both would then be within spec.

It’s very interesting to have full power of the CPU and maximum battery life. In this way we can imagine lot of beautiful thing on arduboy. BUT !

I’m from the industry and selling a product with some components running out of spec is not pro ! It’s like cheap Chinese stuff for 1$ on eBay…
Arduboy is not that !! I’m pretty sure all backers are patient in order to get a well designed product.

So let arduboy do some good stuff for what is designed for but of course in their specifications…

@bateske: step-up, 16M, level shifter and some hours playing is a very good choice ! Good performance with best design.

Thanks all community participant. It’s very interesting !

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This is probably not going to happen. @batske has said that he is comfortable with overclocking the processor and running the display at higher than the maximum recommended voltage.

Thanks for the feedback @MLXXXp
So sad :pensive:… We have to cross fingers then and hope that components will support that for a long time !
I don’t have checked yet warranty time for products bought from kickstarter

We’ve had some development hardware in house running continuously for 6 months on end with no problems. We have also asked for advice from engineers at Atmel, the manufacturer of the processor, they don’t have any concerns.

We also have over 400 developer kits in the wild, many of them running on coin cells which is much lower voltage than the finished product will ever see and we have not had any failures related to the low voltage. (A couple of bad solder joints are the only problems we have seen) So, we’ve done lots of research and testing.

There is no explicit or implied warranty with the product but if for any reason your Arduboy dies on you for some design or manufacturing defect we will do everything we can to help you out.

I’m far more concerned about the battery combusting. We have added additional circuit protection that is over-engineered for the application. We will be testing this to failure on our samples with over voltage, under voltage, over current, short circuit and puncture testing as well.

We will be going after FCC and CE certifications as well, so if they have any feedback we will of course take that into consideration.

The reason for my decision is clocking at 8mhz will put us in spec but is dramatically slower framerate. Adding a boost converter will also require adding the level converter and a 3v power source so we would be reducing battery life as well as adding a dozen more components we probably don’t have room for.

A more long term solution is simply sourcing a different chip that is happy to run at 16mhz at 3v3, and has an internal regulator. And 256k of flash and ram, and 32 bit ARM architecture. And bluetooth. As in: The nordic NRF51822