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What is Teensy?

Hey guys, today is the day where we introduce you to another piece of mind-blowingly awesome technology known as Teensy. Simply put, Teensy is a brand of microcontroller development boards created by PJRC and designed by the co-owner, Paul Stoffregen. As a long time maker of creative technologies, Paul saw the versatility and potential of Arduino and combined it with the power and flexibility of ARM-based microcontrollers which offer substantial power upgrades over the more commonly used AVR chips. Out of this, he created Teensy.

Teensy is a line of hardware boards designed to offer maximum I/O capabilities, backed up by a slew of fully featured software libraries designed to run on Arduino. As with any popular platform, it went through iterations, and we are now up to the 3rd generation of Teensy boards with the 3.2 LC, and newly announced 3.5 and 3.6 models. Each board offers a different amount of computing power, pins, hardware peripherals, and performance specs. For more info on the different Teensy models, check out our Teensy Boards Compared tutorial, however, let's take a look at the size difference between the 3.2 and the newer 3.6 boards:

  • Teensy 3.2 board:

Teensy 3.2 board

  • Teensy 3.6 board:

Teensy 3.6 board

What Makes Teensy Different?

Teensy is loved by makers around the world for a number of reasons. Primarily it’s because of the chips that Teensy is built around. By using high-performance 32-bit ARM chips, not only do you get faster clock speeds, more RAM and flash, but an expanded set of hardware peripherals such as SD card functionality, Ethernet, extended serial communication ports, and much more. But the great thing about Teensy is that it’s not just another ‘Arduino compatible’ board pumped out from the production line based off a datasheet. Paul himself has added numerous libraries which are functional with Arduino, bring the real capabilities of Teensy to life, and can be used to support existing Arduino projects.

Specs on paper are great and all, but what that means for your project is that ever since Teensy 2.0, Teensy boards have had the functionality to act as all sorts of native USB devices. They can act as HID devices, MIDI devices, joysticks, gamepads, and that’s without writing any extra code to support that! As part of the amazing software stack that Paul has written, you can simply select how you want to board to behave over USB in the Arduino boards menu!

Awesome! Want to Know More?

This is just a quick intro to the potential and power that Teensy brings into the maker space, and getting it up and running with the provided Teensyduino driver is incredibly easy and takes about 1 minute. For more info check out our Using Teensy with the Arduino IDE tutorial, our check out some of our other Teensy tutorials for more great project ideas. What are you waiting for? Grab one of these awesome boards and get making!

Hey guys, today is the day where we introduce you to another piece of mind-blowingly awesome technology known as Teensy. Si...

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