So what have the crew behind LattePanda gone and done? They’ve created a microcomputer board which is capable of running Windows 10 AND a separate Atmega32u4 chip on the same board which runs Arduino!
Hello and welcome, I’m Sam and you’re back with another Core Electronics tutorial and today we’re going to be taking a look at what is LattePanda.
Now, if you’ve been on the DIY scene for a while, you might heard of the recent trend in micro computers or micro processors and that’s largely due to the fact that technology is advancing and advancing more and more and the Raspberry Pi really started to forge this trend and forge away when it was debuted in 2012. Now, the Raspberry Pi is fantastic, it’s one of the most popular DIY industrial maker platforms that you can get but it’s not without its limitations. It’s based on Arm Cortex architecture which means that whilst it runs Linux beautifully it’s not designed to run your X86 and your X64, you know your 32 and 64-bit operating systems such as Windows.
And that’s just because of a few, not limitations but dependencies and the way that the chip is designed. It’s just not designed to run, you know, a desktop application like Windows. But, a few of you clever cookies over in Jensen have decided that this simply wouldn’t do. So they’ve created the LattePanda and the LattePanda is awesome! Straight up! It’s fantastic, I love it so much because it is a fully fledged, fully featured Windows 10 capable desktop computer barely the size of a credit card. It’s awesome, but what makes it super special is it’s also got a built in Arduino compatible co processor. It’s got an ATmega32u4 chip on the other side which it can communicate directly with the Intel Atom Processor but also can operate as a stand alone chip. So if you power it up even if you’re not running anything in Windows, that chip is still going to run exactly like a standard Arduino which is really, really cool!
So lets take a look at what’s on here, what makes it so awesome. For starters, these super dooper shiny reflective bits of metal are all of the different ports that are available.
03:57 Here we’ve got Ethernet, micro SD, we’ve got a USB 3.0 connecter which is super, super cool, our 2 USB 2.0 connectors, we’ve got our HDMI, a micro USB for power, our on/off and reset switches here. Then you’ve got touch sensitive connectors here, a LCD connector for, you know, ribbon connectors things like that and you’ve got some of these sensor pins here and these are designed to work with DFRobot sensor cables. It’s just a standard, it’s not a propriety connector but as DFRobot partnered up with the designers of this to manufacture it they produce a lot of sensor modules which use this 3 pin power signal ground sensors, so that’s why it’s there so you can really easily connect up sensor modules as you like.
Now over here you’ve got the pinouts for the Arduino Processor, as I said, it’s a 32u4 processor, quite capable for the 18 mega chips. And then you’ve also got pinouts here using a slightly smaller form factor connector so you can’t accidentally connect stuff you’re not supposed to be. You can connect directly up to the Intel Atom Processor which is really cool so you’ve got pinouts and you know your GPio similar to the Raspberry Pi which connect directly to the microprocessor and also this Arduino co chip - super, super cool.
Under here you’ve got the, I believe this is the flash storage in here. So you’ve got 2 different options model wise with this board. Ah, you’ve got the 2 GB of RAM with 32 GB of flash storage, a e, aaahh eMMC I believe, yeah eMMC storage there, a DDR3 RAM and then as I said, an Intel Atom Cherry Trail processor running at 1.8 GHz quad core. Awesome, awesome, a board this size you’re getting a stack of computing power.
And on the other side another magical fantastic piece of metal which hides a lot of the inner workings of this wonderful device. It’s sort of acting as a bit of a shield there you can see, I think that’s the top of the chip die coming up there, a few other magical bits of wizardry and circuitry and here we are. It’s fantastic you’ve also got audio out via the 3.5 mm jack which is very, very cool. I’ve got the wifi antenna on board here, so it’s got built in wifi and bluetooth so you can plug it in and straight away you’ll get your boot up into windows. There’s no configuration, there’s no anything like that, it doesn’t boot off an SD card, it works as a typical desktop computer which is awesome. You can connect external storage up by the USB ports USB 3.0 are really quick, they’re, it’s got 500 MHz GPU on board. So thats all the tech stuff, but why it’s so wonderful is that as I’ve said you can plug it in and it will just work and straight away you can load up the Arduino IDE and you select the appropriate board from the Arduino IDE, it’s the Leonardo board you want to select because that’s the same chip, the 32u4 running on that guy and you can program all of these in, outs, sensors, anything without anything external, you don’t need USB cable to do anything. You just plug it in and it works, it’s beautiful so I encourage you guys to pick one of these up. They are so, so, so awesome and we’ll be doing some more tutorials on getting these set up with the Arduino IDE, looking at some of the extra features and functionality in those.
That’s all for today guys, hopefully this has given you a good insight into LattePanda and why it’s one of my favourite platforms to tinker with at the moment. See you next time, have a great day :-)