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Today is the today 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.

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Hey guys how are you going? It’s Sam here from Core Electronics and today we’re going to be taking a look at what is Teensy. Now you might have heard of it before and not known exactly what it is, well simply put Teensy is a really powerful microcontroller. It’s compatible with Arduino and it also has on board ARM cortex processors which makes it really appealing for lots of makers who want extra grunt in their projects. Now it designed by a company named PJRC and half of that is Paul Stoffregen and he is the brains behind these boards and they are awesome, they are so cool. They’re very small and as we have said they are compatible with Arduino, but one of the things that makes these really appealing is that Paul has actually gone ahead and created a whole bunch of libraries specifically for these boards but also compatible with other Arduino boards and has pretty much created an entire software structure around these guys so you can use them in exactly the same way you would a regular Arduino. To give you a bit of an idea about the power they are packing, this is the next up from the base model. We’ve got the 3.2 Teensy here, we’ve got the 3.2 and the newly released this year the 3.5, the 3.6 and the Teensy LC (Low Cost). So the 3.2 is running a 96 MHz processor based on ARM Cortex, an M4 Processor I believe. So they have got 4 different models here, as I’ve said we’ve got the Teensy Low Cost here, the 3.2 and then I’ve got a 3.6 board here. So there’s 3.5 and a 3.6 both were only released this year, 2016, but the boards are actually exactly the same, they just have a slightly different chip on board.

So lets take a look at what it is that makes Teensy so awesome because the reason people love it is not only are they powerful and compatible in all these awesome libraries but part of the work that Paul has done has embedded a whole bunch of USB device types into the profile in Arduino. So if you connect an Arduino up it’ll connect as a serial port which means you can send serial data back and forwards. But it doesn’t act like a USB, it doesn’t act like other USB devices you might be familiar with because it’s only acting as a serial device. With these guys you can select, say I want this to be a midi controller or I want it to be a flight simulator joy pad, I want it to be a sound card, it’s got built in audio capacity so you can do all that kind of thing with it, its awesome. So they are super super easy to set up, as I have said and the serial thing is what makes them really the big winner. You’ve got 96 MHz on this guy, the Teensy LC has a 48 MHz Processor and the 3.6 is running a 180 MHz Processor - it’s huge, it’s got 1 mb of flash on board and it’s got so much grunt it’s ridiculous. So finally we might be in the time where the projects we make aren’t limited by a microprocessor but more just limited by our creativity and imagination which a really exciting place to be in.  When you look at the fact that the 3.6 is going to cost you less than $50 and it works straight out of the box, you plug it in with a USB cable and away you go so value for money wise these are some of the most versatile microcontrollers anywhere.They are super super awesome, you can see I’ve soldered some headers on to this 3.2, I’ve been using it for a few projects, check out our projects module for some more info and the Teensy LC and the 3.6 I’ve got here don’t have headers on them so you can get them with headers on I believe but  generally you’re going to have to  solder those headers on, super simple though. The other awesome thing is that they’ve got a huge amount of GPIO, so take this 3.2 board, it’s around 18mm x 36mm also  dimension wise and it’s got on board a ridiculous amount of iO Pins - I think 34 pins most of which are broken out on to these headers here and the rest you’ve got some SMD pads underneath here that you can use SMD headers with or solder connections directly to them - super super awesome stuff.

So that is, I guess, what is Teensy in a bit of a nutshell and in a few other tutorials we’re going to be taking a look at how to set these boards up with the Arduino IDE and program them, super simple so check out that tutorial and also a bit of a more in-depth comparison on the different boards. So you’ll know  the differences between the Teensy LC, the 3.2, the 3.5 and the 3.6 again. The 3.5 and the 3.6 look pretty much identical just with a few different specifications and they’re our current gen models, there’s been the Teensy 1, the Teensy 2 and whatnot the Teensy 3.0 the Teensy 3.1 and then those guys were improved upon and then shelved and the current line up of the 3.2 and the other models are super awesome. If you’re a fan grab one today, you can get the Teensy LC for around $24 which is awesome, get building with your projects and we’d love to hear some feedback on what you guys think of these new boards. So that’s it for today guys, check out our other Teensy tutorials and projects and catch you next time :-) 

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