Ping Hobbyelektronik has recently launched a pre-launch Crowd Supply campaign for its latest board, the EPI-32U4. It's a development board based around the ATMega32u4, with features that make it perfect for industrial and commercial use as well as in hobby projects.
The EPI-32U4 has not yet been priced at the time of writing, but it is expected to be released soon. This pre-launch project is an excellent opportunity for early adopters to register their interest in the EPI-32U4 before it starts the crowdfunding stage.
So, what exactly is the EPI-32U4? In a nutshell, it's a small form-factor board based on the ATmega32U4 microcontroller, which is compatible with the popular Arduino development platform. The board has many features that make it an excellent choice for many projects, such as robotics, home automation, and IoT.
There's no shortage of ATMega32u4 boards out there, but this one combines two useful traits: It's small and designed to work in high-noise environments. The board measures just 20 x 50 mm, yet retains a USB Type-C connector for easy programming. A notable difference to many other boards featuring the ATMeda32u4 is the power situation. They've opted to include no onboard voltage regulation - though the board will run happily on 4.5 to 5.5v supplies. What they have included, however, is a ferrite power filter, a fuse, ESD protection, and surge protection.
Why use this over a regular Pro Micro board? Well, that's a good question. The regular board is going to be a fine choice for most folks, but the surge protection the EPI-U32 provides is pretty unique. If you know you'll need something like that for your project, it saves you the legwork of creating external protection circuitry for your microcontroller.
The 23 available I/O ports, combined with the ATMega32u4's ability to act as a USB-HID device, make it a perfect option to add native USB interaction to industrial and commercial products. To find out more, head to the EPI-32U4 Crowd Supply page.