The $19 coin-sized RFDuino

Posted by Trent Nouveau

The $19 coin-sized RFDuino can best be described as an uber-mini board powered by Nordic's nRF51822 (ARM) Cortex M0 SoC.

The device - designed by Open Source RF - offers Bluetooth 4.0 LE support, as
well as software compatible with Arduino UNO and DUE board(s).

As the folks at CNX-Software note, Bluetooth allows the RFDuino to communicate with a smartphone (iPhone, with Android support on the way), facilitating control over motors & relays, sensors and LEDs.

"Currently we have several open source apps built for the iPhone which were used in our demos," Open Source RF confirmed on Kickstarter. "Open source Android apps are next."

Additional key specs include:

  • Memory - 16 KB on-chip SRAM.
  • Storage – 256 KB on-chip Flash.
  • Connectivity – Bluetooth 4.0 low energy integrated MCU.
  • GPIO – 7 pin software configurable as digital IO, analog ADC, SPI, I2C, UART and PWM.

The company currently offers several stackable shields for RFDuino, including batteries (1x AAA, 2x AAA, and CR2032 coin battery), servo, USB and even a prototype.

As expected, RFDuino is designated as open source hardware. Loading code onto the RFduino will require a USB adapter board to connect the device to a PC. However, an existing sketch can be used without activating the adapter board.

RFDuino devs are currently seeking funds on KickStarter, with a planned ship date of July 2013. A $19 pledge will get you a single RFDuino, while $39 buys an accompanying USB shield for sketch programming the board.