Tinusaur and Digispark – should we compare?

Compare Raspberry Pi, Arduino Uno, ATtiny85 Tinusaur

These are questions that we’re often asked:

  • How is it better than ****** ?
  • How is it different from ****** ?

Atmel ATtiny85

First of all you should not compare the Tinusaur powered by Atmel ATtiny85 microcontroller to things like Raspberry Pi (or any other platform running 32/64-bit RISK processor) or Arduino (running on ATmega or similar).

In fact, the Tinusaur should be compared only to something that has 8 KB (kilobytes) program memory and 512B (bytes) data memory, has also 5 or 6 input/output connectors.

But the more important question here is …

Why the Tinusaur even exists?

Tinusaur Board Assembled

The Tinusaur project concept is LEARN BY DOING THINGS. That mean if you want learn how something works you should create one yourself – from scratch if possible.

The opposite to that would be to order something from Internet, open the box, connect some wires, copy/paste code from website, see that the LED blinks … and that’s all. Period.

So, if you want to create the simplest possible microcontroller system … the Tinusaur is your friend. It is a small plastic bag package that has all the parts that you need to assemble your own system powered by Atmel ATtiny85 microcontroller. You need to have soldering iron though.

Then, you can write some simple programs following the tutorials here on this website (or elsewhere, if you prefer) and from this point on it is little different from any other ATtiny85 based board.

Let’s Compare

If you’re still not convinced why it is not possible to compare it other more powerful platforms here are some technical parameters.

 

Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi 2 Model B v1.1 top new

Arduino Uno

ATtiny85/Tinusaur

Tinusaur Board Top

Processor ARM11 – 32-bit RISK ATmega328P 8-bit RISK ATtiny85 – 8-bit RISK
Frequancy 700 MHz 16 MHz 1 MHz (up to 20 MHz)
Memory RAM 256/512 MB 2 KB 512 B
Memory PRG On-board SD slot 32 KB, 1 KB EERPROM 8 KB Flash, 512 B EERPROM
Input/Output 8×GPIO, UART, I²C, SPI … 6 analog, 14 digital 5 or 6 analog/digital
Peripheral USB, audio & video, HDMI
OS Linux, etc.
Dimensions 85×56 mm (48 cm²) 68×53 mm (36 cm²) 28×20 mm (6 cm²)
Weight 45 gr. 28 gr. 9 gr.
Power 500 mA, 700–1000 mA 50 mA 1-2 mА, 300 µA idle
(0.1 µA standby)
Cost 35 USD (25 USD) 20 USD (10 USD) 5 USD board
8 USD starter kit

* values are typical, may differ by application
** prices depend where do you buy it
*** some of the data may be little outdated but still relevant for rough comparison

It is obvious that these 3 product categories are very different.

Let’s just mention that Tinusaur/ATtiny85 advantages are:

  • Size – small, less than 1 in²
  • Wight – light, about 9 gr
  • Power consumption – low, extremely low in standby
  • Price – affordable to everyone

Worth mentioning that the price of the Tinusaur board with all the parts could go as low as 2 USD or less if produced in thousands pcs.

The Digispark

Digispark by Digistump is GREAT!

It is actually the Digispark that we should compare the Tinusaur to.

Digispark by DigistumpHere are some the things that we believe are advantages of the Tinusaur over the Digispark:

  • You can assemble it yourself thus learn one more thing – how to solder.
  • You can use all of the 8KB flash memory because you don’t need what’s call bootloader (needed for the Digispark USB connection) that takes about 2 KB so you have less than 6 KB left for programs.
  • It is cheap and will get cheaper – down to 2 USD and we start producing in thousands.

Another thing to mention is that the original high-quality Digispark by Digistump is 8.95 USD. You can still buy the generic quality clone for under 2 USD on various websites.

Other notable similar projects

Listed here only as reference

PicoDuino

by Bobricius

Trinket

by Adafruit

OLIMEXINO-85S
(OLIMEXINO-85)

by Olimex

PicoDuino by Bobricius Trinket by Adafruit OLIMEXINO-85S

Conclusion

The Tinusaur has its own advantages that make it unique for its specific audience.

And let’s not forget the the Tinusaur Project consist not only of Tinusaur Board but also the guides, tutorials and the projects based on it.

And by the way …

We have just launched the Tinusaur Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign so if you like what we’re doing support us at http://igg.me/at/tinusaur

Tinusaur Indiegogo Crowdfunding Campaign Launched

 

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