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The Arduino Due is a microcontroller board based on the Atmel SAM3X8E ARM Cortex-M3 CPU (datasheet). It is the first Arduino board based on a 32-bit ARM core microcontroller. It has 54 digital input/output pins (of which 12 can be used as PWM outputs), 12 analog inputs, 4 UARTs (hardware serial ports), a 84 MHz clock, an USB OTG capable connection, 2 DAC (digital to analog), 2 TWI, a power jack, an SPI header, a JTAG header, a reset button and an erase button.
Warning: Unlike other Arduino boards, the Arduino Due board runs at 3.3V. The maximum voltage that the I/O pins can tolerate is 3.3V. Providing higher voltages, like 5V to an I/O pin could damage the board.
The board contains everything needed to support the microcontroller; simply connect it to a computer with a micro-USB cable or power it with a AC-to-DC adapter or battery to get started. The Due is compatible with all Arduino shields that work at 3.3V and are compliant with the 1.0 Arduino pinout.
The Due follows the 1.0 pinout:
The Due has a dedicated forum for discussing the board.
ARM Core benefits
The Due has a 32-bit ARM core that can outperform typical 8-bit microcontroller boards. The most significant differences are:
Schematic, Reference Design & Pin Mapping
EAGLE files: arduino-Due-reference-design.zip
Pin Mapping: SAM3X Pin Mapping page
Input Voltage (recommended)
Input Voltage (limits)
Digital I/O Pins
54 (of which 12 provide PWM output)
Analog Input Pins
Analog Outputs Pins
Total DC Output Current on all I/O lines
DC Current for 3.3V Pin
DC Current for 5V Pin
512 KB all available for the user applications
96 KB (two banks: 64KB and 32KB)
The Arduino Due can be powered via the USB connector or with an external power supply. The power source is selected automatically.
External (non-USB) power can come either from an AC-to-DC adapter (wall-wart) or battery. The adapter can be connected by plugging a 2.1mm center-positive plug into the board's power jack. Leads from a battery can be inserted in the Gnd and Vin pin headers of the POWER connector.
The board can operate on an external supply of 6 to 20 volts. If supplied with less than 7V, however, the 5V pin may supply less than five volts and the board may be unstable. If using more than 12V, the voltage regulator may overheat and damage the board. The recommended range is 7 to 12 volts.
The power pins are as follows:
The SAM3X has 512 KB (2 blocks of 256 KB) of flash memory for storing code. The bootloader is preburned in factory from Atmel and is stored in a dedicated ROM memory. The available SRAM is 96 KB in two contiguous bank of 64 KB and 32 KB. All the available memory (Flash, RAM and ROM) can be accessed directly as a flat addressing space.
It is possible to erase the Flash memory of the SAM3X with the onboard erase button. This will remove the currently loaded sketch from the MCU. To erase, press and hold the Erase button for a few seconds while the board is powered.
Input and Output
The AREF pin is connected to the SAM3X analog reference pin through a resistor bridge. To use the AREF pin, resistor BR1 must be desoldered from the PCB.
Other pins on the board:
The Arduino Due has a number of facilities for communicating with a computer, another Arduino or other microcontrollers, and different devices like phones, tablets, cameras and so on. The SAM3X provides one hardware UART and three hardware USARTs for TTL (3.3V) serial communication.
The Programming port is connected to an ATmega16U2, which provides a virtual COM port to software on a connected computer (To recognize the device, Windows machines will need a .inf file, but OSX and Linux machines will recognize the board as a COM port automatically.). The 16U2 is also connected to the SAM3X hardware UART. Serial on pins RX0 and TX0 provides Serial-to-USB communication for programming the board through the ATmega16U2 microcontroller. The Arduino software includes a serial monitor which allows simple textual data to be sent to and from the board. The RX and TX LEDs on the board will flash when data is being transmitted via the ATmega16U2 chip and USB connection to the computer (but not for serial communication on pins 0 and 1).
The Native USB port is connected to the SAM3X. It allows for serial (CDC) communication over USB. This provides a serial connection to the Serial Monitor or other applications on your computer. It also enables the Due to emulate a USB mouse or keyboard to an attached computer. To use these features, see the Mouse and Keyboard library reference pages.
The Native USB port can also act as a USB host for connected peripherals such as mice, keyboards, and smartphones. To use these features, see the USBHost reference pages.
The SAM3X also supports TWI and SPI communication. The Arduino software includes a Wire library to simplify use of the TWI bus; see the documentation for details. For SPI communication, use the SPI library.
Uploading sketches to the SAM3X is different than the AVR microcontrollers found in other Arduino boards because the flash memory needs to be erased before being re-programmed. Upload to the chip is managed by ROM on the SAM3X, which is run only when the chip's flash memory is empty.
Either of the USB ports can be used for programming the board, though it is recommended to use the Programming port due to the way the erasing of the chip is handled :
Unlike other Arduino boards which use avrdude for uploading, the Due relies on bossac.
The ATmega16U2 firmware source code is available in the Arduino repository. You can use the ISP header with an external programmer (overwriting the DFU bootloader). See this user-contributed tutorial for more information.