Boards guide is for the maker community

Distributor, Digi-Key and Make:, the publication and network for makers, have collaborated to produce the 2021 Boards Guide and Companion augmented reality (AR) app for Apple iOS and Android-based mobile devices.

The publication is divided into sections for microcontrollers, single board controller and FPGA-based boards to help students, makers and professional engineers identify the latest technology to help bring innovation to life.

As a companion to this year’s guide, Digi-Key is proud to announce an augmented reality app using cameras, displays and sensors in today’s mobile devices. There are over 50 boards available in AR and the app is the best way to virtually interact with these platforms, advises Digi-Key. The AR app is designed to work in conjunction with the guide or as a standalone experience.

With detailed comparisons of over 150 boards, readers can find the right solution for rapid prototyping and embedded design from leading vendors including Adafruit, Arduino, Raspberry Pi, SparkFun, BeagleBone, Micro:bit, Seeed Studio, STMicroelectronics, Microchip and Cypress. 

New to this year’s guide is a highlighted case study on the recently introduced Raspberry Pi 2040 microcontroller-based products. Over 60 boards have been developed in its first year alone, by various suppliers encouraging the microcontroller architecture’s use in embedded design.  

Another exclusive available only from within the app includes a video from industry visionaries on what the future will bring to embedded boards. The video features Limor “Ladyada” Fried, founder and CEO, Adafruit Industries, Eben Upton, CEO, Raspberry Pi Trading, Eric Pan, founder and CEO, Seeed Studio, Paul Beech, co-founder, Pimoroni, Zach Supalla, CEO, Particle and Bob Martin, Wizard of Make – senior staff engineer, Microchip Technology. 

“We are so excited to launch the Digi-Key AR app, with the 2021 Boards Guide as its first module . . . ,” said David Sandys, director of technical marketing at Digi-Key. “Having all the board descriptions, key features and add-on board functionality combined with the ability to place, zoom, and rotate each of the platforms really helps students, makers and engineers visualise how they can utilise each of the included boards,” he said. 

“The 2021 Guide to Boards is an incredible resource for anyone that is designing electronics-based products or projects,” said Make: executive editor Mike Senese. “Bringing the boards to life with the AR app allows users to refine their component choices in an exciting way that provides so much additional hands-on value.”

The guide will be distributed with the November volume of Make: magazine. PDF versions of the guide and links to download the Digi-Key AR app are available at

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