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Digi-Key -leading the way with Adafruit – Python on Hardware @digikey @adafruit @circuitpython #circuitpython @makerio

Adafruit 2018 0744

Python on Hardware at Digi-Key. This is a big deal for the maker, pro-maker and engineers out there, Digi-Key (and Adafruit) are helping to lead the movement towards ease of use and the powerful features of Python, now coming to hardware. From MicroPython to CircuitPython, there are more choices than ever depending on what people want to make, what devices/sensors they want to use, and how fast they want to get up and running.

Digi-Key has a one stop resource for all of us with all the Python running hardware at Digi-Key, include Adafruit’s CircuitPython boards.

CircuitPython is Adafruit’s branch of MicroPython designed to simplify experimentation and education on low-cost microcontrollers. It makes it easier than ever to get prototyping by requiring no upfront desktop software downloads. With CircuitPython you can write clean and simple Python code to control hardware instead of having to use complex low-level languages like C or C++ (what Arduino uses for programming). It’s great for beginners.

A whole generation of programmers have now grown up with the web, where JavaScript is the de facto language for creating dynamic user interfaces and managing databases. Alongside them is another, even larger, group who have made Python the de facto language of science, engineering, data analysis, and most recently machine learning. The emerging future communities we’re seeing are being built not around specific chipsets or boards, but around languages. These modern languages are high level in that they are more than just a syntax-tree and compiler. They are fully-featured development environments that come with comprehensive libraries, code examples and support networks High-level language support is fundamentally disruptive to the way we currently build hardware.

Most people, and most makers, want to solve a problem. Maybe they’re sending sensor data to the internet for an IoT device, or listening for radio signals that will move a motorized robot. While, for some, the specifications of the chipset or board really matter – the number of timers, the specs of the ADC controller – the across-the-board increases in microcontroller/microcomputer power and capabilities means that, often times, the specs don’t vary that much. In a move that mirrors the changes we saw in the desktop and laptop computer market, our microcontroller hardware has become good enough that we now don’t have to worry about the underlying architectures and instead, we can focus on application engineering.

When it comes down to it, the next generation of high powered microcontrollers and microcomputers will be defined, not by their hardware, but by their user experience. UIs will be rich and complex, with TFTs and OLEDs (a single button and buzzer will not suffice). Connectivity is now a given, you must have a stack for managing Internet or Bluetooth. And with such complexity, we need higher level languages. The future of hardware is about accessibility, and we will be programming using an easily accessible, and widely known, high level language like Python.

Learn more.

Good work Digi-Key!


The handy URL is: http://python.digikey.com


Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

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