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Make: and Digi-Key announce new app and 2021 Boards Guide


Digi-Key Electronics, an electronic components supplier, and Make:, a global platform that connects makers, have released the 2021 Boards Guide and companion Digi-Key AR augmented reality app, available via the App Store or Google Play. 

Divided into sections for microcontroller (MCU), single-board controller (SBC) and field programmable gate array (FPGA)-based boards, the guide helps students, makers and professional engineers identify the latest technology available to help bring innovation to life. 

“The 2021 Guide to Boards is an incredible resource for anyone that is designing electronics-based products or projects,” Make: executive editor Mike Senese said.  

“Bringing the boards to life with the augmented reality app allows users to refine their component choices in an exciting way that provides so much additional hands-on value.” 

As a companion to this year’s guide, the augmented reality app leverages cameras, displays and sensors for mobile devices. With over 50 boards available in AR, the app is the best way to virtually interact with these leading platforms. The Digi-Key AR app is designed to work in conjunction with the guide, or as a standalone experience. 

With detailed comparisons of over 150 boards, there is no better way to 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, Cypress and more. 

New to this year’s guide is a highlighted case study on the recently introduced Raspberry Pi 2040 MCU-based solutions. Within its first year, there have been over 60 boards developed from various suppliers cementing the new microcontroller architecture’s place in the embedded design world.   

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 includes insights from: 

  • 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 Ltd.; 
  • Zach Supalla, CEO, Particle; 
  • Bob Martin, Wizard of Make – senior staff engineer, Microchip Technology. 

“We are so excited to launch the new Digi-Key AR app, with the 2021 Boards Guide as its first module, leveraging the printed guide produced in conjunction with Make:,” Digi-Key director of technical marketing David Sandys said. 

“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 to drive innovation forward in their designs.”  

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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