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What Are the Different Types of Arduino® Drivers?

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  • Written By: Jean Marie Asta
  • Edited By: Jessica Seminara
  • Last Modified Date: 23 August 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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When using Arduino® software, drivers may need to be installed onto the type of board that is being used in an electronic device. The type of driver that is used is dependent on two factors: the type of operating system (OS) and the model Arduino® board being used. Before connecting an Arduino® board to the computer, the OS of the computer and the model of the board should be determined. Some of the drivers will have to come from the company website of the particular OS, while the Arduino® drivers will be downloaded and installed from a website with drivers entitled USB VCP. The driver bundles are extracted from a compressed file and can then be used on the computer and board.

Max 7221 and Max 7219 are commonly used as Arduino® drivers for boards, and can be found on certain websites. The process of installing its ports is used for one type of OS, and these drivers are used for boards that are earlier models, predating the Uno and MGA 2560 Arduino® boards. If these particular boards are being used, then there is no need for installation of any drivers. In other models, however, Max 7221 and Max 7219 should be downloaded from the driver website by double-clicking on an icon that includes all the ports needed for the driver. An installer prompt will be displayed, where instructions on installing the drivers are provided for the user to follow.

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On a different OS, installing the drivers requires opening certain ports after connecting the board and downloading the Arduino® environment. To do this requires going into the system/security management window and opening a device manager. On the ports icon, right-clicking will provide an option for the port software to be updated under the particular Arduino® port. Upon completion of the update, the Arduino® drivers will be installed and the computer will restart to finish installation.

The Max 7221 and Max 7219 Arduino® drivers are Light-Emitting Diode (LED) drivers that control integrated circuits (ICs) used for driving 64 separate LEDs or as many as eight digits within a seven-segment display. These drivers perform implementation of a slave interface which is Serial Peripheral Interconnect (SPI) compatible, controllable from Arduino® by use of only three digitized output pins. The Arduino® drivers have two capacitors which suppress interference of noise signals from supplies of power lines. These capacitors are placed very close to each other, and the ICs are powered by 5 or more volts of electricity to function.

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