I need an Arduino board for simple ADC, but 10 bits of resolution is sadly not enough. I am going to buy a board with 12 bits of resolution, but really couldnt decide on the exact model. It needs to be easily accessable and wont be used for anything else other then ADC. I have my eye on MO, but cant decide if i should buy the pro or the normal one, or just another Arduino board.

I take the data through USB port and the instrument will also be powered with the same USB cable.

* My only option is to use an Arduino*

I know i can use the Aref pin or do oversampling but i really am not intrested in those options. thanks for your input

  • 2
    Is there a reason for not just using whatever board you already own/use along with an external ADC? Commented Sep 12, 2016 at 15:42
  • @RobertoLoGiacco well sadly, thats not an option, since the person who wants that project needs it in that way for some specific reasons Commented Sep 12, 2016 at 16:37
  • You can use Nucleo boards too. But I'm not sure how about it's with arduino ide support. But [mbed](developer.mbed.org) is sometimes much better. Just libraries aren't available for specific hardware sometimes.
    – KIIV
    Commented Sep 12, 2016 at 17:16
  • What speed ADC do you need? Commented Sep 12, 2016 at 18:12
  • @MichaelVincent it really doesnt matter at all, its really a simple data acquisition, even 2 samples per second is enough. Commented Sep 12, 2016 at 18:13

2 Answers 2


The statement my only option is to use an Arduino is not unambiguous whatsoever.

If you meant "Compatible with Arduino IDE" than the Teensy 3.2, officially priced on the Arduino store at 17.90 EUR + VAT is the cheapest official Arduino board providing a 12 bit ADC.

If you meant "Branded as an Arduino" then the Arduino/Genuino M0 Zero, officially priced at 22.00 42.90 EUR + VAT is the cheapest board providing a 12 bit ADC.

This is the result of a quick search on the Arduino web site, which you could have checked yourself.

In my opinion the cheapest "Arduino based" solution would be an Arduino Pro Mini (officially discontinued) or a barebone ATmega328P along with an external 12 bit ADC. This opens up for many options, just use a parametric search on DigiKey, Octopart or any other website of your choice.

A quick search ended up with MAX1245ACAP priced at 1.30 USD + VAT, probably ending in a BOM cost for the entire solution below 10 USD + VAT, excluding the PCB.

UPDATE: as stated in the comments, the M0 is a cheaper version of the Zero.

  • i also checked the Arduino website but, what really got me confused was M0 and Zero - one from arduino.cc and other from arduino.org - offers the same ADC resolution but the pricing is quite different. Maybe i should have asked straight away "zero or M0" but doing some research on that didnt really pay off. Commented Sep 13, 2016 at 1:01
  • What meaning do you assign to the word “ubiquitous”? Its dictionary meaning is “Being everywhere at once: omnipresent” or “Widespread; very prevalent”. Commented Sep 13, 2016 at 6:26
  • The M0 and Zero both use the same processor. The M0 is probably the cheaper one, as it doesn't have the separate programming and debugging chip that the Zero has. It's a nice feature, but I don't think it's working yet with the Arduino IDE. So they are kind of the same. So just get the cheapest one.
    – Gerben
    Commented Sep 13, 2016 at 8:21

Use a Teensy 3.x. Those have 13 bit ADCs

  • well, allthough i appriciate the thought, it strictly has to be a arduiona board. and 12 is just enough. Commented Sep 12, 2016 at 18:14
  • 3
    Every time someone comes with a suggesting, another requirement pops up. Please add all your requirements in your question, and stop wasting our time. If it has to be Arduino, just go to the Arduino website. They only have a handful of products. Just check them all to see if they meet your magical list of requirements.
    – Gerben
    Commented Sep 12, 2016 at 18:30
  • i really would hate to waste anyones time but i thought the first sentence of my question, "I need an Arduino board for simple ADC" should have been enough to make myself clear. Anyways thanks for your time Commented Sep 12, 2016 at 20:20
  • ... But it has to be orange with a plaid silk screen ...
    – Majenko
    Commented Sep 12, 2016 at 21:54
  • The Teensy is Arduino-compatible. I though that would be enough. Look into the Arduino Zero. I think that is the only option.
    – Gerben
    Commented Sep 13, 2016 at 8:16

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