The Arduino Tian is a welcomed update of the Arduino Yún, with an updated Linino CPU and a more capable Arduino MCU.
The board comes on a transparent holder.
The Arduino Tian no longer includes a micro SD-card slot, but a 4 GB eMMC drive. Another addition is BLE.
Interfaces include USB host connector, micro-USB for power, Ethernet, dual WiFi 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, BLE and ICSP connector.
The Arduino Tian requires the previous installation of the CP201x driver on the computer.
The Arduino Tian acts as a server and hosts a website.
This website mimics an operating system with menus and floating windows and provides services, and eases board configuration and package management (pictured).
Settings the parameters and connecting the board to my local WiFi network was fast and easy.
Arduino offers two IDEs: the standard Arduino IDE and the coming Arduino Studio. The former is a mature solution with release 1.7.10, while the later is still a work in progress with release 0.0.5.
I was expecting to get Arduino Studio running on the Tian, but release 2.0 doesn't include it yet. When the Arduino Tian hosts the Arduino Studio, no more need for configuring the drivers on the main computer; a browser will suffice!
Instead, Arduino OS provides a very basic source code editor, but no GCC tool-chain. However, the procedure Build native C code directly on your board explains how to install the GCC tool-chain but doesn't provides the makefile to compile a sketch against the MCU.
Unfortunately, Arduino.ORG announced last May 9th that the Arduino Studio is no longer under development.
So the standard Arduino IDE version 1.7.10 is the only official tool. The sketches with WiFi worked on the first run. I haven't explored BLE yet.
embedXcode, embedded computing on Xcode, supports the Arduino Tian board.
Using the MCU and the CPU Together
The software to allow communication between the MCU and the CPU is called a bridge.
The Ciao library replaces the previous Bridge library. The Ciao library brings modularity with connectors like MQTT, file system, Twitter and many more.
Among other possibilities, the Arduino MCU can sleep and wake up the Linino MPU. This is very interesting for fine power management.
Connecting the MCU and the CPU
Image from Arduino.org
The Arduino Tian is a welcomed update of the Arduino Yún. Every aspect has been improved: faster MPU, more capable MCU, eMMC drive instead on micro SD-card, dual Wifi and BLE.
I really like the nice interface hosted on the Tian acting as a server. No more need for installation, only a browser is required for configuring the board.
I only wish I could use Arduino Studio or a similar IDE embedded on the board.
The board is listed at €87 before taxes.