With over two million made, the BBC micro:bit has introduced programming concepts and promoted experimentation for a huge number of people. As the Zero:Bit Kickstarter notes, this board’s most distinguishing feature is its edge connector, which allows it to easily connect to a variety of accessories.
The idea behind the Zero:Bit is to offer this same form factor with a Microchip ATSAM21D18 Cortex-M0+ processor that can be programmed with the Arduino IDE. This lets you take advantage of a wide range of libraries and existing code for the Arduino environment, while still being able to use micro:bit accessories as needed. The Zero:Bit’s edge connector maps the SPI I2C and ADC pins in the same location as the micro:bit, ensuring compatibility for micro:bit accessories.
Additionally, this piece of hardware breaks out all of the ATSAM21D18 pins normally accessible on an Arduino Zero, taking advantage of pads on both the front and back of the edge connector. These connections can be utilized by themselves, or with an Arduino shield adapter that enables you to use Uno-format shields with the device. A second available adapter provides a breadboard breakout for experimentation. The boards are available for a pledge of just over $20, with expected delivery in February 2019.