Instead of a L293D darlington driver, we now have the TB6612 MOSFET driver: with 1.2A per channel and 3A peak current capability. It also has much lower voltage drops across the motor so you get more torque out of your batteries, and there are built-in flyback diodes as well.
Instead of using a latch and the Arduino's PWM pins, we have a fully-dedicated PWM driver chip onboard. This chip handles all the motor and speed controls over I2C. Only two pins (SDA & SCL) are required to drive the multiple motors, and since it's I2C you can also connect any other I2C devices or shields to the same pins. This also makes it drop-in compatible with any Arduino, such as the Uno, Leonardo, Due and Mega R3.
Completely stackable design: 5 address-select pins means up to 32 stackable shields: that's 64 steppers or 128 DC motors! What on earth could you do with that many steppers? I have no idea but if you come up with something send us a photo because that would be a pretty glorious project.
Lots of other little improvements such as a polarity protection FET on the power pins and a bit prototyping area. And the shield is assembled and tested here at Adafruit so all you have to do is solder on straight or stacking headers and the terminal blocks.
Lets check out these specs again:
- 2 connections for 5V 'hobby' servos connected to the Arduino's high-resolution dedicated timer - no jitter!
- 4 H-Bridges: TB6612 chipset provides 1.2A per bridge (3A peak) with thermal shutdown protection, internal kickback protection diodes. Can run motors on 4.5VDC to 13.5VDC.
- Up to 4 bi-directional DC motors with individual 8-bit speed selection (so, about 0.5% resolution)
Up to 2 stepper motors (unipolar or bipolar) with single coil, double coil, interleaved or micro-stepping.
- Motors automatically disabled on power-up
- Big terminal block connectors to easily hook up wires (18-26AWG) and power
- Arduino reset button brought up top
- Polarity protected 2-pin terminal block and jumper to connect external power, for separate logic/motor supplies
- Tested compatible with Arduino UNO, Leonardo, ADK/Mega R3, Due, Diecimila & Duemilanove. Works with Mega/ADK R2 and earlier with 2 wire jumpers.
- Download the easy-to-use Arduino software library, check out the examples and you're ready to go!