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The original Arduino Nano occupies a special place in many makers’ hearts. The tiny footprint (48*18 mm), reliability and tons of examples makes the Nano perfect for wearables, drones — in fact any project made to last.

The Nano is back! The new entry-level Arduino Nano Every manages to pack in even more features at an even lower price – just $9.90 / €8.00 without headers — and is backwards compatible with the original. Dario Pennisi led the development of the board, so we sat down with him to learn more.

Why did you decide to create the Arduino Nano Every?

Searching for “Arduino Nano project” yields millions of results. But you also find people complaining about boards not working. Of course these boards are usually clones (not genuine Arduino boards)! Clones can be cheaper but reliability issues can mean you need to pay for more, or are frustrated trying to get them to work.

This is why we made the Arduino Nano Every. It’s reliable, affordable and more powerful. We’ve used a quality USB chip so people won’t have connection or driver issues. The newer ATmega4809 microcontroller fixes limitations of older ATmega328p based boards – you can add a second hardware serial port! As well as more peripherals and memory, the Configurable Custom Logic (CCL) is a great way to get beginners more interested in hardware. Finally, the separate processor handling the USB interface makes it possible to implement USB classes such as Human Interface Device (HID) instead of just the classic CDC/UART.

We see the Arduino Nano Every at the heart of wearable projects; in experiments, in prototypes or in a full cosplay setup! Sensors and motors can be connected without too much fuss which means it’s great for robotics, drones and 3D printing too. Not only is it a great choice for makers – in buying a genuine Arduino they will be supporting us in continuing to contribute to open source for the whole community to benefit from.

Can you tell us the three key features of Nano Every?

  • New processor with more memory and new peripherals, still 5V capable. The added memory will unleash creativity and open to more complex applications and the new peripheral set, which includes a second serial port, will finally allow communicating at the same time with a PC and with peripherals such as a wireless interface or a GPS.
  • The new power supply architecture based on a high efficiency DC-DC converter allows powering the board at up to 21V and to drive output peripherals with up to 950mA without overheating
  • Castellated contacts and flush bottom side allow soldering the Nano Every directly on a board as a traditional SMT component, opening the possibility to reduce final product size and helping the use in volume applications

So the processor is the same as the Uno WiFi R2 and it has more Flash and more RAM. The sketches made for the Nano are going to run on the Every as they are? Is it truly a replacement with zero modification in any Nano based project? Please elaborate.

Actually the ATmega4809 we use on Uno WiFi R2 and Nano Every is not directly compatible with ATmega328p, however we’ve implemented a compatibility layer which translates low level register writes without any overhead so the result is that most libraries and sketches, even those accessing directly GPIO registers, will work out of the box

Why you decided to offer the board with no headers supplied or soldered in the basic package?

Not only are new Nano boards are offered without headers, they all are totally flat on the bottom side and offer castellated pads on the sides, so you can actually solder them on your PCB as a standard SMT component using a normal pick & place machine.

The price is really aggressive, did you compromise on Arduino quality standards to achieve this?

We’ll never give up on Arduino quality standards and we’re still manufacturing in Italy making sure that our ethical values are strictly followed. The lower price point on these products has been achieved thanks to a careful optimization on purchasing prices and by trimming our margins as we believe that it’s important to give makers the quality they deserve at competitive prices.

The Arduino Nano Every is now available for pre-order on the Arduino online store with headers or without headers mounted (estimated shipping date: mid-June 2019).

Arduino has announced a new line of Nano boards that will begin shipping next month. From the design, to the chips and features on the board, to the price, there’s a lot that is new here. I stopped by their booth at Maker Faire Bay Area for a look at the hardware.

Immediately noticeable is the new design for the pins on either side of the board, which has transitioned from through-hole to a castellated through-hole hybrid. The boards can be ordered with or without pin headers soldered in place. If you get them without, you can reflow these nano boards as modules on a larger PCB design. Recommended footprints are not yet available but I’m told they will be published soon.

The most basic model in this lineup is the “Nano Every”, a 5V board with the ATmega4809 at its center. This brings 48 KB of flash and 6 KB of RAM to the party, running at 20 Mhz. A really nice touch is the inclusion of power regulation that turns up to 21 V of input into the regulated 5 V for the chip, with the added bonus of sourcing up to 1 A for external components through the 5 V pin on one of the headers. For the hackers out there, you can choose to inject your unregulated power through the VIN line, or the USB header.

All of this is a really nice upgrade to the previously available Nano design, with the $9.90 price tag making it a really desirable board for your 8-bit microcontroller needs. The one critique that comes to my mind is that the pins are labeled nicely on the bottom silk screen, but I would also have liked to see these labels on the top layer. When used in a breadboard, or soldered to another PCB, pin labels will be hidden.

The rest of the Nano family center around more powerful chips. As mentioned above, the “Nano Every” board runs an 8-bit chip at 5 V, but the three different “Nano 33” boards have 32-bit chips running at 3.3 V. There’s an “IoT” version with an Arm Cortex-M0+ SAMD21 processor, 6-axis IMU, plus a uBlox NINA-W10 modules which is an ESP32-based board for WiFi, Bluetooth, and cryptography features. MSRP on this board is $18.

The “Nano 33 BLE” and “Nano 33 BLE Sense” boards both do away with the SAMD21 chip and utilize the Nordic nRF52480 which is part of the uBlox NINA-B306 modules and provide Bluetooth connectivity. At $19, the BLE flavor gets you a 9-axis accelerometer. For an additional ten bucks, the “BLE Sense” adds a slew of sensors: pressure, humidity, digital proximity, ambient light, gesture sensor, and a microphone. Pre-orders for these two are slated to begin shipping this July.

The new Arduino Nano designs bring a lot of power to a small footprint. I have to wonder if Arduino is looking to compete with ESP32 modules. The castellated edges on ESP32 modules have allowed them to pop up in all kinds of development boards and other products. The new Nano design continues the legacy of Arduino boards being prototype friendly, but adds the ability to include the boards in a product design based on surface mount assembly.



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