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Smallest Arduino: What Is The Best

Slowly but surely, Arduino has grown to become the most preferred platform by designers of various skill levels. The main attraction is the introduction of some of the smallest Arduino boards from its developers.

In this post, we will talk about the smallest Arduino boards in detail. Let’s get started!

 

Factors to Consider

 

Firstly, we employed some considerations to scale down the extensive options.

 

IDE support

 

The Arduino IDE should natively aid the board or use a plug-in. A feature that allows designers of different skill levels to program in a well-developed, friendly, and versatile environment.

 

A minute package

 

The smaller the board, the better. Hence, all items listed are tinier than Uno/Leonardo boards, with a form factor similar to Micro or Nano.

 

Arduino Nano V3
Arduino Nano V3
Source: Wikimedia Commons.
 

Uniqueness

 

All the third-party Arduino agreeable models we included constitute various features and are not direct duplicates of original boards.

In other words, we didn't include boards that lack names or direct clones, even if they are cheaper.

 

Variety

 

Different projects have varying needs for effective performance. We included boards for professional uses, niche-specific applications, and beginner uses precisely because of this.

 

Arduino Nano V3

 

In the first position is a breadboard-friendly, complete, mini Nano board based on a similar ATmega 328 like the Uno board.

The Arduino Nano is a smaller version of the Uno suitable for compact spaces or projects like mini-robots.

Consequently, you are free to transfer an Uno code to the Nano as it will work without any issues.

In addition, the Nano has similar functionality to the Duemilanove, the only difference being the package size and many peripherals.

It doesn't have a DC power jack, and instead of a standard USB, it uses a mini USB cable and can't interlink to Arduino shields.

However, the Nano compensates for this deficiency with pin headers that qualify it for breadboard typing.

 

Features and specifications

Features and specifications 

Seeeduino Nano

 
Seeeduino Nano
Seeeduino Nano
Source: Arduino  
 

A compact board similar to the Uno and Seeeduino V4.2, the Seeeduino Nano matches the Nano in pinout, size, and computing power.

 

In addition, when you compare the seeeduino Nano to the Nano, the seeeduino is cheaper and more effective.

Firstly, instead of a mini USB, the seeeduino Nano uses a type –c cable that is both reversible and symmetrical.

Secondly, it has an additional Grove I2C connector that you can attach to numerous actuators and sensors using a grove system.

 

Features and Specifications

 

Features and Specifications 

Arduino Micro

 

Arduino MicroArduino Micro
Source: Arduino  
 

A miniature version of the Leonardo, the Arduino micro microcontroller, is somewhat larger than the Nano.

In addition, the micro runs using AT mega 324, a variation from the Nanos AT mega 328, and can work well on a breadboard lacking solders.

Having 20 digital I/O pins, 7 PWM pins, and 12 analog inputs, the Micro has adequate peripherals for all your needs.

Moreover, with the aid of a native USB, the micro can efficiently work as a mouse or keyboard.

Most importantly, you can only program the micro bootloader using a USB with a particular driver.

 

Features and Specifications

 

Features and Specifications

 

Arduino Pro Mini

 
Arduino Pro Mini
Arduino Pro Mini
Source: Arduino   

 

The pro mini is a stripped-down and reduced version of the Arduino Pro. In addition, there is no USB to serial translating circuitry in the pro in all the pins.

Due to its size, the pro mini is not shielded compatible, but it works perfectly on a breadboard soldered on male headers. Its miniature size also aids it to embed into your system quickly.

To program the pro mini, you will need a USB cable and an external board.

You can get the pro mini in two variations:

  • 5V/16MHz – uses 5V speed similar to the Micro and Nano
  • 3.3V/8MHz- uses a 3.3V rate; it is slower and consumes low electricity.
 

Features and Specifications

Features and Specifications
 

Adafruit Trinket MO

 
Adafruit Trinket MO
 
Adafruit Trinket MO
Source: Adafruit  
 

The Adafruit trinket MO is highly popular for two reasons; it is extra small and uses the ATSMD21E18 chip that is very powerful.

 

Even though the trinket isn't an Arduino board, you can program the microcontroller using the Arduino IDE (Arduino software) and even circuit python.

In other words, when you connect it to a computer, it is identified as a storage device.

Nevertheless, the trinkets' size comes at the cost of fewer peripheral pins, only 5 GPIO pins.

 

Features and specifications

  Features and specifications

Beetle

 

Beetle
Beetle
Source: DFRobot  
 

The beetle is among the tiniest Leonardo boards, and likewise, to the micro, it functions using AT mega 32u4.

Running at 16MHz, with 10 digital pins, and 4PMW pins, the beetle will not disappoint. However, as we earlier stated, a smaller size means fewer onboard peripherals.

In addition, if you have code from a recent Leonardo project, you can transfer it to the beetle, for it has a pre-burnt bootloader and a micro USB port.

 

Features and specifications

  Features and specifications  

Smallest Arduino: Seeeduino XIAO

 

Smallest Arduino:Seeeduino XIAO

Seeeduino XIAO

Source: Seeeduino   
 
 

Powered by the ATSAMD21 chip, the seeeduino Xiao is faster and more potent than many boards.

Most importantly, you can integrate it into nearly any project, whether a wearable, small robot, mouse, etc. It is a feature made possible by its relatively tiny size, adequate digital input and output pins, and USB Type-C interface.

 

Smallest Arduino: Atto

 
Smallest Arduino:Atto 

Atto 

Source: Nionix 

 

If you thought the Seeduino was small, you are mistaken; the Atto wins in that category, measuring 11.5mm × 10.4 mm.

The Atto is similar to the Beetle board and Arduino Leonardo for its runs on ATmega 32u4. Despite the Attos size, it has an integrated USB, a reset button, and RGB LED.

The main drawback of this board is that it isn't compatible with a breadboard, for the pins are not far from each other.

You will also need a special driver to operate it, which isn't easy to find for only a few selective versions have one.

Moreover, to use Atto with a breadboard, you will need a breadboard extension, which is costlier.

 

Features and Specifications

 

Smallest Arduino:Features and Specifications

 

Arduino Based Mini Projects

 

Are you unsure how to use any of the above boards? We have outlined a few projects to start you in the right direction.

 

Arduino Doorbell

 

This project will enable you to link your door to the Arduino cloud. Hence, you can open or close it from any location. Moreover, it can even play a song when the door locks or unlocks.

 

Materials you will need

 

  • Arduino cloud
  • Arduino web editor
  • 3D printer
  • Grove button
  • Arduino MKR1000
  • Mono enclosed speaker with 2W 6 Ohm

 

House Automation

 

Given the sizes of these boards, you can embed them into numerous home systems with much ease.

With this project, you will be able to manage household appliances using Siri or the Apple Home kit.

 

Materials you will need

 

  • Switch software
  • Arduino micro & Genuino micro
  • Apply Siri software
  • Apple Home kit software
  • Espressif ESP8266 ESP101

 

Pint-sized touch keyboard

 

The device will be able to undertake various keyboard operations with a capacitive touch sensor.

 

Materials you will require

 

  • 1M Ohm resistor
  • Generic jumper wires
  • Generic soldering iron
  • Arduino Micro & Genuino Micro

 

Summary

 

We understand that picking an Arduinos board for your project may be challenging, especially with all the options.

Hopefully, after reading this article, you will be able to make a decision quickly and focus on ensuring your creative project is a success.

In conclusion, feel free to contact us for more information or inquiries you may have.