Arduino Nano Vs Micro: Pick Up Right Microcontroller Board


If you are an electronic or robotics enthusiast, then most probably you may know about the Arduino starter kits which contain the world’s top microcontroller board i.e. Arduino. It is as mentioned, an open source platform which helps to design a number of electronic circuits and robotic designs to make your daily life easier and comfortable.

Arduino nano vs micro

Every Arduino board comes with an easy-to-use development platform in terms of hardware as well as software. Controlling the servo motors to read the sensors, anything you can do with a good Arduino kit. But, when it comes to picking up one single Arduino board, then it can create a big confusion as they share some common as well as unique features. Today, I will show you the reviews and comparison of the two well-known Arduino boards; Arduino Micro Vs Nano. Check the guide below and make your choice easier.

Comparison Table: Arduino Nano Vs Micro, Arduino Mini Vs Nano

Feature Arduino Micro Arduino Nano Arduino Mini
Processor ATmega32U4 ATmega328 ATmega328
Speed 16MHz 16MHz 16MHz
Voltage 5V 5V 5V
USB Micro Mini
UART 1 1
Digital IO/PWM 20/7 14/6 14/6

Arduino Nano Vs Micro Review

Arduino Nano Overview

The Arduino Nano is a tiny, cheap, and breadboard friendly board which has the most similar functionalities like Arduino Duemilanove. It was designed in 2008. The Nano board uses an ATmega328 microcontroller and has a design similar to Arduino UNO board. You can power your Nano with a Mini-B USB cable and a 6-20V external supply.

Arduino Micro Overview

With a joint operation of Arduino and Adafruit, the Arduino Micro was created in a simple form of design and smaller size. It uses an ATmega32u4 microcontroller and is the smallest Arduino board. It has a functionality to make an easy integration to make devices interactive. Having similarity to Arduino Leonardo, the Arduino Micro has an inbuilt USB communication, so you need not use a secondary processor to work on.

Arduino Micro Vs Nano Programming

With the help of the Arduino IDE Software, you can program your Arduino Nano or Micro board. The Arduino Micro and Nano both come with a pre-programmed bootloader which enables you to implement the source code without any hardware programmer. For the communication, the Arduino Nano uses STK500 protocol while the Arduino Micro uses AVR109 protocol. Using the Arduino ISP or similar platform, you can program the microcontroller board with the help of ICSP (In-Circuit Serial Programming) header and bypass the bootloader.

Features and Specification Comparison of Arduino Nano Vs Micro

  • The Arduino Micro comes with an ICSP header, a crystal oscillator with 16MHz frequency, 20 digital I/O pins (12 as analog and 7 as PWM output pins), connection bus for microUSB cable, and a reset button. On the other hand, the Arduino Nano also comes with an ICSP header, having 22 digital I/O pins (8 as analog and 6 as PWM output pins), and an integrated USB connector.
  • Both the Arduino boards have the 5V operating voltage and a 16MHz processor speed.
  • With the ATmega328 Microcontroller, 32KB Flash memory, 1KB EPROM, and 2KB SRAM; the Arduino Nano differs from the Arduino Micro which comes with the ATmega32U4 microcontroller, same 32KB flash memory (4KB for bootloader unlike 2KB for the same in Nano), 1KB EPROM, and slightly higher 2.5KB SRAM.
  • You can place the Arduino Micro on a breadboard, while the Arduino Nano comes with an onboard USB to serial connection.
  • The Arduino Nano lacks the power jack, and you need to power it with a Mini-B USB cable rather than using a standard one.

Arduino Mini Vs Nano

As you know the specification of Arduino Nano, I will define for the first one i.e. Arduino Mini. It is a compressed version of Nano board which does not come with an onboard USB to serial chip connector. It is based on ATmega168 microcontroller (the latest version has ATmega328) with 14 digital I/O pins (8 analogs I/O and 6 PWM output pins), and a 16MHz crystal oscillator.

Choose the right Arduino Board

The Arduino projects can be simple like making a simple temperature measuring device or can be a complex of design like building a tree climbing robot. Imagine a task, and you can do it with the Arduino IDE and boards like Arduino Nano, Micro, Mega, UNO, etc. All of the boards are having too many common characteristics as well as having some unique feature that make them different and greater than one another. So having a review guide like this can give us a great help in picking up the right one as per the requirement of the Arduino project we will be going to do. In my next post, you will see the comparison of the other two popular Arduino boards; Arduino Mega Vs UNO. So stay updated and rock the electronics world!

Which design you are going to make and which board you think is right for that. Share your imagination and ideas in the comment section below.


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