644/1284 Narrow

by Pandauino

The smallest ATmega644/1284-based boards

$1,391 raised

of $1,000 goal

139% Funded! Order Below

Product Choices

$29

644 Narrow Board

One 644 Narrow board - with 64 Kb flash and 4 Kb RAM. Comes with one 0.5 m USB cable.


$75

Three 644 Narrow Boards

Three 644 Narrow boards - with 64 Kb flash and 4 Kb RAM. Comes with three 0.5 m USB cables.


$35

1284 Narrow Board

One 1284 Narrow boards - with 128 Kb flash and 16 Kb RAM. Comes with one 0.5 m USB cable.


$93

Three 1284 Narrow Boards

Three 1284 Narrow boards - with 128 Kb flash and 16 Kb RAM. Comes with three 0.5 m USB cables.

Details

Recent Updates


As Featured In

industriaembebidahoy

"Pensadas como actualización para los proyectos basados en Arduino, estas mini placas de microcontrolador presentan ventajas de capacidad frente a MCUs de 32 bits."

Geeky Gadgets

""Specifically designed to provide users with small form factor, simple to use ATmega644/1824-based boards, to improve your small footprint Arduino projects.""

Electromaker

"With a truly minuscule footprint, the ATMega Narrow is a solid choice for Arduino projects that boasts anywhere from 2 to 8 times the RAM and flash memory of comparable Arduino Nano and Uno boards."

Hackster News

"The boards measure 1,097mm² in footprint and weigh 8g, regardless of model chosen, making them only slightly larger than the Arduino Nano but with the more powerful microcontroller of the Arduino Mega."

CNXSoft - Embedded Systems News

"interesting for projects that need similar features as Arduino Mega 2560 board but in a much smaller form factor"

Narrow is part of the Microchip Get Launched design competition, using LDO voltage regulators and the ATmega microcontroller!

A Simple and Perfect Upgrade for your Small Footprint Arduino Projects

644 Narrow and 1284 Narrow are small, simple, ATmega644/1824-based boards designed to improve your small footprint Arduino projects. The Narrow board gives you two to eight times more flash and RAM resources and ten more digital I/O as compared to an Uno/Nano, plus total compatibility.

Many microcontroller-based projects need to have the smallest possible footprint and a lot of resources. Up until now, the Arduino Nano has certainly been popular for its price/performance value and small footprint. Other boards are also available but they can be too expensive if they incorporate unnecessary features such as Wi-Fi.

Huge RAM, FLASH, and EEPROM Resources

The 644 and 1284 Narrow boards both feature a large amount of effective Flash and RAM. "Effective" because the code generated on 8-bit MCUs is much smaller than on 32-bit MCUs. Hence, you can load a bigger program on a 128k 8-bit MCU than on a 256k 32-bit MCU! ATmega644/1284 also have EEPROM that adds to their total storage capabilities. Cortex processors can emulate EEPROM, but this further consumes flash (in whole pages) and wears out the memory.

Extra Connectivity

ATmega644 and ATmega1284 also offer (as compared to UNO and Nano boards):

  • Ten more digital I/Os
  • One more UART port

A Small Footprint

Narrow boards are approximately 1/5 of the surface of a Mega2560 board, with half its current power consumption.

Narrow board footprint in relation to other boards.

Perfect Arduino Compatibility

Seamless compatibility is made possible with the MightyCore project that has been maintained for a long time. Integration with the Arduino IDE is very easy, meaning that your original Arduino code will compile and upload directly.

Optional OLED

One of the main reasons to increase memory resources is for use with newer OLED and TFT displays. Since many users may wish to include some kind of visual rendering or rich graphic content when using these boards, they come with a specialized port (GND, 5V, SCL, SDA) for OLED modules with an I²C interface. An optional 0.49" OLED is also available, which has the advantage of fitting perfectly above the host board without the need to cable anything or consume any more surface area.

Narrow 1284 board mounted with a 0.49” 64x32 OLED

Feature Comparison

Nano644 Narrow 1284 Narrow Mega 2560
MicrocontrollerATmega328PATmega644 ATmega1284 ATmega2560
Operating voltage5 V, with on-board 5 V and 3.3 V regulators.5 V, with on-board 5 V and 3.3 V regulators. 5 V, with on-board 5 V and 3.3 V regulators. 5 V, with on-board 5 V and 3.3 V regulators.
Max currentUSB: un-protected VIN: 800 mAUSB: 500 mA limited by a PTC. Vin: 800 mA @ 6.2 V, 25°c USB: 500 mA limited by a PTC. Vin: 800 mA @ 6.2 V, 25°c USB: 500 mA limited by a PTC. Vin: 800 mA @ 6.2 V, 25°c
Flash32 KB64 KB 128 KB 256 KB
RAM2 KB4 KB 16 KB 8 KB
EEPROM1 KB2 KB 4 KB 4 KB
Digital I/Os1424 24 54
Analog I/Os88 8 16
PWM66 8 14
SPI11 1 1
USART12 2 4
I²C11 1 1
USB11 1 1
Current consumption35 mA35 mA 35 mA 80 mA
Size810 mm²1097 mm² 1097 mm² 5411 mm²
Weight7 g8 g 8 g 37 g
Price (USD)$20 + shipping$29 $35 $35 + shipping

Narrow 644:

Narrow 1284:

644/1284 Narrow Pinout

Narrow vs. Cortex Based Boards

When I discovered that Cortex microcontrollers (and also ESP32) could be programmed in the Arduino environment, it seemed very appealing to use these boards, with specifications like a clock speed of 48 MHz, 72 MHz or even more and lots of RAM and flash. So I made some prototypes, mainly with the Blue Pill and clone of Maple Mini etc. I ultimately found that even though these chips are interesting, it is very difficult to migrate an existing Arduino project to them. I prefer using 8 bit microcontrollers to Cortex and here are some of the reasons why:

  • Cortex microcontrollers operate at 3.3 V, so you will have to redesign your circuit, search for new 3.3 V components or use level shifters.

  • The clocks are not as fast as they seem and they consume a lot of power. For example, the USB base clock is always limited to 48 MHz, even if you use a device that shows a "240 MHz" clock. In any case, a very fast clock means very high current consumption (hundreds of mA) which might not be feasible in a low-power project.

  • They require far more resources and processing power to do the same job. In short, the 32-bit architecture is very interesting if you need much more pins, more communication buses, etc., but most of their additional RAM and flash and CPU speed will be consumed running their complex architecture.

  • Their execution time may also be relatively slow. They offer a couple of "horrible" bootloading options (requiring to set a boot pin, and/or press a reset button etc) with poor USB enumeration.

  • They require a bigger bootloader (for example, 20 Kb instead of 0.5 to 2 Kb) and don’t feature any EEPROM.

  • There could be compatibility problems if you plan to use libraries. Their programming is totally different and the support for the Arduino core might be weak.

  • There is a terrible lack of reliable developer’s resources and support available on the web as compared to what one can find regarding Atmega microcontrollers programmed in the Arduino environment.

So, why bother with all these "features" that consume your time and money in order to work with your project when you only need some more RAM, flash, or additional pins? Narrow gives you just what you need without any additional overhead.

Support & Documentation

As the campaign progresses, you will be provided with a GitHub repository containing:

  • Schematics
  • Programming examples
  • A user's manual

Manufacturing Plan

The PCBs will be high quality and lead-free. Sourcing will be from specialized distributors I have used reliably in the past.

Depending on the number of backers, I will either:

  1. Assemble, program, and inspect the boards myself.
  2. Assemble partly with an assembly company and complete the programming and inspection myself.

Shipping & Fulfillment

Crowd Supply will handle all deliveries. USA orders will be free of charge. All international (non-US) will be charged a surcharge. More details are provided in this useful page about ordering, paying, and shipping.

Risks & Challenges

The board schematic is relatively simple. The main challenge is the soldering of these two sided boards with QFN MCUs, because extreme precision is required to solder them reliably.

Since I am in France, am offering these boards on Crowd Supply (Portland, USA), and sourcing components from many suppliers in USA and other countries, it’s possible that shipping costs and delays could impact delivery. This is why I focused on a relatively simple project which I hope to deliver within three months of the campaign’s conclusion. Any delays will be communicated with backers via the campaign updates.


Credits

Pandauino

I have been interested by electronics as a hobby for a couple of years and wanted to go as far as possible in the development of a finished product.


Thierry GUENNOU

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