Pandauino Narrow Family Brings Arduino Mega-Like Power to an Arduino Nano-Style Form Factor

New ATmega644 and ATmega1284-based boards boast the power — though not pins — of a Mega in a footprint only slightly larger than the Nano.

The Narrow family includes ATmega644 and 1284 options. (📷: Pandauino)

Catalonian maker Thierry Guennou's Pandauino has launched what he claims is the smallest ever breadboard-compatible development boards to feature the Microchip ATmega644 or ATmega1284 microcontrollers.

"644 Narrow and 1284 Narrow are the simplest and perfect upgrade option for all your small footprint Arduino projects," Guennou claims of his designs, which use microcontrollers more commonly associated with large boards like the Arduino Mega. "The Narrow board gives you two to eight times more flash and RAM resources as compared to a Uno/Nano, plus total compatibility."

Exact specifications depend on which model is chosen. The Pandauino 644 Narrow uses the ATmega644 mcirocontroller with 64kB of flash storage, 4kB of static RAM (SRAM), and 2kB of EEPROM storage on-board; the Pandauino 1284 swaps the microcontroller out for the ATmega1284, boosting flash storage to 128kB, SRAM to 16kB, and EEPROM to 4kB. Both, however, share the same number of broken-out pins at 24 digital and eight analog input/output pins — though the 1284 Narrow offers eight pulse-width modulated (PWM) outputs to the 644 Narrow's six.

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 — while, Guennou claims, taking up around a fifth of the footprint and half its power consumption.

The Narrow family isn't Guennou's first project to be crowdfunded: Back in February a campaign was launched for the Pandauino PowMeter Shield Nano, a power meter designed for the Arduino Nano.

The Pandauino 644 and 1284 Narrow boards are now available on Crowd Supply for $29 and $35 respectively, along with an optional 0.49" 64x32 OLED add-on.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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