Did you know some tinyAVRs are so tiny that they can almost fit inside the ball of a ballpoint pen, or balance precariously on the tip of a matchstick? Well, it’s no secret the itsy-bitsy family possesses unparalleled size, but more impressively, without sacrificing performance and efficiency.
Over the past couple of years, as Makers took to Kickstarter to see who could possibly create the “world’s smallest Arduino,” it’s no surprise a majority turned to the super-small AVR.
“As you can see below, the Nanite is very narrow, wasting no space on the breadboard. It is only 0.4″ wide in contrast to the 0.5″ or 0.6″ of the Trinket or Olimexino,” its creator Tim pointed out in pursuit of becoming the world’s smallest.
For a while, it was believed to be the smallest ‘duino derivative on the block. That was until a Maker by the name of Meizhu decided to up the ante. “When I first read about the Nanite 85 I knew I had to try to build my own. And it had to be even smaller.”
In an effort to devise a downsized replica of Tim’s brilliant Nanite 85 board, the shrunken version is still based on an ATtiny85 along with USB port, resistors, diodes, reset button, LED, and pin headers.
As Hackaday notes, “With a bit of work in KiCAD, the new board layout was created that is just a hair larger than the 0.4″ x 0.4″ footprint of the PDIP ATtiny85. There were a few challenges in getting a working board this small; you’d be surprised how large the plastic bits around pin headers are, but with some very crafty soldering, Meizhu was able to get it to work.”
Think you’re up for the challenge? Unfortunately, it appears that other than just the bare die of a ‘tiny85, there isn’t much hope of going any smaller. So, it looks like there’s a new champ in town. And, who said big things can’t come in (AT)tiny packages?