Bare Minimum Arduino Schematic and PCB

Arduino is often a crucial component in the design, prototyping, and testing of electronic systems due to its invaluable role as an electronics development board. Because it is so often required I have designed a prototype of minimal version of Arduino. Minimal meaning that only components that are required to power up and run Arduino are used in this prototype. On this minimal Arduino board, there is no USB port, no USB interface chip, no RS232 to TTL converter. This is merely a prototype, and I still need to construct it. The image below displays the 3D representation of the Arduino minimal prototype.

Arduino minimal 3D image

 I have used Proteus professional electronics design software, to make the above 3D prototype view, the PCB design and layout and the circuit schematic.

Below is the circuit schematic of the minimal Arduino.

 Arduino minimal schematic diagram

 And below is the PCB layout.

Arduino minimal PCB design

During the PCB layout design, I used to component autoplacer tool but the placement of the components were not good. So I manually placed the components on the PCB board layout. Then I used autorouting tool to route the PCB trace.

I wanted to actually manufacturer this PCB board for minimal Arduino. In Proteus, on the output tab we can find various tools to check, design verification and export PCB files for manufacturing. For example we have the Pre-production Check tool.

proteus pcb pre-production check tool

I clicked on run and I see the following.

proteus pcb pre-production check tool

Of-course there is no error because the design is very simple one and the routing of PCB trace was done automatically using the autorouter feature in Proteus.

Next after we are satisfied with the PCB design, we can proceed to generate the Gerber files that we can sent to a PCB manufacturing house. To generate the Gerber files use the

gnerate gerber files

I selected to open the folder and to save it as a single .zip file.

generate gerber files

The following shows the folder with the unzipped files.

protues generated gerber files for pcb production

PCB fabrication house often provides DFM(Design For Manufacturing) tool to check the manufactibility of the designed PCB. I am using the HQDFM tool by NextPCB which is an excellent PCB manufuring house in China. You can download the tool for free. Once you have downloaded it and signed up with an account with an email you can open the application and sign into it.

Once you have opened the tool you will see the following screen.

HQ-DFM tool

Now you can add your PCB Gerber files for inspection for checking if it can be manufactured by the PCB house. I opened the Gerber files that I had earlier saved on my PC.

Now we can check whether the PCB different layer design for PCB manufacturing. I am thinking of producing 5 boards from NextPCB and will let you readers know how it goes.

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