Using ATmega328 with KiCad


I want to create a PCB board that includes all the components of an Arduino Nano inside the scheme and I’m looking for a fast way that I’ll not need to create all the peripheral components by myself, is there a ready library that I can use?

The question is: Can I find a fast way to create an Arduino Nano by myself? and integrate it with more components in one PCB?

Why not just buy a Nano and solder it on your project board? Much less hassle and costly.

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It is probably all there in the Symbol and Footprint Libraries, but before you have mastered Kicad sufficiently to find all the drawings and place everything correctly on Schematics and PCBs so the project will work, a real (or knockoff) Nano will be getting dusty in your letterbox.

I don’t want to spoil all your fun of pulling out your hair and overcoming frustration so, attached is my Dumb 3Dmodel of Nano (without mount holes) but with Pin-Headers.

The minimal challenge to you is Making the Footprint for PCB and linking it to the Attached STEP Model (and making a Symbol in For Schematic, if wanted).

Image shows Nano on PCB (I buy Nano’s for $3 so, it doesn’t make sense to reproduce them on a PCB as it too simple, too low-cost…

This STEP does Not Have Castellated mounting - it has Pin-Headers
Nano2.step (260.1 KB)

This STEP does Have Castellated mounting (up to you to add Mounting to PCB)
Nano_BLE_v1r0.step (607.4 KB)

The Models are only Physical/Graphic representations and have only minimal aspects that I want…

KiCad libraries contains lots of symbols and footprints. You should find there most (if not all) you need.

ATMEGA328 is a very easy to onterface chip (hardware wise).
I never liked messing with bootloaders myself. I prefer a “real” programmer, I grew up with that and it’s probably more reliable then a bootloader.
Years ago I found the “one chip arduino” posted below, and it’s breadboard friendly.


It’s got:

  • Programming connector.
  • Reset button with extra pullup resistor (I find it more reliable with that extra resistor).
  • LED with resistor.
  • Decoupling capacitor.

It runs from it’s internal oscillator. If you want to add a crystal on a breadboard, I recommend cutting of the thin part of the crystal pins, so they do not stick in a breadboard, and then soldering the crystal directly to the pins (or use a few pins from a “turned” IC socket to make a socket for the crystal.

I know, you did not ask for this, but it’s just to show how easy and small the circuit needed to get an ATMEGA running is. Putting those parts in KiCad and laying them out on a PCB is maybe one or two hours of work.

As @paulvdh indicated, using bare Atmel (other) chips is easy and many tutorials posted online and in books.

Only need the Chip if wanting to use internal oscillator. Or, add Chips, XTAL and two Cap’s and you got it… Start with a BreadBoard example.

If you already have a programmer or Arduino setup as one (easy to do) the above link will get you there and includes making your own programmer from an UNO…

After that, use the knowledge to make something. I made this several yrs ago as a Test in Fritzing but, can do same thing in Kicad… The essential components are Circled in Red (everything else is not related to using the Atmel 328p).

FYI - nothing wrong with using Chips but, for me, Complete boards are so Low-Cost these days that I don’t bother with Chips (Atmel, Microchip…etc). I just mount a Complete Board onto a PCB/Kicad project…

ADDED: Worth mentioning for more complete post info… OP did say 328p and I, and paulvdh, show it in DIP form-factor. But, the Nano’s use a different form factor (TQFP), not 28pin DIP. You don’t want to mess with TQFP as a NOOB…

Maybe you like this one:

I found it by searching for “arduino nano kicad” on github.
The search probably took less time than writing this post.
Gitlab has a lot of projects of all sorts. It’s why some M$ company bought it in a multi Billion deal.


Thanks !!! this is exactly what I need.

And thanks for all of your fast answers!


You may find it helpful:

This is an Arduino Nano dev board with OLED, external 5V regulator & breadboard area.The board breaks out all Nano pins to turned pin SIL or SIL header pins (the types used are optional, use du-pont, 1mm solid core wire etc). Also has onboard addition 1A 5V supply and easy connect servo headers.

I’m tempted to flag bidrohini’s link as spam, as it’s not a KiCad project.

But it also makes another point more clear, there are probably 10+ “arduino nano” and hundredths of “arduino” projects (among which a fair deal made with KiCad) floating around the web.

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