Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It’s intended for artists, designers, hobbyists, and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments. Or more simply, you load on some code and it can read sensors, perform actions based on inputs from buttons, control motors, and accept shields to further expand it’s capabilities. Really, you can do almost anything.

All Arduino boards have one thing in common: they are programmed through the Arduino IDE. This is the software that allows you to write and upload code. Beyond that, there can be a lot of differences. The number of inputs and outputs (how many sensors, LEDs, and buttons you can use on a single board), speed, operating voltage, and form factor are just a few of the variables.

The Following table shows the comparison between the two popular Arduino board. It is primarily a comparison between Arduino Uno vs Mega 2560.

Arduino Mega 2560 Vs. UNO – Key Features and Specifications of Both

  • The Arduino UNO is based on an ATmega328 MCU microcontroller and is very popular among the Arduino users. While the Arduino Mega 2560 is featured with ATmega2560 which is a heart of this well-known Arduino board.
  • The UNO board comes with 14 (total 20) Digital I/O pins which are distributed as 6 analog inputs, 6 PWM outputs, and a ceramic resonator of 16MHz. The Mega 2560 comes with 54 (total 70) Digital I/O pins distributed as 16 analog inputs, 15 PWM outputs, one 16MHz crystal oscillator, and 4 hardware serial ports (UARTs). A power jack, one USB connection, one ICSP header, and a reset button are featured on both Arduino boards equally.
  • The UNO R3 Board has the stronger RESET circuit compared to the other boards.
  • The Arduino Mega is compatible with almost all the shields those are designed for the Arduino Due (MCU board).
  • The UNO has a flash memory of 32KB, 1KB EEPROM (permanent storage), and 2KB SRAM (for working storage). The Mega

2560 comes with 256KB flash memory, 4KB EEPROM, and 8KB SRAM.

  • Although you can join some extra circuit to the UNO like 4021 ICs, if you do not like the fussy stuff, then go for the Arduino Mega 2560.

 

 

 

 

  • What is Arduino?
    What is Arduino?
  • Arduino Project 1: LED Flashing
    Arduino Project 1: LED Flashing
  • Arduino Project 2: S.O.S distress signal
    Arduino Project 2: S.O.S distress signal
  • Arduino Project 3: Interactive traffic lights
    Arduino Project 3: Interactive traffic lights
  • Arduino Project 4: Breathing LED
    Arduino Project 4: Breathing LED
  • Arduino Project 5: Color RGB LED
    Arduino Project 5: Color RGB LED
  • Arduino Project 6: Alarm
    Arduino Project 6: Alarm
  • Arduino Project 7: Temperat

 

Software and Hardware ReviewThe Arduino Mega 2560 is featured with four UARTs (hardware ports), means you will get the top speed through multiple ports. The UNO provides the same through its NewSoftSerial library software. But as the software connection may be a bit slower, so if your design is pushing limits at maximum level, then it is recommended that you use Mega 2560 board. I.e. you can use the primary port for debugging and the secondary port for the communication.Performance ComparisonThe Pulse Width Modulation is a key difference between the both. Use of PWM cuts down the need for a motor with a varied voltage which is not ideal for a controller. Still, you can use PWM with the 6 pins and some extra coding on UNO, but having 14 pins on Mega gives more steady voltage during the partial power on and off situations.All these means Mega is more preferable, right?Well, not absolutely. The price of Mega is what leads the users to go to the Arduino UNO board. Though it takes some extra coding and circuitry, the UNO can be available only at the half price of the Mega 2560 if you are going for all original parts.Also, the chipset is soldered in Mega 2560, while the UNO has more comfortable socketed chip design. Many will not find this as a big issue, but the memory of Mega 2560 can only handle 10,000 uploads/compiles. After it, the chipboard will toast. In this case, the socketed chipboard can be replaced in the UNO.At last, the Mega 2560 is less common than the UNO development board. Mega has a non-standard software, but you can work with different devices and coding for it.RecommendationIf you want to write considerably complex programs involving Ethernet shields and Micro SD cards it is recommended to go for Arduino Mega 2560 board. Be aware, this board is almost twice as expensive as Arduino Uno.If you are just getting started with Arduino, or if you want to create simple applications such as temperature sensor, gps interfacing, stepper motor control, alarm system, interface accelerometer, – You should go for Arduino Uno!If you are a DIY hobbyist of Arduino, or in the professional field of Arduino circuits, then knowing about the exact key features and the pointable differences between the leading Arduino boards will help you to get the truly desired output from your design.

Features Arduino Uno Arduino Mega 2560 
Microcontroller (MCU) ATmega328P
(Datasheet)
ATmega2560
(Datasheet)
Operating Voltage of the Microcontroller 5 V 5 V
Typical Supply Voltage for the board 7 V – 12V 7 V – 12 V
Digital I/O Pins 14 (includes 6 PWM outputs) 54 (includes 15 PWM outputs)
PWM outputs 6 15
Analogue Input Pins 6 16
Max DC Current per I/O Pin 20 mA 20 mA
Max DC Current for 3.3V Pin 50 mA 50 mA
Flash memory of MCU 32 KB 256 KB
Bootloader footprint 0.5 KB 8 KB
SRAM of MCU 2 KB 8 KB
EEPROM of MCU 1 KB 4 KB
Clock Speed 16 MHz 16 MHz
Programming Interface
USB via ATMega16U2 USB via ATMega16U2
Board Dimensions (Length) 68.6 mm 101.5 mm
Board Dimensions (Width) 53.4 mm 53.4 mm
Cost Typically $10
Cheap Arduino Uno R3Cheap Arduino Uno R3

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Typically $20
Cheap Arduino Mega 2560Cheap Arduino Mega 2560

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