I want to buy an arduino development board which has facility to remove its chip and insert a new one anytime. I want to use multiple chips in a single board for different purposes.

If it is not possible, Please suggest me any alternative.

  • You have another post Which Arduino has maximum features? which also requests Suggest me an arduino board - this is pretty close to a cross-post of the same question.
    – Nick Gammon
    Commented Jul 29, 2015 at 21:38
  • @NickGammon - I understand where you are coming from, but it is not necessarily true. If the title of this question was changed to "Suggest me an Arduino development board with a removable MCU", which would more accurately describe the meat of this post, then the answer to the other question would arguably be the Arduino Mega, in lieu of the UNO. Commented Jul 30, 2015 at 17:55
  • Yes, putting the two posts together it is unclear if the OP wants maximum features or a removable chip. Maybe he wants the board with maximum features that also has a removable chip? Or maybe he wants two boards recommended? It isn't clear.
    – Nick Gammon
    Commented Jul 30, 2015 at 21:05

5 Answers 5


Only the Arduino Uno has a socketed IC chip. All the rest are using soldered SMD ICs.

  • And the 2009, but almost no one uses those anymore. Commented Jul 28, 2015 at 14:00
  • I don't think you can buy Duemilanoves anymore. Also, make sure you don't get the Uno SMD obviously.
    – Gerben
    Commented Jul 28, 2015 at 14:04
  • Never underestimate the capabilities of NOS. Commented Jul 28, 2015 at 14:13
  • 2
    "I don't think you can buy Duemilanoves anymore." see ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=duemilanove and increasingly more sellers again offer Uno variations with other USB helper chips than the 8u2/16u2, so that could be seen as 2015ish version of Duemilanoves. And there is not much difference in handling between Uno and Duemilanove when you update your "2009er" to Optiboot.
    – gone
    Commented Jul 28, 2015 at 14:30

You could get an ATmegaXX8 target board from Evil Mad Scientist. That has (or can have) a ZIF socket so you can easily remove the chip without bending its legs.

AtmegaXX8 target board

That's around $US 3 for the board, $2 for the ZIF socket, $1 for the crystal, 45 cents for the ICSP header.

You can put an Atmega328P into the socket (same chip as on the Uno). Note that some soldering is required. You would need to solder on the ZIF socket, the ISP header, and make up an FTDI header if you wanted to easily program it from the IDE.

You would also need (or it would be helpful to have) a 16 MHz crystal along with 2 x 18 pF capacitors. They have them for sale at that site.

You would also need a 10 k pull-up resistor for Reset, a couple of 0.1 µF decoupling capacitors, and another 0.1 µF capacitor for handling reset via the FTDI interface - if you use it.

If you want to program serially (and do serial debugging) you need some sort of USB interface, such as an FTDI cable or board.

Example FTDI Serial TTL-232 USB Cable.

FTDI cable

That is around $US 18. (Of course, you only need to buy the cable once, so this is a one-time cost).

You would need to solder in 6 header pins in a line to plug that into (on the prototyping area) and then run appropriate wires to Tx/Rx/Gnd/5V and Reset via the 0.1 µF capacitor I mentioned.

Adafruit have an Arduino bootloader-programmed chip (Atmega328P) for $US 6.

All-up it would probably cost you around $US 30 to put it together. (The FTDI cable is a once-off cost, as you can use that on multiple projects).

Other vendors will probably have similar products.

  • I'm going to second the EMS board because those pin labels are super handy to have (and unstoppable when you pair it with one of these. Can't say I like how far the crystal is, but at 20MHz it doesn't seem horrible. But get yourself a EvUSBasp; the 2015 edition has a tiny 3.3V/5V switch (and don't forget the 10-to-6-pin adapter if you need one). Commented Jul 30, 2015 at 23:39
  • Good idea. In fact you can make those labels yourself, see Arduino Breadboard Labels
    – Nick Gammon
    Commented Jul 31, 2015 at 0:18

The ultimate solution would be to build it yourself!

Standalone Arduino

Arduino has an excellent step by step guide on how to build a standalone Arduino, using a ATMega328, on a breadboard. Now everything is removable, not just the chip.

Note that there is one slight error in the guide, which I have highlighted here, Arduino Standalone - photo shows incorrect pin wired to MOSI.

There is a video on how to achieve, more or less, the same thing, 1-Day Project: Build Your Own Arduino Uno for $5.


It is possible, you could probably do it on most of the Arduino boards too.

This page on the Arduino website may help you - https://www.arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/ArduinoToBreadboard

I have personally never attempted it but I know quite a few people who have and they have never had too many big issues.


If the question is driven by need of minimizing the overall cost, well, on ebay you can find plenty of Arduino Mini Pro at about $2, shipment included. Add an USBASP programmer at the cost of $5 and you get a solution which is still pretty cheap and allows each board to be used, rather than having just one with multiple chips to insert/remove. At a fraction of the cost of the other solutions described here.

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