Consider if the lifespan of atmega328 has been wear out.

It said on datasheet of atmega how many times we can upload sketch about 10.000times (cmiiw), should i change the arduino or only the microcontroller after 10.000 times have been arrive? what if that times has been arrive? What happened with that IC? If it will starting problem, can we change only the microcontroller (atmega328PU)?? Or any there's thing or stuff we must change too?

Should i burn the bootloader to that IC after replace it?

  • 1
    You realize, I hope, that it's very unlikely that you will ever upload a sketch to an Arduino 10000 times.
    – jwh20
    Dec 21, 2020 at 14:11
  • 10,000 is 30 times a day for a year, surely it deserves a retirement with benefits after that service.
    – dandavis
    Dec 21, 2020 at 21:31

1 Answer 1


You only need to change the IC, not the entire board. The microcontroller IS the IC.

Also, you will not see any degradation, it will just 'suddenly' fail, or starting to fail sometimes, without any warning or counter that counts up/down to 10,000.

Also keep in mind that this number is the MINIMUM guaranteed value, most ICs will go much further.

The best way to prevent getting into problems related with this issue is:

  • When you have a finished project and it works, just keep that IC for that project.
  • In case you fear getting into this problem during development, only change it if you are sure you have problems (i.e. you cannot upload your sketch anymore).
  • Think before uploading 100 times per day a sketch for debugging purposes (add Serial.print lines, or even better, use a PC to debug all non Arduino related code.
  • 1
    So what you mean is Serial.print for debugging instead of uploading code many times which it makes lifespan of atmega328 decreased, i was used to use arduino simulator on tinkercad.com, until i bought arduino board. So it's a bad habit to upload many times only for debug? Dec 21, 2020 at 13:25
  • 1
    I don't have experience with the simulator. Uploading 100 times per day is quite a lot, and you can do it for 100 days to reach 10K, and probably many more. I wouldn't worry that much. However, another reason to add Serial.print statements or testing code on a PC is that is normally saves a lot of time (to really see what is happening and not 'guessing' or trying randomly to get things right. Dec 21, 2020 at 13:30
  • It will be a long time before you reach the maximum number of sketch uploads so don't worry too much about it. Serial.print is meant to speed up the development/debugging process and can help reduce the amount of testing and code uploads needed as well as reduce the overall time needed for your software to work.
    – StarCat
    Dec 21, 2020 at 13:30
  • 1
    you can use tinkercad's online Arduino simulator to test code without any wear on equipment. it even simulates some hardware. I use it to work on libraries since it's faster than constantly uploading.
    – dandavis
    Dec 21, 2020 at 21:29
  • 1
    @dandavis That sounds like a good approach too. Myself used for one project self written stubs using a PC, more work but it was for a dedicated DMX (light) project. Dec 22, 2020 at 8:13

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