NerO - Arduino UNO R3 Compatible Board with Enhancements

NerO is dealing with the fundamental drawbacks of the widely-used Arduino UNO R3 – inefficient onboard linear voltage regulator.
This is an archive article published 09/02/2016. Some information may no longer be up to date and in line with the current state. Please contact us in case of interest.

Arduino platform is expandable by many kind of shields like TFT display, Wi-Fi, Ethernet, etc. which are powered from board itself. This can easily add up to 400mA or 500mA (in some cases it might be closer to 1A). When a standard UNO board (and likewise with the many clones now available) has to handle these sort of currents the LDO voltage regulator power dissipation is so high that its temperature can rise 95°C to 110°C - extremely hot and capable of reducing the lifespan and reliability of nearby components on the board. It simultaneously means that the power consumption is raised, as energy is unnecessarily wasted.

The NerO buck switcher regulator is much more energy efficient than an LDO device especially at higher voltage inputs. It can supply a full 1A current at 5V without overheating.

NerO is FCC/CE certified as is the original UNO, and so is suitable for commercial applications as well as hobbyist projects. Most other compatibles are not FCC / CE certified.

Manufacturing quality is very important - so FTDI partnered with MikroElektronika in Europe to manufacture NerO using their advanced SMT assembly line. NerO uses a 16MHz ATmega328 microcontroller with Optiboot bootloader.

FTDI’s FT231XS takes care of USB connectivity providing reliable communications. FT231XS is one of the latest X-series family of USB/UART solutions from FTDI. It has larger communication buffers at a lower cost compared to popular ubiquitous FT232RL device. FTDI provide high quality drivers for its USB bridge devices for Windows (including Windows 10), Linux and OSX.

A micro-USB connector is specified, rather than the bulkier full size type B connector used on UNOs. As per UNO, NerO has 14 digital interface pins plus 6 analog inputs. As the status and PWR LEDs are located at the edge of the PCB, it ensures they remain fully visible even when an Arduino shield has been attached. An on/off switch allows the unit to be powered up or down as needed, for greater convenience.


• Compatible with GSM/GPRS shield, FTDI CleO and many other standard Arduino shields.
• 16MHz ATmega328 32-pin TQFP package microcontroller.
• UNO R3 form factor
• 14 Digital I/O Pins (6 PWM outputs)
• 6 Analog Inputs
• FTDI FT231XS USB/UART interface
• A Micro-B USB connects to PC connect or provides power supply over USB for board.
• VIN Input voltage - 7V to 20V (9V or 12V recommended)
• Hardware Reset button provided.
Optiboot bootloader preloaded.
Arduino Software (IDE) and UNO library compatible.

For more information please see NerO documentation. For further information about FTDI products please contact us at


  • 5V/1A switching regulator vs LDO regulator
  • FCC/CE certified
  • Quality product - manufactured in Europe
  • A Micro-B USB connector vs full size type B connector
  • Status and PWR LEDs moved to edge of PCB - and remain visible when a shield is placed on the expansion connectors
  • On-Off Switch for added user convenience

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Competition with the following question has been published here:

FT231XS is in factory default configuration. What is CBUS3 pin logic level when the device is in USB suspend?

The correct answer was: 0 (zero)
We have drawn the following winners:
Róbert Pavlík [SK]
Petr Weissar [CZ]
Istrati Norocel [RO]
Congratulations to winners. We´ll inform them by e-mail.

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NerO - LP1

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