Big EEPROM shield?

Hi All...

I have been googling much of the afternoon, with no luck. Does anyone know of a sheild that can mount directly to an Arduino (without another shield) and has a lot of EEPROM, like a megabyte or more? I would like to get a lot of storage on the device at low cost and without consuming a lot of the processing power.

Why not just wire up one of your own? Atmel makes 8-pin DIP 1M parts with i2c interface

Getting a sheild for that isn't going to happen unless you make it yourself. OPf course, if you want that storage and can use a breadboard, Atmel has EEPROMS up to 1 Megabit that use through holes. The best one for the arduino would be this one. It can use 5 volts and uses either i2c or 2 -wire-serial. It should work for your general needs, and will only use 2 pins. If you want more than that, you'll need to start using flash memory. Try this chip, but you'll have to get less than 3.6 volts to it somehow. (If you use usb, the 3.3v pin will work)

Thanks everyone! To answer the question about why I don’t wire my own, well I am pretty good with software but when it comes to hardware I’m pretty ignorant. That said, the 16 Mb chip would give me 2MByte storage and that’s about perfect. As you said, it needs from 2.7VDC to 3.3VDC. My device will be fed with 12VDC and I had planned to use an Arduino that can accept 12VDC. I suppose I could put a 3VDC regulator on the board to feed this chip?

Also, I see it has an SPI interface. Is wireing this chip up as simple as connecting the SPI pins on the flash chip to the SPI pins on the Arduino board?

Once the hardware is written, do I need to code my own library to talk to it, or would I talk to it using NewSerial like any other serial device?

Thanks again…

The arduino has dedicated SPI pins, that is built in hardware, for fast data transfers.
To talk to it, you do some commands like this:

  // start up SPI to talk to the MAX7221
  SPI.begin(); // nothing in () because we are the master
  pinMode(SS, OUTPUT);  // Slave Select for SPI  <--- Need this here before any SPI writes?

  //  MAX7221: write shutdown register  
  digitalWrite(SS,LOW);  // take the SS pin low to select the chip:
  SPI.transfer(SHUTDOWN_ADDRESS);  // select the Address,
  SPI.transfer(0x00);      // select the data, 0x00 = Outputs turned off
  digitalWrite(SS,HIGH);   // take the SS pin high to de-select the chip:
  // Serial.println("shutdown register, dislays off");

I didn’t read the data sheet but it probably supports reads/writes in blocks of addresses.

Yes the datasheet says it has blocks of addresses.

What does it mean to select and deselect the chip? Is SPI a kind of bus with things on it I have to turn on and off?

Yes - the part has a Chip Select line that you must control to talk to it. You start by taking it low, this enables data to go back and forth, and when done you bring it back high.
In my examples, I called it SlaveSelect, or SS.
If you had multiple chips, you would wire a separate SS to each chip (from seperate arduino pins, or from pins on a shift regiser for example).
If instead you used the other Atmel 1MB chip, that uses a slightly different scheme, where the chip has some pins that you wire hi/lo and the chip does an address comparison to an address in the message to see if you are talking to it. That chip let you assign 1 of 4 addresses (00,01,10,11) so 4 chips could be used together.
Its commands would look like this:

  // start up I2C, uses Analog 5 for Clock, Analog 4 for data
  Wire.begin(); // nothing in () because we are the master

  //  write intensity10 register
  Wire.beginTransmission(COMMAND_ADDRESS); // defined in the datasheet
  Wire.send(0xEE);  //  E = 15/16 (max)

Which arduino are you using?


Thanks guys, I just found this tutorial:

That answered many questions I had. So I guess some chips on a SPI are addressable while others are not.

As to which Arduino, I don't know yet. Something like this:

That one has the ATmega328P CPU and is powered by 12VDC. The thing I want to build will run where there are 12VDC readily available from a battery. I need a real RS232 port. Ideally it would be nice to have both an RS232 port and a USB port to talk to a PC but I have not yet found an Arduino that can do that.

Its also cheap, which is a huge plus. I need to produce these in quantities between 100 and 500 units over the next several years and no one will pay much for one.

Also, that tutorial was a great help. But, it did not discuss how to do page addressing. How do I tell the storage chip which page I want to write to or read from?

Thanks again, this is a great help!

If it helps to mention that my shield supports one EEPROM and one RTC. With additional wiring, the RTC socket can accommodate a second EEPROM. You just need to solder two additional wires. Then you get 2*1024MB, which is 256KB space. Here is a link:

If you want to know how to wire it to take two EEPROM chips, just PM me. I can write up a blog post with details.

Why exactly do you need so much EEPROM, and have you checked out the new Mega2560?

Well as someone pointed out, if I want about 2 megabytes of space I am better off with flash. A 2 MByte flash chip is about $1.60 quantity 1, and about $0.75 quantity 100. Its just for data logging. I'll write a windows app that can fetch the data off the Arduino.

I did look at the Mega2560. It has a lot of stuff I don't need and does not have any mass storage, although the hardware UART serial ports are nice. But it's $65 bucks! For $80 I can get an entire ARM board, complete with USB host ports, UART based serial, all running linux. I'm hoping to keep the per unit cost, including electronics, case, manual and packaging below about $60.00.

mega2560 is not production friendly if trying to fit a permanent design in a small space.

2meg of storage on this dataflash chip

their is also a few pre written arduino library's written for this chip, so its pretty much plug and play!


2meg of storage on this dataflash chip

their is also a few pre written arduino library's written for this chip, so its pretty much plug and play!

Nice find! :) No documents! :P

i couldn’t find any documents for it either but the shield JUST has this 8pin dip chip on it which u only need like 3pins LOL, so shouldn’t be to hard to work out!

heres a link to a nice library for the dataflash though :slight_smile:

hope that helps

Awesome! Thanks! At $1.82 quantity 25 from Digikey, its very affordable. I think I'll order a few extra so I can have spares on hand in case of frying :-(

We have a local Arduino vendor in Providence. I actually lost my Arduino that I bought a few months ago. Boy is that frustrating! So I'll go buy a new one along with a breadboard and see if I can make this work.


I ordered these:


AT45DB321D-SU-ND 4MByte (32 Mbit)

let us know how u get on interfacing with them :)

The Atmel chip originally suggested is now obsolete, and there is a replacement. There is also a 4MByte version, which I ordered to play with. Not bad for $3.87 qty 1. Hopefully I can use the same library, or with just a little modification.

The other chip is 8MByte! Different maker, so probably I’ll need to do more codeing but 8MByte would make sure I never run low, and make the end users happier as they can record their samples more frequently. This one is $5.64 qty 1. Getting pricy but I don’t sweat the small stuff :wink:

Thanks guys!