Is Nano 33 iot "production ready"?

Hey all!

I’m working on a project using a nano 33 iot, and I do need to use most of its features (wifi, bluetooth, crypto chip, …). I’ve read that for most Arduino projects, it is only used for prototyping, and to move towards production, there is a fairly standard process that I am quite unfamiliar with (PCB board design, etc.). However, I’ve also read on several occasions that this nano 33 iot might be (somehow) suitable for production as it is - at least for starters, where the eventual production quantity might be quite low (think 100-200) anyways.

I was wondering if any of you have any thoughts on this? If custom PCB is still the way to go, how hard would it be to learn to design on my own (little hardware experience, worked mostly on the software side of things). If trying to learn from scratch proves to be too difficult, is the process somewhat like going to a professional and telling them I want a custom PCB design that has all (or at least most of) the functionalities of the nano 33 iot?

Thanks in advance!

You really need to evaluate the tradeoffs, which will be different for each situation. You will likely achieve a reduction in the BOM cost by designing your own board from scratch, but you may also increase the design time and cost.

One thing to note is that, even though the Nano 33 IoT is likely to be produced in the tens of thousands, Arduino still chose to use the ublox NINA-W102 WiFi module, rather than just putting the ESP32, flash chip, and antenna directly on the Nano 33 IoT board. So this shows that the use of modules is something done even by big professional companies for production in significant numbers.

If you do want to design your own board, you may find it useful that the Nano 33 IoT is open source hardware, meaning you can download the design files and use them as a reference for your product. You should take note of the Creative Commons license the design files are distributed under.

Thank you!