Uno and Nano - serial communication differences

Hi!

I'm a total newbie, just finished my first project, but I need to change the hardware and now I got lost over the serial communication details. Could someone please tell me if I'm getting it right?

I've got a working project I assembled on an Arduino Uno R3 board. It does a lot of communication to and from a PC over a USB cable. I need to find a smaller board and Nano would be perfect, but it doesn't have the separate Atmega for serial communication. How important this is?

Can I connect a Nano board to my PC with a USB cable and still freely use Serial.print and read? The Nanos come with FTDI (or CH340) chip already on board, don't they? The Minis need a separate FTDI board that serves the same purpose?

Is Nano in any way better compared to Mini in terms of serial communication?

I'm not sure what is the separate serial chip role on Uno board and if there isn't one on a Nano, how is that communication made? Is it emulated by software? Will it affect my program if now the 328u is responsible for doing all that work?

Ah, I'm really lost... Any help would be much, much appreciated.

Hi, The Nano has a FTDI USB interface and if you have the drivers loaded for that it will look just like a UNO for most things... same Microcontroller 328 chip.

The Arduino Duelmilanove also had the FTDI.

More info on Nano HERE:

Nano uses a USB "Mini-B" connector so you need that cable.

Nano is great for most things; I sell some with no pins attached for people who make headbands, hats etc.

DISCLAIMER: Mentioned stuff from my own shop...

Thanks! As soon as I posted my original post, I realized I'm confusing Mini and Nano, edited, but thanks for confirming this.

OK, so the Nano sounds perfect, but still I'm not sure what is the additional Atmega16 on Uno board for. Will it be heavier for the 328 if I use a lot of serial tx/rx?

The atmega16U2 does the same function as the FT232 on the Nano/Duemilanova - USB/Serial adapter.

Thank you CrossRoads!