Arduino boards, be they the ubiquitous Uno, or the more capable “Mega,” are great starting points for making fun DIY projects. Depending on your needs, however, in many cases they include things that are nice, but not always necessary.
The Naked Mega by Fuzzystudio gets rid of these frills in a package roughly an inch and a half square (38.1mm) that contains an ATmega2560 chip, as well as solder points for all 70 of a traditional Arduino Mega’s IO pins. This includes 54 digital pins and 16 analog, all of which work together to form the “FUZZY” display seen below.
If you’re wondering (like I was) if all of those LEDs are controlled directly by the Naked Mega without any sort of external controller, the answer is yes. This is explained in step 9 of this instructables article about the development process for the product.
The price seems good at $14.50 plus shipping as of this writing, though the small form factor does leave a few tradeoffs. Obviously traditional Arduino shields won’t work with this little guy, and you’ll need a USB to TTL serial converter module to program it. As it just so happens, the Fuzzy store sells this, so you can add it as an option, or head to its dedicated page to check it out further.