We propose a design method of an achromatic waveplate that comprises anisotropic thin films as a multi-cell layered system. Each cell is a symmetrical three-layered structure with equivalent refractive indices and phase thicknesses. A merit function defined as the rate of change of the phase retardation with respect to wavelength is introduced to control the variation of phase retardation by selecting proper birefringence and thickness for each film. The allowed thickness of each birefringent film is investigated for different requirement about the uniformity of phase retardation. An achromatic waveplate with a smaller number of cells is demonstrated by arranging the two composed films made of different materials with high contrast of refractive index between them. The arrangement of a matching layer, which is associated with the performance of the achromatic waveplate, is also discussed.