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Setting up AVR development platform

You can be encouraged to use various types of AVR development tools. Most of them cost money to get full functionality and support. Most common commercial packages are CodeVisionAVR, Imagecraft ICCV, IAR Workbench. All they are great tools out of the box with fast support that you have to pay. Of course, you can give a try with their limited versions to se capabilities as we mentioned before we are going to use free tools that great enough comparing to commercial. WinAVR or AVR-GCC tools WinAVR is a toolset for C programming the AVR microcontrollers. It is a bunch of small programs that make development as comfortable as possible. Main tools here are avr-gcc compiler, avrdude programmer, avr-gdb debugger and even more. These are command line tools, so you need to integrate them into some integrated development environment (IDE). There can be any IDE supporting external tools like Eclipse and of course AVRStudio that we will be using. Besides, WinAVR comes with great program writing tool – Programmers Notepad. Actually, with WinAVR you can write, compile, upload to chip and… Continue reading

Things needed before you learn AVR

There are several things you need to do before learning AVR. First of all, you need an AVR chip. Better chose megaAVR series, so you don’t need to worry about lack of peripherals when required. Atmega8, Atmega16 or further mega’s will do correctly. Probably chose in DIP package as it will easily fit in breadboard for fast prototyping.  Development boards are great to work with as they mostly are designed for learning and prototyping.  Any Arduino board can be used with no problem as it has all the necessary means to serve as a general purpose dev board. Anyway, I leave this up you for a while. Next thing is the programmer. This is where you can get a headache. Really! In a few words, a programmer is a cable/device used to upload firmware (compiled program) to chip. Programmers can be connected to the computer via various ports including parallel (LPT), serial (COM) and USB. Or there can be no programmer at all if the chip has a bootloader set up. But this will be discussed later. These were two… Continue reading