Turn-key PCB assembly services in prototype quantities or low-volume to mid-volume production runs

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

AVR at a glance

Any AVR microcontroller is an 8-bit computer in a chip designed and manufactured by ATMEL Corporation. It has some RAM and ROM (Flash) as well. There is also an EEPROM memory. Including AVR core CPU all these are more than enough to say that it is a small computer where you can execute programs stored in Flash memory, run them while operating data in SRAM and storing some constant values in EEPROM. Comparing to the real computer that sits on your table you can say that AVR core is a CPU like AMD or Pentium. Flash memory would be your hard drive where programs are stored, RAM is RAM nothing to add there. EEPROM probably can be compared to some media device like CDRW. Anyway, this is only similitude in a different scale. AVR microcontrollers aren’t limited with core CPU and memory. The main thing what makes them valuable (and any other type of microcontroller) – they are rich in peripherals inside the chip. In most cases, you will find USART, I2C, SPI, ADC, Timers/Counters, and a bunch of I/O… Continue reading