PSA: if you’re a fan of ATmega, try AVR Dx @lcamtuf @MicrochipMakes

A little-known offshoot of the ATmega series of 8-bit microcontrollers is better, faster, and cheaper than its progenitor, according to lcamtuf’s thing blog.

The first AVR ATmega microcontroller debuted in 1998 and took the world by storm. In contrast to other embedded 8-bit processors of the era, it required no external components, could run off a wide range of supply voltages, and worked with the GNU C Compiler when others required you to learn assembly or pay for proprietary tools.

Since then, ATmega MCUs remained a staple of hobby engineering. In recent years, their market position has been challenged by single-board computers and the WiFi capable ESP32; still, the AVR architecture remains the go-to option for those who want to get things done without wrangling schedulers or understanding the messy clock architectures of Cortex-M chips.

Yet, relatively few ATmega fans realize that Microchip recently released a revamped series of 8-bit AVR MCUs: AVR DA and DB, along with the more specialized AVR DD and DU. The products are not being marketed to hobbyists. Instead, they’re advertised for automotive and industrial applications. Still, they’re cheaper and better in almost all respects — and just as easy to use.

Microchip has a short migration doc explaining the differences between the platforms. If you prefer to learn from examples, I also published the source code for two of my earlier AVR Dx projects: an audio toy and an OLED game.

Read more here.

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