Monday, January 11, 2010


A student in Micro asked me if I'd considered Atmel's AVR when choosing a microprocessor for the book. I knew they didn't offer a C compiler and were limited to 8 bits, but little else. I did a bit of research and was impresssed:
  • There's one AVR core; the various families (tinyAVR, megaAVR, etc.) add features but share the same core. See the diagram to the right. Nice!
  • The AVR instruction set contains two 16-bit pointer registers for indirect addressing, compares and signed/unsigned branches, 16-bit addressing for data, a multiplier, and a stack. It's nice.
  • As shown in the overview, there are lots of DIP packages, great for breadboarding.
  • There are third-party C compilers, but no well-supported free ones. That's a big minus.
I realized that I need to use tags (i.e. labels to Blogger) to keep track of my posts, so I've started using them.

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