Analog-to-digital-conversion (ADC) is required in Embedded Systems to deal with various analog world parameters such as current, pressure, motion, temperature, etc. An ADC is an electronic system or a module that has analog input, reference voltage input and digital outputs. The ADC convert the analog input signal to a digital output value that represents the size of the analog input comparing to the reference voltage. It basically samples the input analog voltage and produces an output digital code for each sample taken. This application note from Atmel describes the fundamental concepts of ADC and the associated parameters that determine the performance and accuracy of the ADC’s output.
Understanding ADC parameters for accurate analog-to-digital conversions - [Link]
adafruit.com launched a new little micro controller board board based on ATtiny85.
Trinket may be small, but do not be fooled by its size! It’s a tiny microcontroller board, built around the Atmel ATtiny85, a little chip with a lot of power. We wanted to design a microcontroller board that was small enough to fit into any project, and low cost enough to use without hesitation. Perfect for when you don’t want to give up your expensive dev-board and you aren’t willing to take apart the project you worked so hard to design. It’s our lowest-cost arduino-IDE programmable board!
Adafruit TRINKET – Mini Microcontroller – 3.3V and 5.5V versions – $7.95 - [Link]
AntzyP @ instructables.com writes:
What’s with mint boxes and electronics? Beats me, but they are somehow made for each other. I had built ladyada’s USBtinyISP v1.0 circuit on a breadboard which I used every other day. It worked sporadically(and never at hour of need), used up half of my breadboard and looked ugly. So I decided to try my hand at home PCB fabrication and build it in, of course, a tiny tic-tac box. Since I was a beginner, the circuit is easy and single-sided and uses crystal instead of ceramic oscillator.
Tic-Tac USBtinyISP Programmer - [Link]
IR Communications for Atmel Mega644/1284 microcontrollers.
Infrared (IR) can be used for line-of-sight communications over low to moderate range. IR is nice because of the lack of interference (except for sun and compact fluroscent lights) and freedom from FCC regulation. The web site http://tthheessiiss.wordpress.com/2009/08/05/dirt-cheap-wireless/ (Jacob Sikker Remin, 2009) shows how to use a IR remote control receiver and IR LED to send ASCII serial data in a simple, but unreliable, fashion with no error control, packetizing, or other overhead. The transmitter drive uses a clever method to modulate and invert the serial output from the USART transmitter. The circuit is shown below.
Infrared Communications for Atmel Mega644/1284 microcontrollers - [Link]
Alberto Maccioni posted an update on his multi-chip opensource programmer based on a PIC18F2550. It supports PIC, I2C-SPI-MicroWire EEPROMs, some ATMEL AVRs, and (soon) other devices:
In the last few years, as serial and parallel interfaces have almost disappeared, electronics enthusiasts find even more difficult to program microcontrollers; old time programmers don’t work any more; common solutions include using USB to serial adapters (which can’t accept direct access but only slow API calls), or add-on interface chips, like FTDIxxxx, which appear substantially as serial interfaces and require custom or proprietary drivers. So why not use PIC controllers and their native USB interface? After searching a while I couldn’t find an USB programmer which was at the same time functional, free, and open source, so I decided to design one.
Open Programmer v0.8.x - [Link]
Leonardo just started a new blog where he will talk about electronics including Atmel MCU (ATMega, XMega,..) and ASF (Atmel Software framework) with articles and examples. Blog is in Italian but also a computer-translated version is available. Check it out…
New blog about Atmel MCU and Atmel Software framework - [Link]
Jesus Echavarria @ jechavarria.com writes:
In my last projects, I always use the same CPU. DSETA board, I say in the posts. Well, here it is, a CPU based on the AT89C51RE2 microcontroller from Atmel. I develop this board for some reasons. The first and main one is because I want to have a small board with a great (an known) 8-bit microcontroller, ready to use and with many of the peripherals I usually use. The other reason is that I want to test the PCB service from Seeedstudio, a PCB manufacturer from Shenzhen, China
DSETA board, a CPU based on the Atmel AT89C51RE2 - [Link]
Here’s an interesting project by Steve of Tangent Audio the AZIZ project, a microcontroller-based LED microscope illuminator:
AZIZ is an LED microscope illuminator that I designed and built from scratch. It is designed around a Texas Instruments TLC59116 constant-current PWM LED driver chip, and an Atmel ATTiny1634 8-bit microcontroller.
AZIZ: DIY LED microscope illuminator - [Link]
Some key features:
- Supports all programmers and MCUs that AVRDUDE supports
- Supports presets, allowing you to change between devices and configurations quickly and easily
- Drag and drop files for easy uploading
- Automatically lists available COM ports
AVRDUDESS – A gui for AVRdude - [Link]
XMEGA-A1 Xplain development kit provides a straightforward way to development of applications with Atmel XMEGA microcontrollers.
XMEGA a family of powerful 8/16-bit RISC microcontrollers with many built-in peripherials (DMA, RTC, LCD driver, 12 bit ADC,…) is ideally suited for relatively high performance applications, where we will with favor use its features – often without a need to add any other peripherials.
In order to get easily familiar with AVR XMEGA family features, ATMEL also produces fevelopment/ evaluation kits for these processors. From several types available, in our offer you can find on stock the XMEGA-A1 Xplain with the ATxmega128A1 processor. The development kit enables development and testing of applications including usage of ADC, DAC and I/O ports. The kit is power-supplied via a USB port, that´s why you can supply it from a PC but even from an external AC adapter with an USB connector output. A detailed description can be found in the Xplained user guide, Xplained getting started and Xmega basics training documents.
On the Atmel website you can find many documents about various processor´s parts and its usage in the concrete applications.
Atmel AVR Xplain will explain it to you directly - [Link]