by Warren Miller @ digikey.com:
MCUs offer a very wide range of Ethernet connectivity choices. With most applications demanding Internet connectivity, it’s more likely than not that your next MCU-based design will need some type of network connection. Whether your next design is a sensor that needs to consolidate and communicate data over an Ethernet link, a network-connected security camera that needs to have periodic code updates sent via the network connection, or an industrial controller that needs to use a robust industrial Ethernet connection, your choice of Ethernet-enabled MCU will be critical in delivering the capabilities required for a successful design.
Understanding and Using Ethernet-enabled MCUs for Your Next Application – [Link]
Atmel have announced the introduction of the SAMA5D4 to their SAMA5 family of microcontrollers. These use an ARM Cortex A5 core and the new D4 adds H264, VP8 and MPEG4 720p video playback capability at 30fps.
According to Jacko Wilbrink, sr. director of MPUs at Atmel “With the large market acceptance of the Atmel SAMA5D3 Cortex®-A5-based MPUs, we are continuing to shape experiences surrounding the user interface for industrial and consumer applications. The SAMA5D4 enables the addition of video playback to control panels and displays at an unrivalled cost point, security and counterfeiting are becoming growing concerns within the rapidly growing IoT market. These applications require MPUs with advanced encryption while maintaining the same level of high performance. Atmel® | SMART™ SAMA5D4 is positioned to deliver the security and performance many Internet-connected systems require.”
New Processors from Atmel - [Link]
An instructables on motor controllers for cheap robots by JayWeeks
Almost every robot needs to power a motor of some sort or another. Problem is that motors take quite a lot of power, compared to what most microcontrollers operate with. To solve this problem, robots use what is called a motor controller, which usually amounts to some form of electronic switch that can turn on a very high voltage, using a very low one. That’s what we’ll be making today!
Motor controllers for cheap robots - [Link]
Davide Gironi writes:
DS18B20 is a programmable resolution 1-wire digital thermometer.
It has an operating temperature range of -55°C to +125°C and is accurate to ±0.5°C over the range of -10°C to +85°C.
This library is an AVR implementation to retrive temperature from DS18B20.
Built using the reference document: “Using DS18B20 digital temperature sensor on AVR microcontrollers” by Gerard Marull Paretas, 2007.
A DS18B20 1-wire digital thermometer AVR ATmega library - [Link]
Stephen Wylie , “Program two ATmegas w/an Arduino & AVRDUDE without re-cabling in between!”
Those of you who have programmed an Arduino through the Arduino or AVR Studio IDE may have noticed the utility that is really doing the work: AVRDUDE (AVR Downloader/UploaDEr). This is a powerful program that can facilitate programming new sketches on top of a bootloader, load a brand new bootloader or chip image, capture the current firmware programmed on the chip, and set fuse bits (which can render your chip unusable without special tools if you’re not careful).
Make your own dual programmer in AVRDUDE - [Link]
by Vadim Panov:
Back when I was only starting to dabble in electronics, I needed a project that would meet the following requirements:
simple to make;
original (i.e. done entirely by myself from scratch);
containing a microcontroller;
and maybe the most important of all, useful. I’ve had enough devices I assembled just to dismantle the whole thing a month later.
The thing I came up with at the time was a light swich for my room controlled over an IR remote from TV. Remote that I had used RC-5 protocol, hence the firmware is suited for any RC-5 compatible remote.
Everyone is familiar to the everliving problem with switching the lights off in your room before going to bed and stumbling back across the room. The IR switch I describe here solves that problem, and I can definitely tell that this project was a success – I am still using it with no regret.
Infrared remote controlled light switch with ATTiny2313 - [Link]
I remember that once in the beginning I said that I don’t want to buy a programmer/debugger hardware for learning a new MCU like the STM32 and also STM32s already come with built-in bootloader to facilitate programming via USART just like Arduino. Still the second is true. Well what about the first? To my own surprise I actually acquired a number of STM32-related stuffs since the time I started playing and exploring them. I actually bought both ST-Link 1 and 2 programmer-debuggers and several STM32 boards from Waveshare Electronics (http://www.wvshare.com). I believe learning new stuffs is more valuable than anything else.
STM32 Programming Tips and Tricks - [Link]
by Francois AUGER & Philippe Fretaud:
Many previous Design Ideas [1, 2] have shown how to use the Charlieplexing technique  to drive as many LEDs as possible with a minimum number of I/O lines. This Design Idea shows how you can drive three LEDs and scan three switches with only three I/O lines instead of six. Using the same principle, it will also be possible to manage four switches and two LEDs, or five LEDs and one switch. It works well with Atmel ATmega microcontrollers including the Arduino, and could be of particular interest for any eight-pin devices, or when you’ve simply run out of I/O.
3 pins, 3 LEDs, 3 buttons - [Link]
App note (PDF) on NXP’s Agile I/O expander, discussing its capabilities and how to use it efficiently.
I2C-bus GPIO devices are widely used and expand a control processor’s pins to 8-, 16- or 24- bits of general-purpose input or output. The characteristic of these I/O needs to be accurately known to efficiently use them in a system. This application note will explore the actual electrical characteristics of Agile I/O GPIO pins.
App note: Low Voltage Agile I/O GPIO Input/Output Characteristics - [Link]
Everytime we need to test a stepper motor controller we have to connect it to the parallel port of the computer or to a function generator to obtain the necessary pulses the realize the movements of the stepper.
This is a quicker method to check a controller integrity. Simply to make the life easier here is a square wave signals generator. A potentiometer or a trimmer regulates the pulse generation of the 12F675 microchip (a square wave, between 20 hz and 3khz). Ok, there are thousands of different ways to create a pulse generator, but we had a lot of microcontrollers.
12F675 pulse generator - [Link]