App note: Using Philipp springs to create touch keys

Here is an app note from Atmel describing how build DIY touch keys using Philipp springs (or any spring made from conductive material) and their qTouch ICs. This design allows PTH LEDs to be mounted inside the keys. The Philipp™ spring is a simple and cost-effective method of creating a touch key on a dielectric […]

App note: Introduction to Power Stage Controllers

Power Stage Controllers drive transistors in applications like DC to DC converters, power factor correcting circuits, motor drivers, etc. Atmel describes the basics of their PSC equipped AVRs: This application note is an introduction to the use of the Power Stage Controllers (PSC) available in some AVR microcontrollers. The object of this document is to […]

Atmel University Program Kicks Off 2012 Robotics Contest

The 2012 Atmel Robotics Contest (ARC) is currently underway. The contest is open to university students 18 years or older in North America, South America and Europe, and the goal is to develop a battery-powered 3D version of the Atmel robot ‘Mel’ (pictured above) using Arduino’s 4WD platform (for example, see Seeedstudio’s version) and Atmel […]

App note: Selecting and testing 32kHz crystal oscillators

Atmel describes how to select and test 32.768 kHz quartz crystals [PDF!] for real-time clocks. The basic tips on layout apply to any microcontroller project, not just those with AVRs. This application note summarizes the crystal basics, PCB layout considerations, and how to test a crystal in your application. A crystal selection guide shows recommended […]

App note: Enhancing ADC resolution by oversampling

Atmel describes how to enhance ADC resolution by oversampling the signal and averaging the extra data. This has a side effect of increasing the signal to noise ratio, and reducing the quantization error. When the ADC samples a signal, it quantizes the signal in  discrete steps. This introduces some error, often referred to as  quantization […]

App note: Basic features of the Atmel XMEGA Direct Memory Access Controller (DMAC)

Here is an app note describing how to use the Direct Memory Access Controller found on Atmel’s XMEGA microcontrollers. This application note covers the basic features of the Atmel  XMEGA Direct Memory Access Controller (DMAC). The goal for  this training is to getting started with simple memory transfers  almost without using CPU time, and reading […]

BB313 – ATtinyX313 breakout board for breadboards

John designed a breakout board for the ATtiny2313/4313 microcontrollers. It features a power supply, decoupling capacitors, ceramic resonator, a FTDI 6pin header, and a programing header. The board is designed so it is easy to interface with breadboards by putting all the breakout pins on one side. We’re calling this breakout configuration the ‘blade’ breakout, […]

App note: Using hardware SPI on XMEGA microcontrollers

Here is an app note from Atmel describing hoe to use the SPI module on their XMEGA microcontrollers. Also provided are source code examples for implementing both interrupt driven SPI communication and the polled method for slave and master devices. SPI is a full duplex interface, and at a low cost enabling high-speed communication between […]

App note: ATXmega USB Hardware Design Recommendations

Here is an design recommendation from Atmel about implementing USB on AVR  XMEGA microcontrollers. The article provides all the basic information you’ll need to get started with designing USB devices with the XMEGA. This document is written for hardware designers to help them develop their applications. It assumes that readers are familiar with the AVR […]

App note: PC fan control using an ATtiny13

Dumb PC fans come with 3 pin jacks, and have no PWM control. This app note explains how to make a “smart” fan from a “dumb” one by implementing PWM control using an ATtiny13 microcontroller. This application note describes the operation of 12 volt DC  cooling fans typically used to supply cooling air to electronic  […]

App note: LIN Firmware Base for LIN/UART Controller

Here is a app note from Atmel with a comprehensive reference for implementing the Local Interconnect Network on a ATmega, or ATtiny microcontroller. LIN is a slow sub-network of the CAN bus used to integrate sensors, and devices, in modern-day cars. One master can interface with up to 16 slaves at a maximum bandwidth of […]

Atmel and Arduino Collaborate on AVR and ARM-based Development Platforms

Atmel and Arduino have announced a cooperative effort to produce three new AVR and ARM-based dev platforms debuting at the Atmel-sponsored Arduino Pavilion at Maker Faire located in Queens, New York, September 17 and 18, 2011. According to Atmel’s press release: Atmel and Arduino will be demonstrating several platforms in the Atmel-sponsored Arduino Pavilion including: […]

Atmel AVR Xplained dev boards

Atmel has announced their AVR Xplained series of dev boards. Atmel AVR Xplained is a series small-sized and easy-to-use evaluation kits for 8- and 32-bit AVR microcontrollers. It consists of a series of low cost MCU boards for evaluation and demonstration of feature and capabilities of different AVR familie. Example projects and code drivers are […]

QTouch library for Atmel MCUs

The Atmel QTouch Library is a royalty-free software library (GCC and IAR™) for developing touch applications on standard Atmel AT91SAM and AVR microcontrollers. Developers can use it to integrate touch-sensing capability into their applications by linking the library into firmware. The library can be used to develop single-chip solutions for many control applications or to […]

Short notice: AVR Studio 5 webinar

Atmel is presenting a free webinar on March 17, 2011 on AVR Studio 5. This one hour presentation will begin at 8:00 AM PDT and will cover the Visual Assist Solution Explorer project manager, the AVR Software Framework for AVR XMEGA and AVR UC3 and more including many example projects. You can download your copy […]

Trivia: CPLD on a PDIP?

Atmel produces what are believed to be the only CPLD devices sold in PDIP form: the ATF2500C and ATF750C . These devices are priced at between $5 and $8 at Digikey and Mouser. Programming hardware and software is available from Atmel. Atmel provides free design software known as WinCUPL, which mainly supports programming in the […]