Thursday, May 08, 2008

AVR Quick start for C freaks Part 1: The Software

The ATMEL AVR processors, are the genuine state of art in 8 bit processors. In fact it is historically known that its architecture evolved with C programming in mind. Please take a look at Wikipedia . If you don't trust me of course. Well, the initial chips were designed by some brilliant Norway dudes from ATMEL Norway. More info from Wikipedia here.

AVRs benefit from RISC instruction set and Harvard architecture and it is generally reported as the fastest and more efficient 8 bit microcontrollers.

I don't aim to teach the whole thing, I just see you like someone like me: you know C pretty darn well, you can read a datasheet and grasp a processor easily, you don't use and don't want to use pirate software.

Firstly get these software:
  1. Some AVR developers gathered all open source free tools to develop programs for AVR using C, that's WinAVR.
  2. Get the AVRStudio from ATMEL, it is free and you can interconect it with the compiler that comes with WinAVR.
This is all. Really. WinAVR has in the bundle, the avr-gcc compiler, which is a MingGW port for AVR. They also put in the bundle the avrc-lib which is a C libray for usage . When you install WinAVR it will set your Windows leaving nothing for you, avoiding headaches. You may of course, use the IDE that comes with WinAVR but believe me, I used it, also used many others and none of them handles makefiles. Yes, I have edited the make file template that comes with WinAVR and got to compile, make, etc. It is just that if you install AVRStudio the ATMEL freaks allow that you choose the GCC compiler, and just edit the make file visually. Which is a piece of cake. I am old, I don't need to waste time to brag about how cool I am because I handle my make files by hand ;-)

Coming next :Part 2 or "Hey Man, where do I get information on the AVRs without wasting time searching on google or need to ask it in forums full of people that is easily irritated?" which I will answer pointing the good and free docs on the web that I took some time to find.

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