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[DPRG] AVR Studio Vs Arduino Wiring

Subject: [DPRG] AVR Studio Vs Arduino Wiring
From: Austin K. Litman austin.litman at verizon.net
Date: Wed Feb 17 11:56:05 CST 2010

Here is/are my two cents.  I bought an Arduino and had my first AVR experience a year or two back.  It wasn't long before I "discovered" the AVR Studio and the GCC tools.  Being an old assembler guy (HC11, HC12, HC16), I was determined to learn C even if the process killed me.  Happily, it did not.  (www.smileymicros.com as mentioned by someone else has great starter kits and books)

I like C for the more universal availability of code snippets, libraries, and App Note examples.  C has eased some of the arithmetic issues.  The process has been easier than I thought it might be.  The code, while larger than assembly, is not hopelessly bloated and you can still write small, compact routines in C.

As far as the Arduino and similar boards, I've found via the AVR Freaks website many boards that are not AVR compatible but do work well using the 6 pin Atmel AVR programming interface.  Some 10 pin variations exist but you can wire simple converters to re-arrange the pins.   http://www.avrfreaks.net/

The biggest issue I've found is many newer boards operate on 3.3 volts instead of 5 volts and my original AVR programmer was 5v only.  Now, I have several flavors and the voltage is less of a concern for programming.

By using the native programming mode of the AVR line of chips, I get away from wasting the bootloader space and can manipulate fuses as well as program any part of the AVR.

If you look around on the AVR Freaks site, you'll find lots of boards and many different ideas for laying out a dev board.

Before you know it, you'll be buying just the basic parts (caps, crystal and CPU) and building your own dev boards.

Try some or all of these sites for AVR boards and ideas:



Modern Devices


Watch the wraparound on the URL above, this may be easier but you'll have to click on Products.

For the ATMega644p Chip (called a Sanguino)

And, of course, Sparkfun and others.


This is an awesome question indeed, except that in my side is totally backwards. I was thinking of coding the AVR's in C, not in Arduino/Sanguino/Pinguino/xDuino, etc.

So, which one is better?

I was under the impression that the xduinos are basically good for people that are getting started and are afraid to delve into microcontroller territory. But if you are a programmer, you might as well do assembly or C, which will give you way much more flexibility as you have full access to the on chip peripherals.

Is my assessment correct, or has the duinos managed to brake that barrier?

BTW, all I know about the xDuinos is that there is a bunch of them out there. Other than that, I will plead 100% ignorance.

Best regards,
Texas Instruments - Applications Engineer
13560 North Central Expressway
Dallas TX, 75243
Office: 1-214-567-7275
Mobile: 1-214-240-3179

-----Original Message-----
From: dprglist-bounces at dprg.org [mailto:dprglist-bounces at dprg.org] On Behalf Of Wes Grimes
Sent: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 10:57 AM
To: Dale Wheat
Cc: dprglist
Subject: Re: [DPRG] Return of the AVR Mega-Geek

I am developing on the Atmega328 via Arduino. Can anyone explain what might be improved by transitioning to AVR Studio? More flexible, faster, more efficient code on chip, or is this more of a preference? I like the Wiring/Arduino language, but the IDE is lacking compared to Visual Studio, which I am used to.


Sent from my iPhone

On Feb 17, 2010, at 9:20 AM, Dale Wheat <dale at dalewheat.com> wrote:


That's good news!  Thanks for posting that.  Once upon a time, the order of installation was tricky.  Perhaps they have improved the 3rd party integration on both sides.  That makes things easier for everyone!

I use the STK-500 almost exclusively in development.  It's been replaced with the STK-600 but it still meets my immediate needs.  I've don't remember ever getting the JTAG to work properly, either.  I have the Dragon board and have done some debugging with the Atmel proprietary "debugWire" interface.  I find it best not to code any bugs in the first place.  :D  (OK, I stole that line from Mark Sims).


Dale Wheat

(972) 486-1317

Jeff Koenig wrote:
Dale - I built a new PC a couple of months ago, and installed AVR Studio *before* installing WinAVR (because I forgot), and AVR Studio seems to be working OK.  I can build an old project, at least, and receive the standard GCC feedback.
What is everyone using for the hardware part of developing for/programming AVRs?  I've mainly used an STK500, but bought an Olimex JTAG ICE a while back, which I think may be defective.
I also have some ancient STK100s and maybe an STK300 kicking around.  It seems like the later versions of AVR Studio recognize different hardware than the early versions.
Come to think of it, I think the last time I programmed an AVR, it was with a serial adapter of some sort, which I had to talk to with a USB-to-serial adapter because that PC didn't have a serial port.
So, what's that latest/greatest?
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