Posted on Feb 5, 2014

Once you have compiled your C or C+ program into an AVR binary using AVR-GCC, you will need to `burn` it to the chip itself. This can be done with one of three applications: AVRDUDE, UISP, or AVR Studio. In order to actually get one of those applications talking to your chip, you will need hardware to plug the chip into your computer.

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There are five pins on the chip for something called an In-System Programmer, or ISP for short. These pins are used by your computer to program the chip. A common piece of hardware for connecting these ISP pins to one of your PC`s USB ports is the AVRISP mkII. These usually sell for $25 to $30, and are one of the easiest programmers to use. If you don`t feel like going for one of those, you can also build your own Parallel Port ISP programmer without trouble. There are a number of designs for a parallel programmer, but this is the simplest. Arduino is an AVR-based prototyping board with an emphasis on ease of use. It has breakout headers for I/O pins and power. It also features a USB interface using the FT232RL chip, which allows RS232 serial communication through a USB device, eliminating the need for a separate AVR programmer. The Arduino project also has an Integrated Development Environment for writing AVR code in a C/C+-derived language called Wiring. The IDE also includes many helpful libraries and a nice function framework. Check out the Arduino website ! The Arduino bootloader will flash Pin 19 (PB5) twice on a 500ms interval at boot-up. The low-power LED is meant for this, or for your own software`s status monitor. Use the 470 ohm resistor in series with the LED. ATmega chips programmed by the Arduino will work as stand-alone microcontrollers. However, in order to use a new ATmega with the Arduino, you must write...

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