AVR is a line of microcontroller
s from Atmel
. It's based on RISC
principles and is small, cheap and fast. Some of the features:
- You can use Steven Bolt's sp12 programmer which requires just a crystal and a few caps and resistors to build a stand alone programmer, or requires nothing more than connectors and a few series resistors for an in-circuit-programming version.
- All parts are flash based, not just a select few like other microcontroller manufacturers.
- A low end established flash based part is available with a UART.
- Flash parts are available with PWM channels, A/D converters, 16 bit timers, SPI and analog comparators.
- A starter kit is available for $49 USD that comes with an in-circuit programming dongle and a demo board.
- The series includes devices with between 1KB and 128KB of flash program storage.
- (My favourite feature) GNU Binutils, GCC and even GDB target the AVR line. It's a joy to have access to a macro assembler and high quality C compiler that is both free and Free. Many micros come with free assemblers but these are often buggy and lack features, and it's very rare to get a free C compiler.