Another of the Electronic components that you should know is the microcontroller, or MCU (MicroController Unit), ATmega328P. One of the most popular chips that you can program for a multitude of applications of all kinds, both DIY projects, even other industrial projects, etc.
Surely its name sounds familiar to you, and it is one of the microchips used by plates Arduino and other development boards Similar. In fact, in large part, it has been this open hardware platform that has also contributed to its popularity soaring.
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From Atmel to Microchip
Atmel Corporation was a semiconductor company founded in 1984. The company brand founded by George Perlegos was the acronym for Advanced Technology for Memory and Logic.
Throughout their history, they have developed RF devices, WiMAX, ASICs, SoCs, EEPROM and flash memory, etc. But, especially, they have also focused on microcontrollers. Among them, they have included some derivatives of the Intel 8051, those based on AVR and AVR32 (both architectures developed by Atmel itself) and also based on ARM.
Their products They have served both for consumer electronics, such as telecommunications companies, electronics industry, medical equipment, vehicles, aerospace sector, secure cards, and also the military.
As for the Microchip Technology, is also another large Arizona-based semiconductor manufacturer. Dedicated to microcontrollers, memories (EEPROM and EPROM), RF, and other analog devices, as well as software tools for programming and development. Its microcontrollers stand out especially, with a family developed by themselves such as PICs.
What is a microcontroller or MCU?
Un microcontroller, µC, UC or MCU (Microcontroller Unit), whatever you want to call it, it is a programmable IC capable of executing orders loaded in its memory. Therefore, a microcontroller is almost a complete computer on a chip. It has all the integrated components, such as the CPU, RAM, ROM and also I / O peripherals (GPIO, timers or counters, A / D converters, SPI, I2C, USB, Ethernet, comparators, PWM, Etc.).
Evidently performance of these computers on a chip is not as high as today's PCs. They have similar performance to the computers of decades ago. However, they are very efficient and are usually very attractive for different tasks where high performance is not required, such as controlling industrial machinery, controlling certain tasks in vehicles, development boards, household appliances, etc.
What is the ATmega328P?
El ATmega328P It is a microcontroller created by Atmel, belonging to the megaAVR series. It currently belongs to Microchip. Regarding its parameters and most outstanding technical characteristics are:
- 8-bit AVR architecture
- 32 KB flash
- 1 KB EEPROM
- 2 KB SRAM
- 23 general purpose I / O lines
- 32 general purpose registers
- 3 timers / counters with comparison mode
- Internal / External Interrupts (24)
- UART mode programmer
- Serial interface
- 8-channel 10-bit A / D converter
- 6 PWM channels
- Programmable watchdog with internal oscillator
- 5 software selectable power saving modes
- 1.8v to 5.5v power supply.
- It achieves 1 MIPS of performance, that is, one million instructions executed every second.
- 20 Mhz clock frequency
- Packaged, it can be DIP or PLCC. With 28 pins.
As to its pinout and datasheet, Can download them from here.
What is AVR?
If you wonder what is AVR, is an 8-bit RISC-type architecture developed by Ateml for its line of microcontrollers. It was initially conceived by two students from the Norwegian Institute of Technology, and later refined and developed by Atmel Norway. It is now used by the ATmega, ATxmega, ATtiny, and AT90 lines.There is an architecture called AVR32, which is a 32-bit RISC with support for DSP and SIMD. Used for more advanced devices that demand more functionality and performance.
In addition, it follows a Harvard scheme, has 32 8-bit registers, and was always designed with compiled C execution in mind in the most efficient way.