Turn-key PCB assembly services in prototype quantities or low-volume to mid-volume production runs


After the release of AVRStudio4, there is the ability to integrate the AVR-GCC compiler in it. As you know AVR studio has only assembler compiler- debugger. Integration of AVR-GCC is done by the plugin. The plugin detects AVR-GCC by itself, you don’t have to bother. What do we get from it? Of course a full set of good tools comparable to commercial. The convenient user interface, automatic makefile generation, visual debugging by watching processors register, or even you can flash the chip. We can say that abilities are: 1. Compilation, setting parameters, automatic AVR-GCC detection; 2. Graphical User Interface – convenient project setting; 3. Tree-like project view; 4. Project can comply with predefined configurations; 5. Convenient error handling; 6. Ability to use external makefiles; 7. Map and List file generation; 8. Plugin inspect connections among source files (c and h files which are not part of the project); 9. User can work with c or ASM projects in one environment. Other documentation can be found in AVRStudio help files. This feature is well documented.

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This time I decided to lay down some information on using the AVR-GCC compiler. I will not rewrite what’s in documentation is already written, but write down some issues that can help you start using this amazing tool. Introduction Most AVR programmers probably had a question in their mind about what compiler to use for their designs. The choice is huge. You can use commercial ones like IAR, CodeVision, ImageCraft. These compilers come with convenient GUI’s, code generators. But you have to buy a license to use them. So if you are going to do a low-budget project, the best choice is to use the open-source compiler GCC. This is the most successful open-source compiler in the world. The AVR platform is called AVR-GCC. The compiler itself has no graphical interface. Everything can be done in the MSDOS command line or the Linux command line. To make it easier to compile a project, there are makefiles used. GNU compilers usually are using UNIX style make files. This file can be run with the make.exe program. In reality, you don’t have to write makefiles – there are ready templates to use.Everyone may agree that using a compiler in the command lineā€¦

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Microcontroller C programming

There is no doubt that everyone faces C language when programming microcontrollers. This is the most popular language among hardware programmers. There are plenty of books about this language – you have to open and read. This article is not about language basics, but c language’s effectiveness in embedded systems touched. Quite often, you can find good examples of effective algorithms: faster code performance and code size. To write a good optimal algorithm, you have to know the structure of the compiler. Of course, we will not analyze compilers, but we can look through a few rules and tricks and achieve an optimal algorithm.

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