ATTiny261/461/861

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#1
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If you look at the datasheet for these parts, there's no indication of any differences in electrical characteristics (not even power consumption) between the 261/461 and 861. Is it possible that they are the same part, with some secret setting that disables the extra memory on the smaller parts? Has anybody looked into this, esp. how to reverse it (in other words if it's possible to change a 261 to an 861) ?

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Yes, it is entirely possible they are the same silicon. No, it doesn't make much sense trying to convert a 261 to a 861. Atmel has likely made sure that this is not possible with reasonable effort.

Also, some devices might be designated 261 simply because parts of the memory are defective. By having a family of devices Atmel can still sell them, instead of having to throw them away.

Stealing Proteus doesn't make you an engineer.

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Makes perfect sense if you have a large stock of the 261 part!

I do take your point about the defective memory though, although I imagine the yield to be very high nowadays.

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Get the fuming hood, HNO3 and microscope, tell us if they are the same!

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Do you know otherwise?