End of Life for the ATAVRISPII??

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#1
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I received an email from a vendor saying Dec 14 is the last buy date. Are we expected to use the more expen$ive AVR-ICE then? I'm a little concerned since my people seem to destroy a programmer from time to time 8(

Tom Pappano
Tulsa, Oklahoma

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Wasn't the STK500 slated for retirement a couple of years ago?

It's still available.

JC

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That does sound familiar, I just can't think of any reason to discontinue a perfectly fine and inexpensive tool that meets the needs of the experimenter on a budget as well as the production line.

Tom Pappano
Tulsa, Oklahoma

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tpappano wrote:
I received an email from a vendor saying Dec 14 is the last buy date. Are we expected to use the more expen$ive AVR-ICE then? I'm a little concerned since my people seem to destroy a programmer from time to time 8(

Doesn't that mean the vendor is going to quit stocking it?
Or is Atmel going to quit making it?

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Two distributors say that it is only available while stocks last and that it is an "end of life" item.

Leon Heller G1HSM

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The Atmel store says nothing about EOL.

John Samperi

Ampertronics Pty. Ltd.

www.ampertronics.com.au

* Electronic Design * Custom Products * Contract Assembly

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Obviously Atmel are very keen on the $49 Atmel-ICE but it would look like a bit of a price hike from $34 to $49 if you are forced to go that route. Perhaps this means there's a price drop for Atmel-ICE imminent?

If you could buy the $49 version of Atmel-ICE for $34 then it's surely better in every way than an AVRISPmkII?

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The ICE is still good value at $49, however, as it offers debugging as well as programming. It also handles SAM devices.

I might get one, although I have an ATAVRISPII and a Dragon.

Leon Heller G1HSM

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The bad news: DigiKey indeed shows it as a "non-stock" item.
The good news: DigiKey has over 1000 in stock. ;)

Thanks for bringing the situation to our attention. Indeed, we package the Mk2 with custom tail and wall-wart adapter for field-tech use to upgrade firmware. So it will be pertinent if indeed they eventually disappear.

See the Octopart results below...no panic in the streets yet if you need a couple:

Quote:
Distributor SKU Stock
* Newark 68T2065 299
* Digi-Key ATAVRISP2-ND 1,135
* Avnet Express ATAVRISP2 5
* Arrow ATAVRISP2 29
* Verical ATAVRISP2 3
* Mouser 556-ATAVRISP2 953
* Allied Electronics 70123941 1
* Future Electronics ATAVRISP2 0
* element14 APAC 1135517 916
* Farnell 1135517 552
* RS Components 6962563 2,893
* Avnet Express Asia ATAVRISP2 0
* Distrelec ATAVRISP2 43
* WPG Cloud ATAVRISP2 27
* Chip One Stop ATME-0014810 7

* authorized

You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig.

I've never met a pig I didn't like, as long as you have some salt and pepper.

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Maybe someone should ask an Atmel employee what the roadmap is? How do you get in touch with an Atmel employee? Anyone know if Atmel employees read the company forums?

Imagecraft compiler user

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Dean should have plenty of contacts, although he left them a couple of years ago.

Leon Heller G1HSM

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Where is Michael the Cleaner?

JC

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We survived the price hike from $29 to $34 when they changed the avrisp from serial to usb, we can survive this. I think its a smart move to force people to use a device that has a debugger and supports their arm parts. They will discontinue 8bit avrs someday sooner than we think and this gives their customers an upgrade path. Already the 32bit parts give you more for your money.

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Quote:
I think its a smart move to force people to use a device that has a debugger and supports their arm parts. They will discontinue 8bit avrs someday sooner than we think and this gives their customers an upgrade path. Already the 32bit parts give you more for your money.

I think it is a much smarter move to *offer* more sophisticated tools and parts, rather than force them. (kind of Apple-ish?) FWIW, I've never needed or even used a debugger, but I'd still try an ICE as a development tool. Having to pay more to use them for simple production programming will leave a bad taste every time one must be replaced.

There already is a customer upgrade path- "need one? buy one!"

Tom Pappano
Tulsa, Oklahoma

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I just received an email from digikey (where I bought my mkII) that it has reached EOL status.

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I used to not use debuggers but now I can't imagine doing this at a professional level without one. Sure you can flip pins and write to serial to tease out what is going on, or you can step thru the code to see what is actually going on. Watch points are awesome, you can break when a variable is read or written.

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Quote:

but now I can't imagine doing this at a professional level without one.

+1

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Debuggers and emulators are certainly great tools these days and it is especially nice they are so cheap as to be within the reach of anyone. Back in "the day" out of curiosity I looked at using one for a project and the damn thing rented for $11,000/month (did not use it, naturally)! I wonder if their easy availability nowadays causes some new programmers to fall into using them as a crutch, ultimately lengthening the time for a project. I haven't run into a modern micro yet that was not doing exactly what the program was telling it to do, and my personal method evolved into thinking a task through very thoroughly before ever touching the editor keyboard. This is largely because in the UV eprom era, the edit-assemble-program-test-erase cycle was about 30 minutes so it didn't take much goofy coding to blow the entire day. The other big thing that helped me was getting into Forth very early on, which taught 'structured' and 'top down' (or bottom up, depending on how you look at it) programming, and Forth allowed you to develop directly on your product enabling you to develop complex systems extremely rapidly, without creating 'bugs'. Now even though I'm using C, my code looks very Forth-like. Anyway blah, blah, blah, IMHO, it is faster and easier to not put bugs in on the 'front end' rather than fish them out of the 'back end'.

edit:

I should add this disclaimer, that most of my work has been industrial control and automated testing systems. I am indeed aware that many folks here do a lot of really complex and bizarre stuff, where debuggers probably can get a good workout 8)

Tom Pappano
Tulsa, Oklahoma

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Quote:
in the UV eprom era,

Been there. I remember always trying to have 1/2 dozen 2708's or 2716's, whatever I was using at the time. I would put then I the eraser in a row. The furthest from me had been in the longest, and was usually good to use again.

I remember when I first thought about using a Dragon to do some debugging. I ended up purchasing a DSO instead, (I had an old analog scope). For me, that worked much better at tracking down a bug in a GPS mapping project. Once in a blue moon an ISR would fire on top of just the right instruction to corrupt a variable. Easily fixed, once I determined the problem.

Perhaps there will be a mkIII that is smaller, faster, equally bullet proof, and even less costly.

JC

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About once a decade I ask if anyone has a debugger that will run the program about real speed and spit out a variable so you can turn a knob and watch it. Yep. Its getting back from the a/d read. Now lets set the snapshot for the output of this carefully handoptimized scaled integer equation.... crap all zeros. Setting a breakpoint and stepping doesn't fly if there is a deltaT calc in there somewhere. I hope I haven't been missing out on this kind of realtime debugging for the last ten years or so.

Imagecraft compiler user

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I have a foggy memory that my KIM-1 might have had a breakpoint thingy of some sort, but it would have been the only one I ever tried 8)

Like JC, my "debugger" is an old Tek 7603 (4-trace, analog, 100 MHz, big, fan) and the main thing I do with it is check the time spent in various interrupt services to be sure they all play nice together. I have used my client's Tek dso. Pretty nice, I kinda want one...

Tom Pappano
Tulsa, Oklahoma

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All them interrupts are Livin On Tulsa Time. Gonna Set My Watch Back To It, Cuz You Know That I've Been Thru It.

Imagecraft compiler user

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Damn straight!

Tom Pappano
Tulsa, Oklahoma

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Cool. Don't tell the 300000 guys that use these gizmos everyday.

Imagecraft compiler user

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Quote:
ATAVRISP2, ATJTAGICE2, ATJTAGICE3
WOW, I want my money back on this!...OK it was free but..

John Samperi

Ampertronics Pty. Ltd.

www.ampertronics.com.au

* Electronic Design * Custom Products * Contract Assembly

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But there are drop-in replacements that are cheaper and more capable.

EOL of the hardware does not mean that it will no longer be supported in the software.

NOTE: I no longer actively read this forum. Please ask your question on www.eevblog.com/forum if you want my answer.

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Quote:
EOL of the hardware does not mean that it will no longer be supported in the software.
My PERFECTLY WORKING AVRISP Mk1 and JTAG Mk1 are no longer supported! :cry:

But never mind I will stick with AS4.18 until I change chip brand one of these days.

John Samperi

Ampertronics Pty. Ltd.

www.ampertronics.com.au

* Electronic Design * Custom Products * Contract Assembly

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js wrote:
My PERFECTLY WORKING AVRISP Mk1 and JTAG Mk1 are no longer supported! :cry:
Well, ok, 12 year old tools might not be supported :)

NOTE: I no longer actively read this forum. Please ask your question on www.eevblog.com/forum if you want my answer.

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Or even tools with the STK500 protocol unless they are real STK500.

I have several keyfob programmers which are programmed pretending they are STK500, no longer working with AS6.x ...so.. I will stick with AS4.18 until I change chip brand one of these days.

John Samperi

Ampertronics Pty. Ltd.

www.ampertronics.com.au

* Electronic Design * Custom Products * Contract Assembly

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Received an "ATMEL-ICE-BASIC" today to see what they are like. I have a feeling the flimsy little cable will not fare well programming 1000 devices a month 8( At least I did buy a sack full of AVRISP2s as a hedge.

Tom Pappano
Tulsa, Oklahoma

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Quote:
flimsy little cable
Will definitely have to be replaced with something more robust for production.

I've have a couple of them with poor contact already, and I'm just doing normal software development. Those connectors/cables are horrible.

NOTE: I no longer actively read this forum. Please ask your question on www.eevblog.com/forum if you want my answer.

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I suppose I could lay out a small pcb to transition the 'micro' sized ribbon cable to the 'normal' 6-pin connector and duct tape it all together. Yeah, that will be cool...

Tom Pappano
Tulsa, Oklahoma

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To be fair, connectors and cables in production are consumables. 0.1" connectors are a bit more reliable, but they break too.

NOTE: I no longer actively read this forum. Please ask your question on www.eevblog.com/forum if you want my answer.

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I got an ATMEL-ICE-BASIC yesterday, also out of curiosity. The cable and 6-way connector are very flimsy, but replacements are available. I'm also thinking of designing a transition PCB that would connect to the 10-way connector.

Leon Heller G1HSM

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Atmel Ice Basic:

Give me a break.

$49 USD, plus Mouser's shipping fees...

to replace the fully functional ISP mkII which costs 1/2 that, (originally, when I first purchased one).

Corporate budget: Cost of doing business. No big deal.

For the hobbyist / hacker / student it does make a difference.

I'm disappointed, to say the least.

JC

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It really compares with the Dragon, because of the debugging capability. They are about the same price, here in the UK.

Leon Heller G1HSM

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I'm not trying to make Atmel look good here, there is stuff I don't like about new programmers either. But don't you think that hardware must be obsoleted from time to time? Software support is not going away, so keep using your existing hardware.

I did not like that WinXP went away, it was one good OS, but that's life, just get used to things getting worse and worse :)

NOTE: I no longer actively read this forum. Please ask your question on www.eevblog.com/forum if you want my answer.

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At least my MK-II ISP is unlikely to stop working properly.

Can't say that about Microsoft having stopped selling Windows 7 retail (re installable on a different PC). Still selling Windows 7 OEM which is not reinstallable and has 0 end user support. I claim this is a violation of anti-trust laws.

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Quote:

Atmel Ice Basic:

Give me a break.

$49 USD, plus Mouser's shipping fees...

to replace the fully functional ISP mkII which costs 1/2 that, (originally, when I first purchased one).


It's a full-fledged debugger you are replacing your old programmer with...

As of January 15, 2018, Site fix-up work has begun! Now do your part and report any bugs or deficiencies here

No guarantees, but if we don't report problems they won't get much of  a chance to be fixed! Details/discussions at link given just above.

 

"Some questions have no answers."[C Baird] "There comes a point where the spoon-feeding has to stop and the independent thinking has to start." [C Lawson] "There are always ways to disagree, without being disagreeable."[E Weddington] "Words represent concepts. Use the wrong words, communicate the wrong concept." [J Morin] "Persistence only goes so far if you set yourself up for failure." [Kartman]

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A production line (~1-1,000 chips a year??) doesn't need a debugger but the SIMPLEST and most ROBUST programmer.

A LARGE production line may have chips pre-programmed so it may not matter to them.

John Samperi

Ampertronics Pty. Ltd.

www.ampertronics.com.au

* Electronic Design * Custom Products * Contract Assembly

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Johan,

Agreed the new device, at twice the cost, with a crappy el-cheapo cable, has debugging capability.

But my Dragon has NEVER worked reliably with the Xmegas, and I'm not alone on this one. Comparing this new device to a Dragon sends a second shiver up my spine.

Besides, I've only ventured into using the debugger a couple of times. I generally use an LCD and an LED and an O'scope. It works for me, YMMV.

It is hard to break an ISP mkII. Several comments about the new devices low quality cable...

Regarding the comment about eventually obsoleting old equipment. I'm all for that... when there is new equipment at makes this necessary.

The last 8-bitter's Atmel produced were the Xmegas, and the ISP mkII works great with its PDI interface and that lineup of chips. So where is the new product lineup that this device is incapable of supporting?

JC

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So, why are you not buying a yourself new ISP mkII? Honest question.

The Atmel JTAGICE cables might be easily breakable. I don't know. But yes, the price of them as spares is ridiculous.

Just as the price difference, and the different kits as such, are.

$85 for the whole shebang.

Next step down is $49, where you lose the squid cable and the 10-pin adapter but still get the USB cable. What? Come on! a USB cable can be gotten anywhere! Deduct $5 for that, and the price of the flat cable with connectors is $39. :roll:

So, now someone loses the adaptor or the squid. No worries. Atmel has a spare part kit. $45. Since the flat cable is $39, the squid and adaptor is $6.

Hey Atmel! How about a fourth kit. No USB cable - we bathe in them. But include the flat cable, adaptor and squid. Should be ... uhmmm ... $49 - $5 + $6 = $55.

OTOH, if the flat cable is $39 then the naked PCB should be $32 - $39 - whateverForTheHousing which ends up negative.

Yeah. I know. Prices are set not according to design, manufacturing, storing and packaging value but on perceived market value.

Now sit down and think about the prices considering that..

This is not a cheapish whine, but more of an observation as such of strange pricing of Atmel JTAGICE alternatives and spares.

When I get one, it will likely be the full featured version.

As of January 15, 2018, Site fix-up work has begun! Now do your part and report any bugs or deficiencies here

No guarantees, but if we don't report problems they won't get much of  a chance to be fixed! Details/discussions at link given just above.

 

"Some questions have no answers."[C Baird] "There comes a point where the spoon-feeding has to stop and the independent thinking has to start." [C Lawson] "There are always ways to disagree, without being disagreeable."[E Weddington] "Words represent concepts. Use the wrong words, communicate the wrong concept." [J Morin] "Persistence only goes so far if you set yourself up for failure." [Kartman]

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Just think about it. They could have put a 5x2 0.1" and a 5x2 0.05" header on the pcb.

The Cortex targets could use 0.05". The AVR targets 0.1". You replace the 0.1" ribbon cables for $1. The 0.05" ribbon cables for $15.

I certaily would not describe 0.05" ribbons as robust. Nor would they be practical for production programming.

I possess a 0.05" ribbon for Cortex targets. OTOH, most Cortex evaluation/development boards come with an onboard SWD debugger. So you actually use a miniUSB or microUSB cable.

And strangely enough, a microUSB cable costs $1 rather than $15-$39.

David.

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Quote:
Just think about it. They could have put a 5x2 0.1" and a 5x2 0.05" header on the pcb.

They sure could have! At least, for when they get blown up, there appears to be a naked pcb available for about $35. Looking at the picture there seems to be a lot of bare real estate.

Tom Pappano
Tulsa, Oklahoma

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One issue with the AVR-ISP MKIIs is that it's based on a completely obsolete USB part, stockpiles of which will undoubtedly run out shortly (it's been obsolete for years, but long-tail supplies meant more programmers could be made).

Yes, I suppose they could re-write the firmware to use a newer USB AVR internally, but I suppose a decision was made to just recommend the Atmel ICE to reduce support/engineering costs. Not sure that's a great option, but at least it means we can expect good support of the Atmel ICE and all its features going forward.

- Dean :twisted:

Make Atmel Studio better with my free extensions. Open source and feedback welcome!

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I would guess that the manufacturing cost would be the same or less. The 'ruggedness' would improve dramatically.

I can't see any advantage in Atmel selling Frankenstein adapters as spare parts. Extra inventory. Upset customers.

Hey-ho. Production will just use third party hardware programmers.

David.

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...or non Atmel chips.

John Samperi

Ampertronics Pty. Ltd.

www.ampertronics.com.au

* Electronic Design * Custom Products * Contract Assembly

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outer_space wrote:
..... They will discontinue 8bit avrs someday sooner than we think and this gives their customers an upgrade path. Already the 32bit parts give you more for your money.

I guess I have not been paying attention....are the 8-bit AVRs end of life..or soon to be? No new development?
I have noticed that pricing is poor compared to the pic micros.
I so like the simplicity of the 8-bits.
But if they are EOL, then I need to think about migrating to something else.

.

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No EOL on 8-bit chips. I think that was a sarcastic side comment. Mostly.

Jim

Jim Wagner Oregon Research Electronics, Consulting Div. Tangent, OR, USA http://www.orelectronics.net

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How come they cant make a 32MHz 5V avr?

Imagecraft compiler user

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