I'm a hardware guy. Although I've done some very simple PIC projects, I want to develop my skills in embedded SW. I was working on a project with a SW guy who has a lot of PIC experience, so he was pushing the PICs for a new design. What I don't like about the PICs is that the high IO count parts are very hard to find in stock in small packages (even directly from Microchip), and their pricing seems to flatten out quickly. I did more searching, and I was so excited to find the ATtiny88. It's so cheap, and comes in a nice small 32-QFN (that's actually stocked). I could sprinkle this all over the place!
Unfortunately, I can't seem to find a demo board with lots of peripheral goodies. I've already done some simple programming (blinking LEDs, etc) of the ATtiny88 on one of those solderless breadboards, but I hate working with those. So, my first question is, am I wrong? Any good ATtiny88 demo boards?
I'm assuming that I'll just have to do my own board. Not a big deal. So, my next question is for my AVR education, is there anything you can think of that I should add. Here's my current list:
- numerous LEDs
- numerous momentary switches
- LCD char/graphic displays
- 7 segment LED display
- FET switch controlling LED supply for PWM
- potentiometer for A/D
- filter/opamp/headphone jack for PWM audio
- mic opamp to A/D for VU meter
Comms applications and education
- SPI, I2C, UART: headers on lines for logic analyzers
- FDDI chip (learn USB comm)
- SD Card (learn memory, FAT, SPI)
- flash memory (learn memory, boot load?, SPI)
- external A/D (learn I2C)
- current meter chip (learn multiple I2C)
- 2x ATtiny88 for MCU to MCU comm, plus MCU programming aux MCU (useful for a test fixture which could program multiple boards at once in production (using a dedicated ATtiny88 for each board in the panel))
For starting my AVR education, what else might be missing? ICs/connectors/circuitry for learning other programming implementations? Other test points?