I had a Sparkfun Redboard for some time and I liked playing with it, blinking LEDs and writing to an LCD and such. Now I want to design my own similar development board for similar set of applications. I am comfortable with everything except the bootloader. Following are my questions, most of my questions may be very basic but this will be my first electronics project so kindly bear with me.
- If I will purchase new Atmega32 from local store will it come with a bootloader?
- If no, Is it compulsory to install a bootloader on it?
- If not compulsory then why people sometimes install a bootloader? I read somewhere that a bootloader is installed for field programming but I am not sure what that means.
- What hardware will I need to install a bootloader? I can see USBasp can be used for programming but can I use it for installing a bootloader also? This is what I'm planning to purchase.
- If USBasp can load a bootloader as well as program a microcontroller, why do people sometimes use Atmel ISP MKII or Atmel AVR ISP which are so costly? I don't need to purchase these right?
- If I need to install a bootloader where can I find one for my Atmega32? Is these any standard basic bootloader?