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I was wondering if anyone here knows of any products that utilize the ATtiny85. It appears to me that it's solely used by makers/electronics enthusiasts. I'm asking because I think it would be interesting to see to what products its limited IO and storage can be applied. Sorry if this is the wrong place to ask a question like this - I couldn't find a more applicable SE site.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Uhh I've seen an attiny 13 low power in the remote control handle of a Dyson vacuum cleaner. I doubt they're that rare, just that they're used for simpler applications. \$\endgroup\$
    – Bradman175
    Mar 13, 2017 at 0:00

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The answer is yes.

Is that surprising?

no.

Why?

Because Atmel can't care at all about a couple thousand hobbyists buying a couple thousand low-cost chips per month. What they aim at with low-cost chip is mass-produced low-cost devices, selling millions of chips instead. Most products in this world need some microcontroller logic, but not much. You really don't need much IO or RAM to make a microwave oven beep. Or to control the charging in a electric toothbrush. Or to set up the sequence in which to start the power supplies inside a complex product¹.

Of course the hobbyist market creates visibility and allows to sell a couple products that are profitable in small numbers; but really, in the greater scheme of things, hobbyists can't sustain a large semiconductor manufacturer.


¹ fun fact, doing power sequencing is something very often done by a microcontroller reserved for that purpose only – you just can't turn on your complex main MCU before power runs. And that's pretty much the upper limit of what an Attiny85 can do – a bit of I²C and a bit of voltage/ADC math, and the memory's full. With a well-known environment to rapidly write down the firmware for that, plus competetive prices, especially for the non-DIP form factors, why not go ATTiny? I hate 'em, personally, but if you're more used to Atmel than to 8051...

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah, Marcus, I once did a whole 10-channel drink dispenser with LCD and user menu on a single ATtiny plus some I/O expanders. It's possible and it's fun but it's just a bit outdated to do so nowadays. \$\endgroup\$
    – Janka
    Mar 13, 2017 at 1:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Janka I personally know someone who "inherited" a LiIon charge/power sequencing/monitoring/I²C slave/master ATtiny85 device,who had to go in and rewrite the whole thing in assembler just to get things down to exactly the program memory size(not a byte left),and he was very cranky about that.I don't think it's "outdated" per se – it's just that for me,an Attiny85(512B RAM/512B EEPROM/10b ADC/20MHz CPU clock/0.6mA at4MHz idle,no sensible sleep modes)costs around 91–110ct;for that amount of money…MKL02Z Cortex M0+(4kB/32kB/12b/48MHz/0.2mA+sleep modes)is just the more economically sound choice. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 13, 2017 at 8:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Janka … considering that the ease of programming a device with kBs of RAM and default integer sizes that just are sufficient for 99% of problems is a big time saver (don't get me started on interrupt handling, memory mapping, and toolchain advantages of ARMs); the thing that really does speak for the ATTiny is its 5V IO capability – but I nowadays really rarely need that. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 13, 2017 at 8:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ The thing that really speaks for the ATtiny series is you are actually able to program it in assembler. Sometimes it's better not to trust any sufficiently advanced toolchain. \$\endgroup\$
    – Janka
    Mar 13, 2017 at 11:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Janka with all due respect, Atmels assembly is fugly. That's ugly with an additional F as in WTF. You can program any processor in assembly, and personally, I'd choose Thumb over AVR core ISA any day. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 13, 2017 at 11:23
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Is the ATtiny85 actually used in any consumer electronics?

It appears to me that it's solely used by makers/electronics enthusiasts.

Outside of consumer electronics and enthusiasts markets, there is a huge universe out there. The fact you only see them in one tiny segment doesn't mean they aren't used in other places. I have used them to process buttons, and as data aggregators in industrial control projects.

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The ATTINY85 is used in Dame Product's flagship FIN product...

enter image description here https://www.dameproducts.com/products/fin

It handles the user interaction, motor control, and battery monitoring.

The A/D converter, internal voltage reference, extremely low power sleep with wake on pin, and ability to direct drive LEDs, small physical size, wide supply voltage range, deep & wide supply chain availability, and low cost make it perfect for products like this.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dave Tweed
    Mar 15, 2017 at 0:28
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I had to repair an automatic car battery tender (Car battery tender) and it had an ATtiny in an 8-pin package - I can't remember which family member.

I'm sure they, and similar devices, are used in billions of products these days wherever a small amount of control or intelligence is required; remote controls, thermostats etc. The market for those far outweighs that of hobbyists.

Its capabilities are limited but it is very cheap to build into a product.

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