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I was given an ATmega8U2 chip by my friend and I have been doing a bit of research about it. It says it does not come with a pre-programmed with a boot loader, so I was just interested about how to go about getting a c program on there? Do I have to download a boot loader to the chip or something?

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You need a programmer/debugger. Atmel (now Microchip) sells a suitable device, or you could use an Arduino with suitable software as a programmer only. The latter will be a lot cheaper.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ For single-chip hobbyists you're right, but the ATATMEL ICE PCBA kit costs 40 euro at Microchip Direct. AFAIK that's the same as the Atmel ICE I have with AVR and SAM In-Circuit Emulation and debug functions, just not with the plastic box at about half the cost, but officially approved Atmel (Mic). So that should be pretty affordable on an absolute scale. (just adding info before I +1) \$\endgroup\$ – Asmyldof Jun 26 '18 at 7:07

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