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I have an analog load cell with just 4 wires sticking out of it.

I want to be able to connect it to a computer via usb. For that I am going to use the AVR micro controller and LUFA usb library.

My question is about connection of a load cell to a micro controller.

As far as I understand one needs to amplify the signal from a load cell with some amplifier and direct it to the analog input of the AVR controller. And then direct the digitised value to the computer.

But few times I saw people mentioning advanced chips that have an amplifier and analog-to-digital converter combined.

Are there any benefits of using such combined chips? And if there are, how the digital output of such chips should be read with the AVR controller?

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Are there any benefits of using such combined chips?

Yes. They are simpler and allow you to get away with less engineering work. Think 'Plug and play'

And if there are, how the digital output of such chips should be read with the AVR controller?

It depends on the device. This will be explained in its datasheet. Most likely it will have a SPI or I2C interface.

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