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Questions tagged [microcontroller]

A device which includes a central processing unit (CPU), memory, and (generally) an assortment of I/O peripherals (UART, ADC, DAC, general-purpose I/O, I2C, etc.) in a tightly-coupled standalone package.

6
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3answers
4k views

AES-128 Chip Solutions

Project The system is effectively a sensor network that connects to a star topology routing network. The Identities of each node's identity must be kept secret from all listeners as the range of the ...
83
votes
6answers
46k views

What is the difference between a DSP and a standard microcontroller?

I understand that a DSP is optimized for digital signal processing, but I'm not sure how that impacts to the task of choosing an IC. Almost everything I do with a microcontroller involves the ...
165
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16answers
79k views

Is C++ suitable for embedded systems?

A common question, here and elsewhere. Is C++ suitable for embedded systems? Microcontrollers? RTOSes? Toasters? Embedded PCs? Is OOP useful on microcontrollers? Does C++ remove the programmer too ...
4
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2answers
3k views

Measuring VPP and DC offset of a 1Hz - 1MHz signal using MCU

I need to measure the peak to peak voltage and DC offset of a 1Hz to 1MHz sine/triangle wave. The signals amplitude varies between 0 and 2Vpp and the offset can vary between -2v and +5v. I will be ...
8
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3answers
697 views

Embedded System LINT use

I currently develop embedded systems using a number of different compilers, the most common coming from IAR systems. My love of hardware is what drives doing embedded systems and firmware. I however ...
8
votes
7answers
18k views

Measuring 0 - 1MHz ( 0.25Hz resolution) Squarewave using an MCU

I need to measure the frequency of square-wave that can vary between 0 and 1MHz, and has a resolution of 0.25Hz. I havent decided on which controller yet but It will most likely be one of the 20pin ...
2
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3answers
1k views

CharliePlexing on a breadboard

I was making a breadboard demo for a Microcontroller class. Basically my project is to make a score keeping device. I want to drive 4 seven segment displays using an atmega8. I read about charlie ...
22
votes
8answers
3k views

Pre-programming surface mount ICs

I'm trying to set up a PCB with an atmega168 and no programming header. I intend to use a serial bootloader (there is a ft232 on the board) to reprogram but I am wondering about the best way to ...
1
vote
3answers
210 views

LCD signal splitter and repeater

I am looking to build a circuit board that can take a multi segment LCD display signal from a ZIF connector, relay it, and split it to another LCD while having the original and seperate LCD display. ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Latching switch ideas

I'm trying to build a latching switch connected to a door and would appreciate ideas. The switch is connected to a microcontroller input pin, and I'd like it to operate as follows: When a person ...
4
votes
1answer
12k views

Reading a pin as an input on AVR XMEGAs

I have been messing with AVR's XMEGA line. They are pretty amazing microcontrollers. However, Atmel changed much with this new line. I am trying to detect a pin going low. I have tried to set the <...
9
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7answers
4k views

Can you base a computer around a 32-bit microcontroller?

We all have(mostly) 32-bit machines at our homes. But the 32-bit machines have a microprocessor in them. I was reading an article about the ARM Cortex. Its a 32-bit microcontroller. Now that intrigued ...
24
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2answers
20k views

“Tristate a pin”

What does it mean to "tristate a pin" on a CMOS microcontroller?
24
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6answers
25k views

Why are Atmel AVRs so popular?

A recent question asked about the advantages/disadvantages of various types of MCU. AVRs seemed not even worth a mention given the answers. Why then does it seem to an outsider that AVRs are ...
4
votes
4answers
474 views

How to find an embedded platform?

A bit of background: We have a system currently in production, but the original programmer passed away, and the current hardware manufacturer cannot find hardware to run the (currently) DOS system, so ...
1
vote
2answers
687 views

How does an LC network filter power?

The ATMEGA datasheet suggests filtering the ADC reference voltage with an LC network, in other words VCC - L - AREF - C - GND. How does the inductor smooth the voltage better than just a capacitor?
11
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5answers
4k views

MD5 implementation for microcontroller

Does anyone have any examples of the MD5 algorithm for a microcontroller (preferably an 8-bit one)? Our project is going to use a Microchip PIC18 series device.
16
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7answers
7k views

Should I get the PICKit 2 or 3?

Okay, having decided to pitch myself at the PIC family (including dsPIC), I now have a question about programmers. I've been hearing a lot of bad things about the new PICKit 3, and am wondering if I ...
7
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2answers
7k views

What is the difference between PIC and PICAXE?

The impression I get is that PICAXE is based on the PIC cores, but geared to beginners, but I wanted to make sure before committing to any particular platform.
7
votes
6answers
880 views

Is there a Cortex-M3 with external voltage regulators?

Does anyone know of an ARM Cortex-M3 microcontroller with both the 3.3V peripheral and 1.8V core voltages supplied by external sources? Everything I have found so far has an internal regulator for ...
5
votes
4answers
888 views

How to get into Freescale 32-bit MicroControllers?

Which websites/blogs/tools/books/manuals would you recommend for getting into the Freescale microcontrollers, especially the 32-bit models? What are the best development tools (IDEs, compilers) for ...
22
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13answers
28k views

Intel HEX (.hex) viewer/readers

Lately I've been doing a lot of work with Intel HEX files. I want a program that can import an Intel HEX file and allow me to view the byte contents at each address. There are a handful of programs I'...
8
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5answers
1k views

What are some of the more compelling use cases for plug computers? [closed]

Are plug computers useful for anything besides network-attached storage? I know that you can hang a bunch of drives off them, maybe set up your own web server. But those uses have limited ...
7
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2answers
2k views

What MCU, need hi res ADCs?

I'm trying to find a powerful MCU that has multiple analogue to digital converters. I want around a 14 bit resolution to do some serious audio sampling. Any suggestions or comments would be great, ...
6
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8answers
2k views

eZ430-Chronos Development on *nix?

So I just got my TI eZ430-Chronos Dev kit (a runners watch & eZ430 micro dev combined), and I am chomping at the bit to start playing around with my new toy. I have just a few issues the ...
7
votes
1answer
500 views

Interfacing with Nichrome heater

I'm using Nichrome wire for a heating application and just using some scavenged parts from a slow cooker. What would be the easiest way to turn on/off the Nichrome? I'm thinking of just having a ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

SIM card for SMS messaging application. Just pay per text (SMS) rather than monthly fee? [closed]

I"m working on an app that uses text messaging (SMS) in an embedded application and I'd like to source a SIM card where I just pay per text (dont really care about the rates) but I refuse to pay a ...
4
votes
3answers
256 views

Electronics used for cooking

I have a project where I want to be able to cook food (very similar to a crock pot). What would anybody here recommend to use to convert AC to useable DC and what should I use to heat the food? ...
40
votes
18answers
13k views

What are good microcontrollers available today? [closed]

I have experience with assembly and C programming for microcontrollers, but I'm not familiar with the various MCU and DSP families offered by today's companies. (eg: Texas Instruments, Atmel, Renesas) ...
5
votes
4answers
436 views

What is Arduino?

What is this Arduino concept that I keep hearing about? Is it a microcontroller family, or a demoboard? Please include pictures in your answer, and if there are multiple possible items known as ...
11
votes
4answers
4k views

Best PIC programmer?

I would like to start using PICs in my projects and was wondering which programmer I should get. I have plenty of experience using micro-controllers (68k, avr), I also have lots of experience with ...
183
votes
13answers
239k views

What's the difference between a microcontroller and a microprocessor?

What's the difference between a microcontroller and a microprocessor?
93
votes
5answers
8k views

Can microcontrollers be run at arbitrarily low clock frequencies?

The datasheet for the ATTiny13A, for instance, lists Min frequency of 0 MHz. Does this mean the clock can be run at any arbitrarily low frequency with no ill effects? I'm assuming it draws lower ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Op-Amp Slew Rate Requirements

After looking over this question and the answers received, it prompted me to wonder: Given pulse signals generated by a uC, what kind of slew rate on an op-amp will you need to reproduce the waveform ...
55
votes
9answers
5k views

RTOS for Embedded Systems

I have seen many articles that tell me I should be using RTOS for time management and resource management. My time has not permitted my own research, so I come to chiphacker for advice. I use low ...
-1
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2answers
376 views

Reading a LPC2378 microcontroller [closed]

I can't get data off my ARM LPC2378 microcontroller - does it need UART or can any GPIO be used?
24
votes
13answers
6k views

Level of a water tank with a microcontroller

How do i measure the level of a water tank with a microcontroller?
4
votes
2answers
510 views

COP8 MCU information needed

I have a problem with a sbc that I am repairing, the sbc is controlled by an 8-bit OTP microcontroller which I think is broken. I only get 200 ohms between pin Vcc and Vss, specifically the chip is ...
24
votes
7answers
3k views

Good book for non-beginner firmware development

I do a lot of firmware work at my job, but I'm looking for more advanced books on the topic. Things not like the basics of "what is an interrupt". I'm reading the O'Reilly book on embedded systems ...
4
votes
1answer
560 views

Hacking/Controlling BLDC from CD-burner

I have an old CD-burner (HP 9100 plus) where I would like to control the BLDC motor from. My idea is to use the original IC of the burner as the driver and use an ATtiny13 for controlling it. There ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Programmable current source

I need to build a programmable current source from a 8051 microcontroller. It needs an output current from 0 to 10mA maximun. How do i go about doing this? what circuits do i need to build? I was ...
17
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17answers
2k views

What do you wish you had known before you started with Microcontrollers?

When working with AVR microcontrollers or Arduinos, what is something that if you had known sooner would have saved you a lot of time or frustration?
14
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6answers
3k views

Starting out PIC Programming

I've been looking into doing some PIC Programming, but unlike some of the other microcontrollers available the sheer number of different chips available has caused me some confusion. It also appears ...
11
votes
7answers
2k views

Is Parallax Propeller a good product? [closed]

How does the Parallax Propeller stack up against other multi core solutions? I just saw an article about the open stomp project that won their design contest. I wanted to see what other people ...
49
votes
5answers
40k views

Programming microcontrollers: JTAG, SPI, USB oh my!?

I've noticed, with regards to microcontrollers, there are several way to program them. I am sorta familiar with USB as my Arduino's can be programmed via USB. What is a JTAG or SPI interface? ...
4
votes
2answers
303 views

Crystal radio as user interface problem

If I built a coil like the one in this crystal set. How could I use a micro to detect which point the alligator clip is on? Basically I want to use the crystal set as a user interface for an audio ...
8
votes
7answers
15k views

Encryption Library for Arduino

I am using an Arduino to read a keypad and open an electric strike upon keypad PIN entry. For this sketch I wanted to use some sort of lightweight encryption to store the PINs in EEProm. Does anyone ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

ATTiny2313 ISR stack usage

I'm using an ATTiny2313 to act as a serial concentrator. It only has 128bytes of RAM. I think I'm running out of RAM during the ISR. My question is how much RAM (stack) does an ISR use to save the ...
47
votes
20answers
76k views

What is a good microcontroller for Ethernet applications?

What is a good microcontroller for doing Ethernet applications? Or do I just need a good Ethernet library to connect with an Ethernet MAC/PHY?
4
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3answers
960 views

Using a RealTek Ethernet Switch

I'm starting a project using the Realtek RTL8305SC ethernet switch. Does anybody have a good idea of how to use it, some code for it, or even a flow diagram of how it should be used in conjunction ...