What is AVR microcontroller?

An AVR microcontroller is a type of device manufactured by Atmel, which has particular benefits over other common chips, but first what is a microcontroller?

The easiest way of thinking about it is to compare a microcontroller with your PC, which has a motherboard in it. On that motherboard is a microprocessor (Intel, AMD chips) that provides the intelligence, RAM and EEPROM memories and interfaces to rest of system, like serial ports (mostly USB ports now), disk drives and display interfaces.

A microcontroller has all or most of these features built-in to a single chip, so it doesn’t need a motherboard and many components, LEDs for example, can be connected directly to the AVR. If you tried this with a microprocessor, bang!

Continue reading “What is AVR microcontroller?” »

Help, Production Programmer Needed

How do you choose a new production programmer? This issue came up in our production department this week, and made us consider again what is important in a production programming system.

So what considerations are important when choosing a new programming system?

Firstly, where possible we use ISP (In System Programming) and all our own products are manufactured using ISP but that is not always possible and ISP will be discussed further in another post. We also carry out contract manufacturing and assembly, and this is where we needed a new socket programming solution.
Continue reading “Help, Production Programmer Needed” »

Starting UK Electronics Business – Regulation

Having started your electronics business by doing a bit of trading on Ebay, you now want to be legitimate. In the last post, we discussed raising finance and the aversion of the banks to startups, electronics and risk (except complex financial instruments they don’t understand of course). Having raised money somehow, what other obstacles will the UK government and its bureaucratic allies in Brussels put in your way?

Continue reading “Starting UK Electronics Business – Regulation” »

Starting UK Electronics Business – Finance

You have had this great idea for a new widget, or can see a gap in the market for an imported product, so how easy is it to set up a new electronics business in the UK? To test the water, you could just make some in your shed or import a few shipments and sell them on Ebay, (although HM Customs and Revenue are now data mining online to try and catch informal business and get more money!) but how easy is it to then create a formal business?

Continue reading “Starting UK Electronics Business – Finance” »

Microcontrollers, training, electronics and coding