I was in a startup in 2001 when I first designed in Atmel products. One of the big enticements of Atmel was the really cheap demo board. Back then they called it a Butterfly board and it cost $49. Now we have things like our Xplained series evaluation kits. They are still low-cost, and they they can give you a big head-start in getting code written for your next project.
The Atmel starter guide gives some great advice on how to become instantly productive with AVR and ARM parts.
- Download and install Studio 6
- Check out some examples of similar things
- Buy an in-circuit debugger– $49 Dragon, or $99 JTAG ICE, or the $599 AVR ONE!
- Buy an eval kit, a starter kit, a touch kit, a wireless kit, an evaluation kit, or a reference design.
This is the great thing about Atmel, for a really low cost you can have some hardware up and running. I plan on digging out my old Atmel projects and open-sourcing them for the community. Stay tuned to the Atmel Bits and Pieces.