How do you geek out a gingerbread house? Like this…


As part of an annual tradition, this engineer illuminates his family’s gingerbread house with an AT90S1200.


The Gingerbread House Illuminator was developed by Geir Kjosavik, Atmel Director of QTouch Product Marketing, back in December 1996. At the heart of the design lies an AT90S1200 — but not just any AT90S1200. This particular device is the very first AVR MCU to ever run user code. The current FW (which has been left unaltered since ’96) runs a pseudo random number generator that seeds four independent PWMs with different intensity sequences so that the connected LEDs mimick a flickering fireplace light.

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The Illuminator has been a longstanding tradition in the Kjosavik family’s annual gingerbread house — now in its 20th consecutive holiday season. See it in action below!

Enjoy this festive project? Then you’ll also love this teched-out Christmas tree comprised of and powered by Atmel | SMART SAM D21 MCUs.

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