Tag Archives: digital dice kit

A closer look at Atmel’s tinyAVR

Atmel’s stalwart tinyAVR lineup has been in the news lately, powering a wide range of projects including the DUO tiny mini computer, Agent smart watch, ShuttAVR mod for cameras, Game of the Goose, pressure sensitive floor, Nixie clock, digital dice kit, driving seven-segment LED displays and playing chiptunes.

As illustrated by the diverse examples above, Atmel’s tinyAVR devices are optimized for applications requiring a combination of performance, power efficiency and ease of use in a small package. Indeed, all tinyAVR devices are based on the same architecture and compatible with other AVR devices, with the smallest tinyAVR measuring only 1.5mm x 1.4mm.

“Integrated ADC, EEPROM memory and brown out detector let you build applications without adding external components, while offering flash memory and on-chip debug for fast, secure, cost-effective in-circuit upgrades that significantly cuts time to market,” an Atmel engineering rep told Bits & Pieces.

“Simply put, the tinyAVR offers a unique combination of miniaturization, processing power, analog performance and system-level integration. That is why the tinyAVR is the most compact device in the AVR family – and the only device capable of operating at just 0.7V.”

To be sure, where most microcontrollers require 1.8V or more to operate, the tinyAVR with boost regulator bolsters the voltage from a single AA or AAA battery into a stable 3V supply to power the entire application.

“In terms of high integration, each pin boasts multiple uses as I/O, ADC and PWM. Even the reset pin can be reconfigured as an I/O pin. tinyAVR also features a Universal Serial Interface (USI) which can be used as SPI, UART or TWI,” the engineering rep continued.

“Plus, Atmel’s royalty free QTouch Library makes it simple to embed capacitive-touch button, slider and wheel functionality into general-purpose Atmel AVR microcontroller applications. The library offers several  files for each device, supporting different numbers of touch channels – facilitating both flexibility and efficiency in touch applications.”

Last, but certainly not least, tinyAVR designs can be coupled with Atmel’s CryptoAuthentication devices for an added level of security. Interested in learning more? Be sure to check out our detailed tinyAVR breakdown here.

ATtiny13 MCU powers DIY digital dice kit

A new Atmel-powered DIY digital dice kit recently surfaced on eBay. Designed and sold by eBay member “applemount,” the DIY digital dice kit features Atmel’s ATtiny13 MCU, front and center.

Aside from the ATtiny13, additional key components include:

  • 1 – Lead-free professionally printed circuit board (2″x2″)
  • 7 – Red LED’s
  • 1 – Battery holder
  • 1 – Button switch
  • 1 – CR2032 battery (included)

“Push a button and the die will display a random number from 1 to 6 just like a dice! [The kits are] great for board games. [Plus], you get a free CR2032 battery with each kit!” applemount wrote in a description posted on eBay.

“[The kit] uses advanced on-board entropy collection to generate real random numbers. Soldering is required, [although] each part is clearly labeled on the printed circuit board for easy assembly.”

Interested? Step-by-step assembly instructions are available on Instructables here, while the DIY kit can be purchased for US $12 here.