Tag Archives: FTDI

Arduboy is an uber-mini game console



A Maker by the name of Kevin has created an uber-mini handheld game console using Atmel’s ATmega328p microcontroller (MCU).

As HackADay’s Brian Benchoff notes, the Arduboy build utilizes a number of unique design techniques.

“The inspiration for this project began when [Kevin] dropped an SMD resistor into a drill hole on a PCB. This resistor fell right through the hole, giving him the idea creating a PCB with milled cutouts made to fit SMD components,” Benchoff explained.

“With a little experimentation, [Kevin] found he could fit a TQFP32 ATmega328p MCU in the Arduino – in a custom square cutout. [Additional] components – including a CR2016 battery and OLED display- use the same trick. The rest of the design involved taking Adafruit and Sparkfun breakout boards, modifying the individual circuits until something broke.”

Kevin’s unconventional PCB design approach ultimately resulted in a handheld game console that measures only 1.6 millimeters thick – and boasts capacitive touch sensors for controls.

So what’s next for the Arduboy? Well, Kevin says he wants to release the design files and source code under a fully open source license and launch a crowd sourcing campaign.

“I also would like to sell [Arduboy] kits on my site and on Tindie,” Kevin wrote on the project’s page.

“[Plus], I would like to design the board with four layers and place the circuit traces entirely on the board interior. This would allow for test points to be placed in standard ISCP and FTDI configuration, eliminating the need for an otherwise custom bed-of-nails programming interface.”

Interested in learning more about the Arduboy? You can check out the project’s official site here.

Improvising a logic analyzer with an ATtiny2313

Joonas Pihlajamaa wasn’t having much luck debugging his PS/2 keyboard interface. Wishing he had a dedicated logic analyzer, Joonas ultimately decided to combine an ATtiny2313, breadboard and FTDI for unlimited-length logic capturing with a PC.

As the HackADay crew notes, the ATtiny2313-based logic analyzer is capable of capturing at 50+ kHz, more than enough for a PS/2 port.

“The 2313 has eight input ports on one side of the chip, making attaching the right logic line to the right port a cinch. The highs and lows on each logic line are sent to a computer over the FTDI chip, converted into OLS format and piped into Open Sniffer to make some fancy graphs,” explained HackADay’s Brian Benchoff. “Joonas was able to capture PS/2 signals with his logic sniffer, so we’ll call this project a success.”

As previously discussed on Bits & Pieces, Atmel’s high-performance, low-power 8-bit AVR RISC-based ATtiny2313 microcontroller boasts 2KB ISP flash memory, 128B ISP EEPROM, 128B internal SRAM, universal serial interface (USI), full duplex UART and debugWIRE for on-chip debugging.

The ATtiny2313 also supports a throughput of 20 MIPS at 20 MHz, operating between 2.7-5.5 volts. By executing powerful instructions in a single clock cycle, the MCU achieves throughputs approaching 1 MIPS per MHz – neatly balancing power consumption and processing speed.

Interested in learning more about Atmel’s extensive lineup of versatile tinyAVRs? You can check out our complete device breakdown here.