Tag Archives: Game of the Goose

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.

Video: Atmel’s ATtiny2313 gives this game a voice (Jeu de l’oie)

A Maker named “Makapuf” recently built an electronic board game with digital audio for his kids. According to the folks at Hack A Day, the game is based on the classic Game of the Goose (“Jeu de l’oie”), albeit with a modern “talking” twist.

The game is powered by Atmel’s ATtiny2313 and AT45D 4 Megabit Flash. The latter component is tasked with providing storage for 8 bit/8khz audio.

“The electronic portion of the game has a few functions. The first is calling out numbers, which is done by playing recordings of [Makapuf] reading, ‘one’, ‘two’, ‘three’, … ‘twelve’, ‘thir-’, ‘teen’ and so on,” the Hack A Day crew explained in a recent blog post.

“This data is pumped out over a pin on the ATtiny through a small amplifier and into a speaker. After that, the code is a simple matter of keeping track of where the players are on the board, keeping score, and generating randomish numbers.”

Makapuf says he spent under $4 in parts, making the above-mentioned project even more impressive.

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

The MCU 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 device achieves throughputs approaching 1 MIPS per MHz – neatly balancing power consumption and processing speed.