Choosing a microcontroller

A project log for Bright.

An advanced, realistic LED candle

qquuiinnqquuiinn 07/26/2016 at 19:330 Comments

I searched around for small, low cost microcontrollers that would be ideal LED candle drivers. At the very least, I needed something with 5 i/o pins, including one ADC pin for a light sensor. It was tempting to pick something from the tiny*5 family, simply because the Arduino IDE support is so good, but it would come at a cost in terms of volume production.

Nameprice/1 (USD)price/1K (USD)

(prices are based off digikey as of 7/25/2016 and may change)

It's interesting to see how much processing power a dollar (or less) can buy in volume. Even light ARM cores are cheaper now than hobbyist mainstays like the ATTINY25. The microcontroller I'll probably go with is the ATTINY102, because of it's low cost. Besides, I've always worked with ATTINY chips. And lack of Arduino IDE support will provide the right amount of motivation for me to finally learn C.

The other challenge is the fact that I can't seem to find the ATTINY102 in stock anywhere on the internet. The official dev board is available, but not the actual IC. I can improvise and work with the TINY85, which I already have on hand, hoping that the 102 will go on sale or Atmel can provide me with free samples :).