ATtiny1616 Development Board

Arduino compatible Nano-sized development board powered by ATtiny1616 chip

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andrey-malyshenko has 658 orders / 21reviews
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I'm a big fan of early ATtiny series chips, I even made my own ATtiny Flasher tool for productive development and few educational kites based on ubiquitous ATtiny85. Time has come to extend my horizons and look into the modern line of ATtiny chips, specifically so called 1-series and 2-series line of MCUs. No need to mention that they went far ahead old series, and having resources comparable with old ATmega series.
This gave me an idea to make Arduino Nano pin compatible development board, so I can start using it the projects, where I'd normally pick Arduino Nano. In my practice the best way to get familiar with new hardware is to start using it in the actual projects.
So here it is, Arduino Nano replacement, but with modern ATtiny MCU onboard.

I spend some time figuring out how to make board flashing as easy as possible.

First revision of the board exposed only UPDI header, so you'd need external programmer to flash it. It is as easy as adding single diode to the USB-Serial adapter, but still require soldering.

Second revision incorporated diode on the board, so you can just connect USB-Serial adapter with plain cable and have it done.

Working on one of the projects, it came to me, hey, there is already USB-Serial adapter on the board, serving Serial communication. Why not to use it right away. So third revision came, no programmer needed, plug-n-play. Drawback is that you lose Serial communication via built-in USB.

So finally I've decided to offer two versions - (a) with serial communication via USB and external one for flashing, and (b) with built-in programmer, but serial communication is only exposed on bare pins

  • Digital Safe project based on ATtiny1616

    andriy.malyshenko03/01/2023 at 19:50 0 comments

    As I mentioned before, best way to know new part is to build some project based on that. After traveling with my family some time age, I had an idea to build digital safe toy for my son. He had some with the real thing, so I figured this could be a good toy at home.

    It doesn't have to be big and heavy, but it should have

    - password entry using keypad

    - LCD screen, symbol display controlled via I2C expander makes perfect sense here

    - Buzzer and LED blinker clearly

    - Li-Po Battery powered. Charging can be external

    I started to look around for firmware, and immediately found Arduino Electronic Safe. I added RGB LED and buzzer support, which forced me to rewrite most of the code to run async.

    One trick I use for prototyping is a "poor man's 3D printing" made of thick cardboard left after furniture deliveries.It is easy to cut and shape with paper knife. Final result is a bit bulky, but looks neat and strong.

    It is not very strong though, so I cover front with the plexi-glass panel. It is easy to cut using soldering iron and aluminum ruler, and bend using heatgun.

  • How to flash the board

    andriy.malyshenko12/10/2022 at 21:42 0 comments

    If you want to start working on modern ATtiny series chips, you need two fundamental materials contributed by Spence Konde. First being the flashing instructions (much more than that actually) and second Arduino core description. Both will give you more than enough to get started and litle extra knowledge to fit your expectation to the reality around these chips.

    Short summary on flashing part

    - (a) Legacy way is to take any Arduino Nano board and use jtag2updi project to make yourself programmer.

    - (b) Better (read recommended) way is to use SerialUPDI tooling with hardware modified serial programmer

    - (c) Alternative is to use Optiboot bootloader and Serial programmer interface like on Arduino boards

    Method (c) is disqualified on 1-Series chip because of RESET/UPDI pin collision, and both (a) and (b) work equally well, difference being what is easier for you: (a) dedicate Arduino Nano board for programming or (b) do solder job on your usb-serial adapter.

    Having this said, you ready to write your own code. Changing pin states is rather lacking drama, using built-in libraries like SPI or I2C also seems simple.

    Troubles come however when you try to use community libraries, driving TFT screens for example. Since those are usually optimized and hardwired to specific supported architectures, you're getting build errors, complaining that your avr is different.

    I guess this is the same for every new product, same situation for RP2040 after it went live, community support came later. Not sure if modern Tiny series will gain same momentum eventually, probably not.

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