A New Opportunity To Learn About Microcontrollers

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Understanding microcontrollers and how to code for them is essential in todayÂ?s electronics. A new trainer is available from Kanda that has everything needed to learn microcontroller programming at an amazingly low price.

Microcontrollers are the basis of most electronics around today and an understanding of micros and how to program them is essential for anyone who wants to get to grips with modern electronics.

With this in mind, Kanda.com have put together a complete training kit for learning about microcontrollers. The kit uses the Atmel AVR microcontroller but the principles that are learnt can be transferred to other microcontrollers, such as the PIC, if required. Everything needed is included, so where to start?

Firstly, there is a book to giving the basic principles – numbering systems, logic, addressing, how to write programs and lots of examples. Next, to start writing and testing programs and see the microcontroller structure, there is AVR Studio. This program has been developed by Atmel to be the best development environment of them all and it’s a joy to use. It includes a full function editor with an Assembler to create the code and a Simulator to check for simple mistakes

So, having written the program and done the initial testing on the PC, now the hardware comes in to play. The STK200 development board has all the functions needed to create embedded systems including digital I/O, communications, data storage and A2D. Extra circuitry such as LCD Displays and keypads or just breadboard circuits can easily be plugged in. The code can be run on this board through the In Circuit Emulator included. This tool lets code to be stepped through or run to a certain point, which allows hardware and software bugs to be found. Once the program is debugged and finished, the programmer with the kit can be used to program lots of AVR micros.

That in a nutshell is the embedded design process and this kit gives a very good start in mastering it. This far the emphasis has been on Assembly language because it gives a better understanding of microcontrollers, but the kit also includes a complete unlimited C Compiler for writing programs in High Level Language instead of Assembler. C Code is quicker to write and easier to transfer between different microcontrollers.

This trainer includes

 A book

 A complete development environment

 An In Circuit Emulator

 A development board with a microcontroller

 A programmer

 And a C Compiler

A Kanda.com spokesman said “We have sold a lot of training systems in our time but nothing as good as this, especially for the money. A PIC emulator will cost you twice as much as this kit on its own!”

This is an unmissable opportunity to learn, teach or just understand microcontrollers.

For more information, see http://www.kanda.com/go/AVR-TRAIN

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Adrian Wallis
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