Over a year ago Arrow was giving away free ATtiny817 Xplained Mini boards. Intrigued, I got one along with a few separate ATtiny817’s. I didn’t have much experience moving beyond Arduino at the time, so it was the perfect opportunity to get started using Atmel Studio 7. Reading through the datasheet, which as usual with Atmel was very well written, I was able to get some lights flashing and changed the clock speed. I had to get back to working on Mission Possible for SciOly so I set it aside for the time being.
Fast forward a year later and I decided to take another look at the ATtiny817. With more experience around my belt, I finally understood what an amazingly cool chip it was. The acquisition of Atmel by Microchip had allowed a bunch of features from PIC chips to be added to AVR chips. Even more, these new chips use the UPDI, a single pin programming interface. It was a very welcome update from the 4-pin ISP programming of older Atmel chips in terms of making PCB design easier.
Overall, the ATtiny817 provides a perfect balance of features and size for a lot of the uses cases I foresee for my projects. It has 8KB of flash, 512B of RAM, I2C, SPI, USART, 3 Timers, 8 bit DAC, 10 bit ADC, and an internal RC oscillator among other features. Of course, for every project I do I’ll need to analyze what chip provides the best fit, but the ATtiny817 does get a warm welcome into my parts bin.