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Protostack ATmega32A Development Kit Review

Protostack ATmega32A Development Kit Review
Protostack's latest development kit breaks the ATmega328 trend and introduces us to the ATmega32A. Let's take a full look at it in this review.
By: Charles Gantt | Development Boards in Maker & DIY | Posted: Dec 10, 2013 10:31 pm
TweakTown Rating: 98%Manufacturer: Protostack





One of my favourite things to do on a cold winter night is to heat up my soldering iron and sit down at my workbench for an hour of circuit board building. Unfortunately, many of the development boards I use in my projects and experiments are pre-assembled from the manufacturer and as such, I do not get to solder as much as I like to. Fortunately, Protostack still understands that many of the makers out there still love to melt some solder from time to time.


Protostack's ATmega32A Development Kit is the first 40-pin AVR development board from the company, with all of its other boards being based on a 28-pin AVR design. The 40-pin ATmega32U is a low power, high performance Atmel 8-bit AVR RISC-based microcontroller featuring 32KB self-programming flash program memory, 2KB SRAM, 1KB EEPROM, 8 channel 10-bit A/D converter and JTAG interface for on-chip-debug. The device achieves 16 MIPS throughput at 16 MHz at 2.7 to 5.5V operation.


These features allow the ATmega32A to execute powerful instructions in a single clock cycle, and the result is throughputs approaching 1 MIPS per MHz, allowing users to optimize power consumption versus processing speed.


Why would you choose this kit over something like an Arduino though? That answer is as simple as: Why wouldn't you. With an Arduino you must utilize a breadboard or various shields when prototyping, and then when it is all over, you will have to either have a custom PCB manufactured, or you will have to etch one yourself.


With a Protostack board, you can simply populate the prototyping space the same way you did your breadboard. Then all you have to do is solder things into place, and connect the proper leads with solder bridges and wire. Then you can leave your project on the board. Alternatively, you can use the Protostack Development board in the same way you would an Arduino, and "stack" additional development boards or prototyping boards on top.

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