In this post, I am going to explain about the software environment required for working with AVR microcontrollers. Microcontrollers like any other computer need instruction code to process and execute it’s functionalities.
To program an AVR microcontroller we first need to write and compile the code into Hex format. This is needed because the microcontroller only understands machine executable format ie. hexadecimal or binary. We can achieve this in many ways but the best option is by using an Integrated Development Environment(IDE).
An IDE is a software application that provides comprehensive facilities to computer programmers for software development. An IDE normally consists of a source code editor, build automation tools and a debugger. Most modern IDEs have intelligent code completion.
For AVR microcontrollers there are a wide variety of environments available both free and paid. We are going to use the WinAVR environment which is a free software. This is a good IDE for beginners with a complete GCC compiler inbuilt into it. It also has the option for directly flashing the microcontroller from the IDE itself without the need for any third party flashing software.
Go through the below video where I explain how to install the IDE on your system properly along with some fixes for Windows 8+ compatibility issues.
You can also download the IDE by clicking here.
After completion of the installation process download the missing DLL file from here, if you have Windows 8+ running on your system. Copy the file and paste it into the following path:
Now, launch the ‘Programmer’s Notepad’ application from the start menu or the icon present in the desktop. You should have the IDE ready for programming at this moment.
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