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Universal AVR ISP

Hi to all, I'm quite new to AVR MCUs and I have the chips (ATmega32 16PU), but no programmer.

I'm obsessed by the word "universal", because I don't wanna buy a programmer every time I'm working with a different chip, so the question is: which is the really universal ISP for AVRs, possibly with USB connector?

Thx in advance ;-)

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... is another nice programmer, if you have an ATMega8 to spare, works both with Windows and Linux, see below for more info:


I'm using it with great success.

Thank You all for suggestions. Well, the AVRISP mkII is the one which inspire me the most... one more question: are you using it with Linux or Windows?

I'm using it with Windows 7 x64 and AVR Studio 4. I recommend using AVR Studio as I think its a decent IDE.

Yes, I know with Windows works perfectly, but I'd like to listen the opinion of one using it on Linux, that's my interest ;-)


What IDE under linux?

I don't know... maybe gedit + gcc for AVR + some AVRISP driver for chip programming stuffs. When programming C for the PC, gedit + gcc is very powerfull, though not as sophisticate as an IDE.

I installed Bluefish yesterday for use with GCC Linux applications as gedit was annoying me as it doesn't automatically tab newlines (perhaps a feature I didn't discover though).  But for AVR programming I prefer AVR Studio IDE.

An AVRISP mkII ($34) will automatically upgrade the firmware via AVR Studio to support future 8-bit AVR devices so I recommend it as I also own one.  You can also spend more to get a JTAG programmer that will support 32-bit AVRs and better debugging.

the USBtinyISP should program more or less all AVR chips. As it was a quick search, I did not see a specific list. The FAQ says "The USBtinyISP design as-is only works with the AVR core chips (ATtiny/ATmega/etc)."

my suggestion is about as useful. The only bonus on the one I posted is that it is to work with Windows, MacOS, and Linux. :)