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RE: [avr-chat] ATmega164P/324P/644P and Dragon Rider (was JTAG Debug)

From: larry barello
Subject: RE: [avr-chat] ATmega164P/324P/644P and Dragon Rider (was JTAG Debug)
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2008 09:19:08 -0800

I fail to see what the complaint is about.  An awful lot of code can be
wrangled in 32k of flash on an AVR even with a C compiler (I have > 10kloc
and just recently broke the 32k barrier and that is mainly because of fonts
and graphics..)

AVRs are so compatible it is fairly easy to develop major blocks with the
Dragon (or clone JTAG and legacy mega128) and then change the CPU type for
your target, download it and just have it run. After that one can use printf
debugging (my case using C) or in David's case his DSO &  bit twiddler.  

So, Atmel made high end JTAG and DebugWire debugging absurdly affordable
with the Dragon - but only those who can't afford an extra $250 might have
the time to kill to develop small and bolt blocks together on larger chips.
I guess it all depends upon how much you value your time...

Another route is to pay attention to those Atmel seminars.  The last one I
attended was for the AVR32 UC3 series (last summer): $100 got me a nice
lunch, complete toolset including a (second) JTAGmkII, nifty dev board and
help setting everything up and compiling a HID for the dev board that made
it into a Wii like mouse for the PC.

BTW. I have issues with the Atmel tools, but for the most part they are my
misinterpretation of the chip spec, programming model or something about the
tool that is easy to work around once I actually read the manual and find
out what the limitation is :)  


-----Original Message-----
From: address@hidden
[mailto:address@hidden On Behalf Of David
Sent: Thursday, November 20, 2008 8:23 AM
To: Graham Davies
Subject: Re: [avr-chat] ATmega164P/324P/644P and Dragon Rider (was JTAG

> No, I'm afraid not.  The AVR ICE-Cube is possible because the design of
> Atmel Mk I was (intentionally or not) open.  That is, you can find
> schematics for it on the Web and its manner of operation is well known.
> is not true of the Mk II.  To "clone" the Mk II would require a lot of
> reverse engineering and the result would be of dubious legality unless
> was done "double blind".  With the cost of parts for the Mk II, this would
> put the price of the clone up around half the cost of the real thing, so
> savings would not be so compelling.  Finally, a lot of the ground covered
> the Mk II is covered by the $52 AVR Dragon.  So, to repeat myself, no, I
> don't have any such plans.

It's a pity they've chosen this path.

The price of the MkII is unfortunate, but the profits (if any) on
sales of dev tools are hardly a pinprick in Atmels bottom line.
The more important thing, is to get those tools into as many hands as
If they were to open up there, motivated parties could produce clones
as was done with the MK1 and Atmel would gain far more from that than
they do in selling onesies of dev tools.

Many companies have demo boards and similar dev support items that
have a "list price" that seems kinda high, but if the FAE thinks
you're working on something worthwhile, they will just give you the
items.  Atmel, IMHO, should follow that path, and fix studio so it's
useful again. The existing path is penny-wise, and kilopound-foolish.

But, they didn't ask me... :)

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