Software-only USB driver for AVR

The following press release may be interesting to readers of this news group because it presents a complete solution for interfacing AVR
mircrocontrollers to USB Hosts. In the minimum configuration the additional cost for USB is one resistor and a USB connector (if you choose the free Open Source software license). Sorry for the partially commercial content!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Objective Development Announces Commercial Licenses and Bundled USB IDs for Their Free Firmware-Only USB Driver for Atmel's AVR Microcontrollers
Vienna, Austria - January 31, 2006 -- Objective Development today released a new version of their firmware-only USB driver for Atmel's AVR microcontrollers (AVR-USB), just in time for the driver's one year anniversary. This version adds new licensing options and free USB Product IDs bundled with all license types, even with the free Open Source compliant license.
AVR-USB is targeted to small companies and hobbyists designing hardware with USB connectivity based on standard AVR microcontrollers. It implements a low speed USB device in the same way as a Software-UART implements asynchronous serial data transfer. The only hardware resources needed from the AVR microcontroller are two I/O pins, one of them must be an edge triggered interrupt.
Since RS232 ports have become rare in modern computers, USB is the method of choice for connecting various gadgets to the PC. The major drawback for small companies and hobbyists is the relatively large upfront investment which is usually required to work with USB: You need to buy a USB Vendor ID from usb.org (currently 1,500 USD) and maybe a new development system for USB capable microcontrollers. Furthermore, microcontrollers with USB are often available in SMD packages and large quantities only, making things even harder for small startup companies and hobbyists.
AVR-USB addresses all these issues. It comes with an Open Source license, a USB Product ID which can be used for free (shared according to the certain implementation rules), it is based on the free GNU compiler as development environment and works with low cost AVR microcontrollers which are available in DIP packages. The PC side driver can be constructed with libusb, a free USB abstraction library which is available for Windows, Linux, Mac OS X and BSD Unix. No Microsoft SDK or development environment is required for Windows driver development.
Two affordable commercial license types are available for those who can not agree to the publication requirement of the Open Source license. The entry level license for 199 EUR allows using AVR-USB in up to 150 units and comes with a dedicated USB Product ID for exclusive use. The professional license for 500 EUR has virtually no limit in the number of units (fair use) and comes with two dedicated USB Product IDs.
AVR-USB can be downloaded as part of an example application at the URL
http://www.obdev.at/products/avrusb/powerswitch.html
For more information about AVR-USB see
http://www.obdev.at/avrusb /
------------------------------------ About Objective Development ------------------------------------
Objective Development is a creative team of experienced software engineers, specialized in developing innovative, intelligent computing solutions. The brand "Objective Development" represents high quality niche products for private and commercial users, filling the gaps between large standard applications.
The company's product line includes "LaunchBar" (an award winning search utility and recent winner of the Macworld 2005 Editors' Choice Awards), "Little Snitch" (an application based reverse firewall), "WebYep" (a web content management system) and Sharity (an SMB file system for Unix).
------------------------------------ Press Contact ------------------------------------
Objective Development Software GmbH Grosse Schiffgasse 1A/7 A-1020 Vienna, Austria, Europe
Christian Starkjohann (Product Manager) http://www.obdev.at/avrusb / snipped-for-privacy@obdev.at Fax: +43 1 81749554000
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For those interested in a USB hardware solution, Digikey is selling the AT89STK-05 USB Starter kit for $82 which seems like a pretty good deal. (http://www.atmel.com/dyn/products/tools_card.asp?family_ide5&family_name=USB+Controllers&tool_id185 )
Mitch
Description:
AT89STK-05 starter kit includes: . One AT89STK-05 Development board v2.00 hosting an AT89C5131A device . One AT89STK-05 quick start guide . One AT89C5131A-S3SIM sample . One AT89C5130A-S3SIM sample . One USB cable V1.1 type A to type B connector . One Keil microvision evaluation version CD-ROM with a 2 KB code-limited C compiler & IDE . One Jungo Windriver toolkits CD-ROM . One AT89STK-05 Atmel CD ROM
This development kit opens the door to applications that exploit the performance of Atmel's USB Flash microcontrollers. Demo program and application that can be run on this board include: . USB keyboard (HID class) . USB to RS232 gateway (CDC drivers) . USB Mass Storage . And more...
AT89C5131A microcontrollers feature: . 16 or 32KB Flash program memory . Flash Bootloader for fast In System Programming (ISP) through the USB . In Application programming (Self Programming) . 1K Data EEPROM . Power-On Reset / Power Fail Detect . 1280 bytes of RAM . USB 2.0 12 mbp/s device, 7 endpoints . UART . SPI . TWI (Two Wire interface) . 3 timers + programmable counter array (PCA) . Watchdog timer . Direct LED drive
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