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!
Objective Development Announces Commercial Licenses and Bundled USB IDs
for Their Free Firmware-Only USB Driver for Atmel's AVR
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 (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
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
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For more information about AVR-USB see
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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)
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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.
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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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Mitch Berkson

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