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Programming the XMEGA with an ISP

Atmel’s XMEGA series of microcontrollers are neat little pieces of hardware; with a very fast clock, a ton of IO, USB, and up to 8 UART ports, these neat little chips serve as a nice bridge between AVRs and PICs and the very powerful ARM chips coming out on the market.¬†Unfortunately, the XMEGAs don’t use the extremely common ISP programming header found on just about every AVR dev board making them a bear to program. [Szu] over in Poland came up with a very easy way to program these chips, all while using the programming hardware you already have on hand.

[Szu]‘s build uses a few resistors and diodes to break out a USBASP connection to the XMEGA’s¬†PDI interface. On the software side of things, [Szu] wrote an update to the USBASP firmware to allow it to program PDI devices, and also has a patch for AVRdude to allow uploading firmware from the command line.

A very cool build, and one that allows for very, very powerful devices that build on the AVR code you’ve already written.

Comments

  1. yetihehe says:

    PCB on cardboard is a nice touch ;)

  2. jonny says:

    All you have to do is upgrade the firmware in an old MKII.

  3. aa says:

    Polacks are always the best!

  4. foogoid says:

    Very nice!
    If I ever have the need/desire to use an XMega, I will give this a try!
    The upgraded USBASP will still program normal AVR’s through ISP, without the adapter.
    And since my programmer has a 3V3 regulator, I would only need two resistors!

  5. sebastian says:

    Small correction in title – should be: “Programming the XMEGA with an PDI”
    PDI is used because xmega haven’t ISP

  6. Zajc3w says:

    It would be nice if it be working… but it is’nt . At least with atxmega 128a4.

  7. xmega128a4u says:

    I have try it under Ubuntu with an ATXmega128A4U and it works!

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