Introduction to WinAVR toolset

 
Probably many developers AVR microcontroller software had a question what compiler to choose for their designs. There are so many choices now in the real world. You can use commercial tool-sets like IAR, CodeVision, ImageCraft. These compilers are shipped with convenient user interfaces, code generators. But...you have to purchase a license to use full their potential. So if you decided to make low budget project, the best choice would be to use open source compiler GCC which has a big potential and it has strong position in society. This is the most successful open source compiler in the world, because it has support in all over the world, it is cheap, it doesn't depend on platform used. For AVR microcontroller platform compiler is called AVR-GCC.

The compiler itself has no graphical interface and all control can be done in MSDOS command line or in Linux command line. In order to make it easier to work with projects there are makefiles used (discussed in other articles), which are the big aid while workin on large projects. GNU compilers as usually are using UNIX style make files. This file can be run with make.exe program found in GCC compiler package. In reality you don’t have to write makefiles – there are ready templates to modify and use.

Probably everyone agrees that use of compiler in command line is not convenient for somebody this may seem too complicated. Good thing is, that compiler can be used in almost any IDE. For instance good open source GUI and editor is Programmers Notepad . Other good choice could be AVRStudio4, where special plugin detects AVR-GCC compiler. The creators of AVRStudio made it possible to integrate GCC compiler. Even makefiles are generated automatically. And you also get ability to simulate your software and watch microcontroller registers and other peripherals. You can program without bothering about other processes that can be done automatically. This is very good news for hobbyists. They can use professional tool...for FREE!

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