For many applications involving microcontrollers, there might be a need to add more peripheral devices than the number of pins permitted. There is also an option to migrate to an SBC (Single-Board Computer) like Raspberry Pi. Nevertheless, it is possible that some input devices may have non-standard pinouts. Apart from this, an assorted group of built-in features like capacitive touch sensing, digital I/O, analog-to-digital conversion, and PWM output, along with communication protocols like I2C, SPI, and UART, might be required. Adafruit’s ATtiny1616 breakout board is an excellent option for solving these use cases.
Adafruit’s ATtiny1616 breakout board adds additional capability to microcontrollers in real-time. It contains 16 KB flash memory, 2 KB RAM, and 256B program-accessible EEPROM with 20MHz internal oscillator and 3.3V regulator for the breakout board.
ATtiny1616 board makes it easier to work with electronic components or other devices that have a small form factor, non-standard pinouts, or shaky timing protocols. For example, peripherals like Neopixels have an unreliable timing protocol, due to which even SBCs might not be able to precisely control the Neopixel hardware. For this case, the Adafruit ATtiny1616 breakout board with Seesaw firmware can easily become an interface between NeoPixels hardware and microcontroller (basically any device which can run CircuitPython). Also, there is Arduino library support for this as well.
ATtiny1616 breakout comes with the tested board and contains:
- ATtiny1616 8-bit microcontroller
- 16KB flash, 2KB of RAM, 256 B EEPROM
- Internal oscillator can run up to 20MHz
- 3.3V regulator
- Green and Red power LEDs
- I2C connectors
This board comes pre-programmed with seesaw peripheral code, which acts as an I2C interface between peripherals and microcontrollers, specifically to improve the time sensitivity.
For example, using this breakout board with pre-loaded seesaw firmware gives you:
- 12 x GPIO pins
- 9 ADC inputs
- 5 PWM outputs
- 1 NeoPixel output
- 1 EEPROM with 127B NVM memory
- 1 Interrupt output (if peripherals need to trigger)
- 2 I2C address selection pins
- 1 Activity LED
To learn more about Adafruit’s ATtiny1616 breakout board, please visit this link.
Hrushikesh Vazurkar is an alumni of VNIT Nagpur, CSE Department. He is passionate about competitive programming, web development and AI.