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Wednesday, 20 October 2010

This website is dedicated to projects, articles and components for Atmel's AVR microcontrollers. You can download software and documentation .

It all started 4 years ago with an investigation into the best 8-bit microcontroller platform. As explained in my article, I decided on NetMedia's BasicX platform which uses AT90S8515, AT90S8535 and ATmega8535 microcontrollers from Atmel. This platform allowed a quick start without the need for a programmer or other support hardware. It is faster and more flexible than BASIC Stamps. Very quickly I got interested to see how it worked and wrote a series of articles about it's virtual machine architecture. It was also clear that the BasicX platform was not keeping up with the latest AVR microcontrollers from Atmel.

Enter ZBasic from Elba Corporaton. At the same time as I was investigating the BasicX architecture, Elba Corporation began developing a much enhanced and backwards compatible platform called ZBasic which used Atmel's AVR ATmega32 microcontroller. My article on ZBasic explains where it fits in a range of microcontroller architectures and describes the features and functionality of the ZBasic platform. An example ZBasic program is provided that uses ZBasic features such as multi-tasking and queues to asynchronously read infrared (IR) commands from an infrared remote control. Today the ZBasic platform has grown in both software function and supported AVR microcontrollers which include ATmega32, ATmega644, ATmega644p, ATmega128, Atmega1281, ATmega1280, and ATmega328p.

Oak Micros is a licensed OEM of Elba Corporation. We sell seven different ZBasic devices with an emphasis on plug and play. All of our devices can be used on a breadboard and placed in standard 0.1" sockets. A RS232 serial interface to the host PC can be used to download compiled programs and perform serial I/O to the host PC. In our second generation devices (ZX-328nu, ZX-24ru, and ZX-24su) the RS232 serial interface is replaced by a more modern USB connector. The built-in 5V regulator can be used with a power supply such as a 9v battery for even easier startup. The classic getting started program is to light or flash an LED and the on-board LEDs can be used for this purpose.

Continuing the theme of plug and play, Oak Micros also offers three devices (om128, om328p, and om644p) named after their respective AVR microcontrollers (ATmega128, ATmega328p, and ATmega644p). These AVR devices use the same socketable, integrated hardware as our ZBasic devices but instead include a boot loader. This boot loader can be automatically invoked from the host PC to download and start executing an AVR program. No additional hardware such as a programmer is needed. An an option the om328p can have an Arduino bootloader installed instead. The devices come with a user documentation and software package that includes example code, GUI and command line download utilities for the host PC, and the source code for the boot loader. The om128-ext I/O extension board eliminates a restriction of the mega128 and mega1281 based devices by providing the ability to access the remaining ports while maintaining our philisophy of easily socketing or breadboarding the devices.

omxa4/ZX-24xu Device
om644p/ZX-24ru/ZX-24su Device
om328p/ZX-328nu Device
om128/ZX-128e/ZX-128ne Device
om128-ext I/O extension plugged into an om128

What's New

20 October 2010
Availability of USB capable, xmega32a4-based ZX-24xu 3.3V devices for the ZBasic platform. There is also a version available without ZBasic support called the omxa4 .
11 October 2010
Availability of USB capable, mega1284p-based ZX-24su and ZX-24ru  devices for the ZBasic platform. These devices are plugin replacements for the discontinued ZX-24nu and ZX-24pu devices.
21 November 2009
Availability of USB capable, mega644p-based om644p  device with included Oak Micros bootloader for easy download.
23 June 2009
Availability of USB capable, mega328p-based om328p  device that is shipped either with the Oak Micros or Arduino bootloader.
16 June 2009
Availability of USB capable ZX-328nu  device for the ZBasic platform .

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