I just ran across Arduino-lite, a lightweight alternative runtime to Arduino, for programming AVR MCU’s. This project is spearheaded by Robopeak Project. It looks pretty cool. It’s kind of halfway between Arduino, and coding directly with avr-gcc. It supports the standard Arduinos, as well as:
Not only does it support more MCU’s than Arduino, it also supports frequencies from 1-20MHz, unlike Arduino, which only supports 8 & 16MHz.
Furthermore, Robopeak claims that Arduino-lite’s binaries are 50% smaller than those produced by Arduino. An example on Robopeak’s Blog shows how Arduino-lite reduces the digitalWrite() function down to 1 AVR instruction. It appears to make heavy use of macros, which is nice, because it eliminates function call overhead. On the other hand, type checking and such is severely restricted. I think it might be a great tool for projects that need to be compact, or run as fast as possible. Also, it will greatly simplify coding for the ATtiny MCU’s.
It’s definitely not for n00bs, but if you’re comfortable with makefiles, give it a shot. The download includes everything you need to get started. You can download it for free from google code.
I just downloaded it, and am going to give it a whirl. It almost sounds too good to be true. If you have any experience with it, please leave a comment.
Download Arduino-lite: http://code.google.com/p/arduino-lite/