Atmel Corporation - Atmel AVR 8- and 32-bit - megaAVR
Originally Posted by pspmodandcfw
arduinos are the best. you can pretty much make anything you want to if you have the right stuff. I'm going to get a starter kit and mess around with it before building some useful things.
that's the chip that's used. on those boards...
which brings me back to my original point, I've not used the Arduinos, but, I've not seen a lot that would make me want to use them...
They are essentially just Atmel chips, that (in the case of the nano) have been stuck onto a pretty etched board to give them a PDIP form factor so that they can fit into breadboards easily, and you don't have to mess about surface mount soldering the chips to your circuit (most people don't have reflow ovens -I know I don't!). -but then most chips are available in a variety of form factors anyway. (my take is that if you can't do QFP, then don't!)
they are the same basic 8bit chips as any other programmable IC, but to use them you have to pay for a development board that the chip can't easily be removed from in the case of the QFP chips.
if you get the boards with the removable controllers so that you can stick them into a board outside of the dev board, then all you've really done is bought a single purpose chip specific programmer... that only works with the Arduino software, which means you also have to learn their language (which looks suspiciously like a dumbed down version of C) (I guess that the main file is actually in a included file somewhere and you're just writing functions).
so if you go with a home brew PIC route, you can buy or make a programmer (for the same price, or with most programmers less) that'll service possibly a hundred different types of chip.
you get to keep using the same basic version of C (though it's probably a moot point since there are so many Arduino programmers out there now that there is plenty of help available if you run into a wall).
you get to buy (or sample) single chips that are around a quarter of the price of the Arduino.
I haven't looked at the price of the add-on modules for Ethernet, they are available for both...
the Arduino sure has a good fan following, but I don't really see that they are all that great compared to other chips... pretty much just the same features but with a bigger price tag.
(they sure do get featured a lot on hackaday though!).
each to his or her own though...
all I'm saying is read the specs and find out what's best for the job.