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1. Introduction

AVRDUDE - AVR Downloader Uploader - is a program for downloading and uploading the on-chip memories of Atmel’s AVR microcontrollers. It can program the Flash and EEPROM, and where supported by the serial programming protocol, it can program fuse and lock bits. AVRDUDE also supplies a direct instruction mode allowing one to issue any programming instruction to the AVR chip regardless of whether AVRDUDE implements that specific feature of a particular chip.

AVRDUDE can be used effectively via the command line to read or write all chip memory types (eeprom, flash, fuse bits, lock bits, signature bytes) or via an interactive (terminal) mode. Using AVRDUDE from the command line works well for programming the entire memory of the chip from the contents of a file, while interactive mode is useful for exploring memory contents, modifying individual bytes of eeprom, programming fuse/lock bits, etc.

AVRDUDE supports the following basic programmer types: Atmel’s STK500, Atmel’s AVRISP and AVRISP mkII devices, Atmel’s STK600, Atmel’s JTAG ICE (both mkI and mkII, the latter also in ISP mode), appnote avr910, appnote avr109 (including the AVR Butterfly), serial bit-bang adapters, and the PPI (parallel port interface). PPI represents a class of simple programmers where the programming lines are directly connected to the PC parallel port. Several pin configurations exist for several variations of the PPI programmers, and AVRDUDE can be be configured to work with them by either specifying the appropriate programmer on the command line or by creating a new entry in its configuration file. All that’s usually required for a new entry is to tell AVRDUDE which pins to use for each programming function.

A number of equally simple bit-bang programming adapters that connect to a serial port are supported as well, among them the popular Ponyprog serial adapter, and the DASA and DASA3 adapters that used to be supported by uisp(1). Note that these adapters are meant to be attached to a physical serial port. Connecting to a serial port emulated on top of USB is likely to not work at all, or to work abysmally slow.

If you happen to have a Linux system with at least 4 hardware GPIOs available (like almost all embedded Linux boards) you can do without any additional hardware - just connect them to the MOSI, MISO, RESET and SCK pins on the AVR and use the linuxgpio programmer type. It bitbangs the lines using the Linux sysfs GPIO interface. Of course, care should be taken about voltage level compatibility. Also, although not strictrly required, it is strongly advisable to protect the GPIO pins from overcurrent situations in some way. The simplest would be to just put some resistors in series or better yet use a 3-state buffer driver like the 74HC244. Have a look at http://kolev.info/avrdude-linuxgpio for a more detailed tutorial about using this programmer type.

The STK500, JTAG ICE, avr910, and avr109/butterfly use the serial port to communicate with the PC. The STK600, JTAG ICE mkII, AVRISP mkII, USBasp, avrftdi (and derivitives), and USBtinyISP programmers communicate through the USB, using libusb as a platform abstraction layer. The avrftdi adds support for the FT2232C/D, FT2232H, and FT4232H devices. These all use the MPSSE mode, which has a specific pin mapping. Bit 1 (the lsb of the byte in the config file) is SCK. Bit 2 is MOSI, and Bit 3 is MISO. Bit 4 usually reset. The 2232C/D parts are only supported on interface A, but the H parts can be either A or B (specified by the usbdev config parameter). The STK500, STK600, JTAG ICE, and avr910 contain on-board logic to control the programming of the target device. The avr109 bootloader implements a protocol similar to avr910, but is actually implemented in the boot area of the target’s flash ROM, as opposed to being an external device. The fundamental difference between the two types lies in the protocol used to control the programmer. The avr910 protocol is very simplistic and can easily be used as the basis for a simple, home made programmer since the firmware is available online. On the other hand, the STK500 protocol is more robust and complicated and the firmware is not openly available. The JTAG ICE also uses a serial communication protocol which is similar to the STK500 firmware version 2 one. However, as the JTAG ICE is intended to allow on-chip debugging as well as memory programming, the protocol is more sophisticated. (The JTAG ICE mkII protocol can also be run on top of USB.) Only the memory programming functionality of the JTAG ICE is supported by AVRDUDE. For the JTAG ICE mkII, JTAG, debugWire and ISP mode are supported, provided it has a firmware revision of at least 4.14 (decimal). See below for the limitations of debugWire. For ATxmega devices, the JTAG ICE mkII is supported in PDI mode, provided it has a revision 1 hardware and firmware version of at least 5.37 (decimal).

The AVR Dragon is supported in all modes (ISP, JTAG, PDI, HVSP, PP, debugWire). When used in JTAG and debugWire mode, the AVR Dragon behaves similar to a JTAG ICE mkII, so all device-specific comments for that device will apply as well. When used in ISP and PDI mode, the AVR Dragon behaves similar to an AVRISP mkII (or JTAG ICE mkII in ISP mode), so all device-specific comments will apply there. In particular, the Dragon starts out with a rather fast ISP clock frequency, so the -B bitclock option might be required to achieve a stable ISP communication. For ATxmega devices, the AVR Dragon is supported in PDI mode, provided it has a firmware version of at least 6.11 (decimal).

Wiring boards are supported, utilizing STK500 V2.x protocol, but a simple DTR/RTS toggle to set the boards into programming mode. The programmer type is “wiring”.

The Arduino (which is very similar to the STK500 1.x) is supported via its own programmer type specification “arduino”.

The BusPirate is a versatile tool that can also be used as an AVR programmer. A single BusPirate can be connected to up to 3 independent AVRs. See the section on extended parameters below for details.

The USBasp ISP and USBtinyISP adapters are also supported, provided AVRDUDE has been compiled with libusb support. They both feature simple firmware-only USB implementations, running on an ATmega8 (or ATmega88), or ATtiny2313, respectively.

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This document was generated by Joerg Wunsch on September 17, 2013 using texi2html 1.82.